A (Very) Fast-Growing Houseplant Stars In This Pacific Northwest Home Tour
The home of Pamela Gant (@stochasticverse on Instagram) in Tacoma, Washington, is chock-full of the finer things in life: plants, macrame, and her three adorable terrier dogs, Penny, Persephone, and Ptolemy. Follow along as Gant gives us a tour of the lush space and shares how she decorates it to keep every member of the family—two-legged and four—happy and healthy.
What are three words that describe your design philosophy at home?
Practical, plant-filled, relaxing.
Did you have a favorite plant or type of plant at the moment? What do you love about it?
I adore hoyas and their tolerance of the indoor environment! It's a bonus that they will bloom like crazy, which is a weird thing to experience in a house (not just a conservatory!). I have hoyas in every single room and the outdoor greenhouse. Currently, my favorite hoya is the linearis because it is long and wild and blooming like mad!
Any tips for keeping all those beautiful plants with dogs in the house?
Keep plants off the floor. Opt for a plant stand, or put plants on a higher shelf. My oldest dog is in love with eating dirt, inside or outside, so I have to be very diligent about this. It's also important to keep pets away from soil if you are using a systemic pesticide, which is poisonous to consume. For larger potted plants that need floor space, use a thick layer of rock or some kind of decorative topper to keep soil inaccessible to wandering pet mouths.
What object in your home brings you the most joy, and why?
Aside from all of the plants, Jon and I really love our walnut coffee table! Furniture that is versatile, configurable to the need at hand (like movie nights!), and beautiful really brings us joy. We enjoy picking out thrifted furniture together. When function meets form, we are very happy!
What's the oldest thing in your home? Newest?
The house itself was built in 1905 as a basic little box house with a squished attic. It has been added on to and transformed for the last 116 years! We are honored to be a part of its history. The newest is the black walnut wall shelves we recently purchased from a woodworking couple in Canada. They are a stunning addition to the room and do a great job of housing my ever-growing hoya collection.
What noises can be heard in your home? What smells are there?
The neighbor's dogs are kept outside 24/7, and we hear them howling every hour on the hour like a chiming clock gone wrong (we feel bad for them!). Otherwise, you hear the sound of a fan whirring, me typing away on my computer while I work from home, Jon's laughter as he plays video games with friends from around the world, and the dogs wrestling and running about. Our typical smells are tobacco- and spice-scented candles, lavender laundry detergent, blooming hoyas, and when the rain hits...wet dog. We try our hardest to contain that last one!
How does your home support your health and well-being?
Home is a place to feel at peace. To rest, reset, and feel absolutely comfortable in your own skin. Our home helps us re-center after a long day out in "the world," much like a cave to retreat to when the mind is dizzy and exhausted. These four walls offer security, and through that security, we're able to rest easy, which is incredibly important for our mental health. The beautiful things we've put inside the home are simply an opportunity for self-expression that brings joy!
What's the most sentimental thing hanging on your walls, and what's the story behind it?
We have a beautiful framed piece of art that says "Swecker" hanging in our living room. It was made by a local artist for the family around the time my husband, Jon, was born in Korea. When his father died, this piece was passed on to him, and we cherish it.
What does the word home mean to you?
Home means base camp. It's the place you organize your affairs, rest up for adventure, relax with family and friends, and think about what truly matters to you. No matter where we go in life, we know we will eventually return home, where things are familiar and peaceful.
Recreate the look:
Emma Loewe is the Sustainability and Health Director at mindbodygreen and the author of Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us. She is also the co-author of The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care, which she wrote alongside Lindsay Kellner.
Emma received her B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy with a specialty in environmental communications from Duke University. In addition to penning over 1,000 mbg articles on topics from the water crisis in California to the rise of urban beekeeping, her work has appeared on Grist, Bloomberg News, Bustle, and Forbes. She's spoken about the intersection of self-care and sustainability on podcasts and live events alongside environmental thought leaders like Marci Zaroff, Gay Browne, and Summer Rayne Oakes.