Indoor plants in living room

Breathe Life into Your Home – Here’s How

Hint: greenery is key.

We are wired to feel calm and relaxed when surrounded by nature. By decorating your home with plants, you can not only change the mood of your house, but also how you feel. Did you know scientists have proven that houseplants improve concentration and productivity by 15%? Stress levels have also been found to decrease when surrounded by plants. 

Through the process of photosynthesis, plants clean the air by removing toxins. They also release oxygen, which helps us sleep. Some plants in particular release oxygen at night – think: succulents, snake plants, and orchids. Besides the health benefits of having plants in your home, there are many other reasons why you should get some greenery going on in the house. Not only are plants an economical decor solution, but they also speak to the soul and make life interesting. 

“Create a garden for the soul.” 

This quote resonates with me, because my garden speaks directly to my soul, making me feel happy and calm. Having just a few houseplants can create the same effect. They are happiness that is right at our hands.

Calm the Home with Plants

Over the last 12 years of moving homes around Dubai, I have learnt a lot about what plants work for me and my home. I have also learnt quick and simple ways to make plants add to the aesthetic value of a room, asides from harnessing its health benefits. Here are my five top tips on how to get greenery that works for you in your home.

1. Have at least two or three plants in a room.

Have a good look around your home. Which empty spaces can be served better with plants? Overall, I recommend having at least two or three plants in each room. Scan each and identify places where plants could go. Start in the living room, and think about where you could feature plants that would catch your eye as you walk in. 

Remember, you can get plants of all sizes and heights, and even use hanging baskets. Bathrooms should have at least one plant in it. This helps to soften all the tiling used in a bathroom. It should be a place where you can relax as having plants will help create the ambience. In the bedroom, look if there is space next to the bed or a spot where a larger plant can go on the floor. Bedrooms need plants to nurture our sleep and soften our mood.

2. Choose real and artificial plants.

Some people steer away from having plants in their homes because they worry that they can’t look after them properly. Being knowledgeable about which plants are low maintenance is helpful, and using artificial plants is an amazing solution for those of us who do not have green fingers.

Believe it or not, it is perfectly okay to use artificial plants to bring greenery into your home. In the past, this was often frowned upon, but ironically, it’s now trending. Designers are coming up with authentic-looking plants that give the same feel and mood to a room – just like the real thing. It has also been proven that even pictures of plants reduce stress levels. So, if you are one of those people who have avoided plants because they don’t survive well, get some artificial plants to lift the mood in your home and make it feel calm.

When choosing a real indoor plant, there are some factors to consider. Think about the lighting in a room. Plants need light to survive, but be careful of hot spots where there might be too much direct sunlight. On the flip side, bathrooms do not often have enough natural light, so I would recommend an artificial plant or houseplants that do not require much light – such as the spider plant, the snake plant, and the pothos – for such spaces. 

The pothos (also known as “money plant” or “Devil’s Ivy”) is one of my favourite plants as it is so easy to maintain and grows quickly, filling spaces with its beautiful bright green leaves. It is also easy to propagate and great for hanging planters. Succulents are another great low-maintenance option. They come in different varieties and can be very attractive and interesting.

3. Vary the heights and types of plants.

When you enter a room, having a selection of plants creates interest and encourages the eye to move along those areas. The space where you choose to place your plant will affect its height. If you have a large open corner, you can either put a large potted high plant or use a hanging basket with a plant that has long tendrils to fill that space. Plants on coffee tables may need a smaller leaf span so they do not dominate the space. Tiny spaces, meanwhile, can be filled with succulents. Various types of houseplants that can be used include the spider plant, the snake plant, the orchid, the pothos, the fiddle-leaf fig, bamboo shoots, and the peace lily.

4. Have fun with the pots and hangers.

Now it is time to get creative and have some fun! When choosing a plant pot, look at the decor style in the room and try to complement it. For example, if you have a modern living room, mostly in blues and whites, perhaps you should look at natural grass baskets or silver pots. It will depend on your style and what other accents are already in the room. If you already have grass or jute, go with natural-looking pots. If you want pops of colour, plant pots are a great way to do this. 

Using macrame hangers to add interest in a room is a must. Some hangers are more traditional, but you can also find some unique hangers that could suit your style – hangers with metal chains, leather, rope, or a variety of beads for example. For real plants, make sure your pots have drainage to allow for the excess water to drip out. If not, your plants could die from rot or overwatering. Be mindful about how much water you use, making sure there is no overwatering. Touch the soil with your finger to see if it is dry. If it is not completely dry, your plant may only need a little water or wait another day before watering it.

5. Nurture and Love your plants

When a plant dies, we may feel sad and disappointed. Nurturing a plant is a responsibility, and we can build a bond with that plant over time, especially when we see how well it is growing or blooming. Feeling proud of our plants is a positive feeling, one that adds happiness to our daily lives. 

You may need to re-pot your plants from time to time when the soil loses its nutrients. Your plant will thank you in a few days by looking so much better. Adding plants to your home will immediately lift your mood, reduce stress levels, and increase your productivity. Calm that clutter and love the home you live in!

If you would like to know more about how to organise and declutter your home, follow Fern McGahey on Instagram and Facebook, or go to https://calmtheclutternow.com.


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Designing Your Own Zen Home

Peaceful and harmonious living.

So you’re thinking about transforming your home into a Zen paradise. That’s great! Do you often find yourself stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed by your current living situation? Do you crave serenity, tranquility, and greater inner peace? Do you spend more time feeling anxious about your clutter than enjoying your living space? Do you dream of a space that feels welcoming, calming, and rejuvenating – all at the same time?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of these questions, then a Zen home may be for you.

What Is Zen Home in Interior Design?

