Designer and author Hilton Carter invites us into his lush home, and shares his tips for creating an indoor jungle.
When designer Hilton Carter furnished the industrial-style Baltimore apartment and work studio he shares with his wife Fiona, their dog Charlie and two cats Zoe and Isabella, he created, in effect, a wondrous indoor woodland that offers all the benefits of being outdoors without leaving home.
“I wanted to create the feeling that nature has crept back in and taken over everything,” says Carter, describing their plant-filled abode. The author of Wild at Home: How to Style and Care for Beautiful Plants explains, “I have a lot of climbing plants because I like that, no matter what, they’re going to attach and find their way up. It’s life. That’s what it does. I love those photographs you see of old, abandoned buildings with greenery everywhere, and there’s even a tree growing through the middle. I want to live in that space. It’s exciting—you don’t know if you’re inside or outside, but you’re home.”
“You don’t know if you’re inside or outside, but you’re home.”
We recently caught up with the plant-loving designer and found out all there is to know about living wild.
What inspired you to start your at-home jungle?
Back in 2011, I visited a cafe in Pennsylvania that was inside a greenhouse. I saw how it transformed the space and how at peace I felt while dining there. I knew instantly that when I had the time and a space with the right light and ceiling height, I would jungle-fy my home.
How long did it take you to fill your apartment with plants, and was there a process you followed?
I’ve been bringing plants into my home for the past 6 years. If there was [available] light and I had time to care for another one, I’d bring it home. Now we’ve reached our limit, so no new plants for us. Well, unless we can get our hands on a Raven ZZ plant. It has these really cool dark purple, almost black, leaves.
How much time do you spend caring for your plants, and what do you have to do to maintain them?
I spend about three or four hours a week watering, wiping down leaves, rooting and talking to my plants.
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