Many of us have found ourselves stuck at home with a newfound (forced) motivation to renovate and change things up. Some tried gardening or raising houseplants for the first time to add some life to their homes.

Incorporating organic and natural elements into our living spaces, while always desirable, can also be daunting, especially for those of us not known for having a green thumb.

So we asked Sue Wright, the plant mama and decorating genius behind Botanic Boutique by boo kee sue in Islamorada, for her top 10 tips to bring more green, organic and naturally bohemian elements into our homes.

Top 10 Tips for Natural Decorating

(1) Add living plants. It’s all about right plant, right place. Good, hard-to-kill indoor plants include: snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue, ZZ plant and pothos. They require very little water and can be kept in any light. Pro tip: Overwatering is the biggest mistake with houseplants. Let them dry out between waterings to prevent rot.

Sue Wright shares a before-and-after of adding natural and organic elements to her home to show the difference just a little bit of green makes. SUE WRIGHT/Contributed

(2) Use preserved moss. It looks green and fresh even though it’s no longer alive. “These add green to any space in a zero-maintenance way. You can’t ruin them. They don’t need water or sun.” Pro tip: Put moss in a teak bowl as a centerpiece or fill an old orchid pot with moss. Glue it onto a piece of driftwood next to some air plants.

Preserved moss is Wright’s go-to material for adding no-hassle green to any space. It needs no water and no sun, but looks fresh and alive. SUE WRIGHT/Contributed

(3) Palm fronds. Especially in Florida, these are the easiest way to bring nature inside. Cut them from your yard and hose them off. Stick them in a basket or vase or tuck them behind a mirror to add a classy, tropical flair. Pro tip: They can be left to dry as they are or cut into various shapes.

Sue Wright plays with fresh and dried, natural and cut palm fronds to add color and structure to her spaces. SUE WRIGHT/Contributed

(4) Natural baskets. Plant baskets aren’t just for plants. Use them to store blankets, magazines or toys. Pro tip: Look for baskets made from natural materials like cane, reed, seagrass and rattan to add organic texture.


(5) Wood. Use wood for plant stands, slabs/pedestals for candles, crystals or anything in your home that needs elevating. Pro tip: Teak slabs, driftwood and native wood pieces are beautiful and can be displayed as is or with mineral oil applied to them.

(6) Macramé. This woven art from natural materials comes straight out of the ’70s and can be used as plant hangers, curtains, room dividers or freeform wall hangings to add softness and a natural feel. Pro tip: There are lots of macramé styles out there. Find the one that best matches your style. 

Use macrame wall hangings to soften cold or harsh spaces. Pair them with plants and metals to create interest. SUE WRIGHT/Contributed

(7) Raw brass, vintage crystal mobiles and hanging art. These handmade pieces bring eye-pleasing light and movement into a room. Pro tip: If you have a small space, hang things from curtain rods, lampshades or fan pulls. Hang crystals in front of mirrors so they reflect themselves.

Vintage brass and crystal mobiles reflect sunlight and help make small spaces look bigger. Paired with organic plants, they make the space come alive. Sue Wright/Contributed

(8) Rope décor. Upcycled rope décor is a great way to pay homage to our boat and fishing culture here in the Keys. They’re a great architectural and textural element. Pro tip: If hanging outside, decorate with air plants.

Mix and match different organic and natural elements like rope hangers, wood pedestals, crystals and air plants for a lively refresh. SUE WRIGHT/Contributed

(9) Crystals. Depending on the energy you’re seeking, or the look you’re cultivating, crystals can add a different type of natural element to a colder space. “Crystals are very personal. You have to choose the one that calls to you.”

(10)Specimen frames. Place plants or other natural elements like feathers into floating frames to create an organic feel without taking up a lot of space. Pro tip: Find frames at a local thrift store or reuse ones you already have for a free or cheap design project.

Organic items like leaves or feathers display perfectly in floating frames to create some added interest on bare walls. SUE WRIGHT/Contributed

For more inspiration and tips on how to green up and liven your space, visit Sue Wright at Botanic Boutique by boo kee sue (81868 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada; located at Village Square at the Trading Post) and on her Instagram @bookeesue or call 305-853-6564.

If you would like to have the Weekly delivered to your mailbox or inbox along with our daily news blast, please subscribe here.