Warning: You WILL Want To Move Into This Bright, Lush New Zealand Loft
Designer Ron Goh is a self-identifying "crazy plant person," and his home in a 1920s converted factory in Auckland, New Zealand, speaks to the obsession. Sunny, lush, and inviting, it's the perfect escape from the city for Goh, his partner, and their two pups. Read on for his top care tips for plants—including how to tend to finicky larger ones.
How does your home change with the seasons?
We have different sunlight throughout all seasons from sunrise to sunset every day. I think that's the key to success for my indoor jungle.
What's the oldest thing in your home? Newest?
The oldest thing would be a rug from the '90s. The newest thing would be the Sinnerlig pendant lamp from IKEA.
What's the most sentimental thing hanging on your walls, and what's the story behind it?
It would be those traditionally made rattan and cane baskets from my hometown, Penang, a small island in Malaysia. They always remind me of home.
What's the best money you've ever spent at home?
A cane couch I bought from a secondhand website for NZD 15 (about $10).
What noises can be heard in your home? What smells?
Sometimes we hear birdsongs, which is fantastic because our place is right in the center of the city but close to a park. It usually smells like incense, which I light every morning when I pray.
I love all your plants! What's your No. 1 care tip for tending to larger plants?
I water my plants once a week. However, during really hot and dry summers, I'll increase this to twice a week. You need to be very careful not to overwater, otherwise, root rot will set in easily indoors as moisture won't evaporate as quickly as it will outside.
The amount you need to water will also depend on air flow through your place. If you always have doors and windows open, more frequent watering might be needed. To check if a plant needs watering, I will stick my finger in the soil and see how dry it feels. If the soil is dry a couple of centimeters underneath the surface, it needs water. If it's still cold and moist, leave it.
Many people don't bother with wiping off and dusting the leaves of their indoor plants; however, it's actually a very important part of the care routine. If you have indoor plants to purify the air, dust accumulating on the leaves will really slow this down! The plants will also look dull and sad without a wipe-down. I'll do this around once a month.
Another important part is misting: Plants are exposed to moisture daily in their natural environment with morning dew, and replicating this can give your plants a boost. I will do a round of misting every morning before I go to work.
How does your home reflect your personality?
I wasn't really a plant lover before we started living in this house. Over time, and many visits to various plant stores, watching trends build and grow online and being adventurous really ignited a passion in me. Being a crazy plant person has really influenced the style of our place, which has been enabled by the high ceilings and general feel of the room.
How does your home relax you?
My home relaxes me every time I settle in after a long working day. Sitting in our living room, looking out at the cityscape surrounded by lots of plants, I feel so grateful. It's a strong contrast—living in the city amid so much greenery. But it really recharges my energy.
Recreate the look.
Take a cue from Ron, and try out some of these little design tweaks in your own home.
Next up: This earthy apartment in North Carolina is another example of #GreenGoals.
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