The word “zen” is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese word “chán”, which in turn is a Chinese transliteration of the Sanskrit word “dhyāna”, meaning “meditation”. Zen is a Buddhist concept that places emphasis on the practice of meditation with the goal of achieving a state of inner peace and tranquility.

Zen interior design is all about creating a living space that promotes peace, harmony, and a sense of balance. The goal is to create a relaxed and calm haven from all the hustle and bustle of daily life where you can unwind and recharge. A Zen home is characterized by its emphasis on natural textures, simple lines, neutral colours, and an overall minimalism effect. Furniture is minimal, surfaces are kept clear to achieve order and calm, and natural light is important so windows are often uncovered to allow as much natural sunlight as possible. Decluttering your space and removing distractions, as well as, adding relaxing elements such as candles, diffusers, and other natural materials, you can create an environment that amplifies the Zen factor and also conducive to nurturing concentration and productivity.

Benefits of a Zen Living Space

In addition to creating a peaceful and harmonious living space, there are many benefits to practicing Zen design in our homes. Research has shown that incorporating natural elements into our living spaces can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also improve our overall sense of well-being and help us feel more connected to the natural world.

How to Create a Zen Home

A Zen home is a living space that prioritizes simplicity, natural elements, and tranquility, creating a peaceful and harmonious environment that promotes relaxation, mindfulness, and overall wellness. Today, Zen design has evolved to include a wide range of interior design styles that often incorporate elements of natural materials, organic shapes, and minimalistic design. The idea of a Zen home has become a popular trend in interior design, as it can help promote a sense of calm and relaxation in our daily lives.

Less Is More

A well-edited room is more visually appealing than one that is crammed full of furniture and knick-knacks. One of the key benefits of the Zen design approach is that it can help to make small spaces feel larger and more open. When there are fewer objects on display, each one can be given more attention, and the eye is not drawn to any one particular area. In addition, a minimalist approach can also help to create a sense of order and calm, making it ideal for a Zen home.

Neutral Colour Palette

In a Zen home, one of the most important things to be mindful of is choosing a natural colour palette. Colours are typically muted and neutral, like white, cream, beige and gray, creating a sense of simplicity and tranquility. Avoid bright colours like red and yellow which can be reminiscent of Asian themes but are disruptive to the overall Zen flow. Instead, stick to muted tones that will ensure a serene and relaxing space, and if you do need some colour greens and blues can serve as excellent accent colours. Also, consider incorporating natural textures and materials to keep your space from feeling too sterile.

Natural Elements

The modern Zen design also emphasizes the use of natural elements like wood, stone, greenery, and water, that give your space an organic feel to support relaxation and balance. Incorporating such elements does not have to be expensive or difficult and often a few simple accents can make all the difference. For example, placing small potted plants is an inexpensive way to add some nature into your space. You may try adding a bonsai to keep with the Zen look but other plants would also do the trick. Similarly, a clear bowl filled with different coloured stones and water or a water fountain or similar feature, also creates a natural touch to your decor.

Natural Light

Lighting plays a major role in a Zen home, with natural light preferred, as it helps to create an open and airy feeling. With visually stimulating views, we feel relaxed and optimistic, which can greatly improve our overall well-being. Sunlight has a calming effect on the mind and body, and it can also help to improve mood and focus. In addition, natural light is an essential part of the cycle of nature, and it helps to regulate our bodies’ circadian rhythms. For these reasons, it’s important to make sure that your Zen-inspired interior receives plenty of light.

Streamlined Furniture

In a Zen home, furniture, decor, and household items are chosen for their simplicity and functionality. Furniture that is simple and clean in design are perfect choices. Selecting streamlined furniture made with natural materials such as wood, stone, or bamboo with straight lines and smooth surfaces will add to the Zen factor of your space. This type of furniture creates a feeling of calm and serenity – all qualities perfect for achieving a zen state of mind. By choosing streamlined furniture that is low to the ground, you will help keep the visual flow of your room uninterrupted, enabling you to feel more grounded and very much in tune with the Japanese style of Zen. Handcrafted furnishings made with reclaimed wood or rattan can add warmth. We recommend avoiding heavy, closed-off furniture designs to maintain an open and airy look and feel throughout your home.

When it comes to furniture styles for a Zen home in Dubai, you’ll want to focus on simplicity, functionality, and natural materials. Here are a few furniture styles and design elements to consider:

Accents to Add Zen to Any Home

Diffusers, candles, incense sticks, and sage are all great tools to incorporate into your house to create a more Zen-ful ambiance. Here are some tips on how to use each of these items to create a Zen living environment:


Essential oil diffusers are a great way to create a calming atmosphere in your home. Choose oils such as lavender, chamomile, or bergamot to promote relaxation and calmness. Place the diffuser in a central location in your home, or in a designated relaxation space to promote serenity.


Candles can help create a soft, warm glow that promotes relaxation. Choose candles with natural scents made from natural bases like beeswax or soy, to avoid overpowering synthetic fragrances from invading your space. Place candles in areas where you would like to create a sense of ambiance, such as a meditation space or near your bathtub.


Burning incense sticks can help to create a calming and peaceful atmosphere. Choose natural scents, such as sandalwood, or cedarwood, and place incense in an area where airflow is good.


Burning sage, also known as smudging, is an ancient practice that can be used to clear negative energy from your home. Light a sage bundle and walk the smoke around all the corners of your home, reaching the places where energy tends to get trapped. Remember to open your windows in order to let out the smoke.

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The Zen Home Essentials


Lavender Pure Essential Oil

AED 55.00


Aroma Diffuser – Sand

AED 70.00


Tea Tree Pure Essential Oil

AED 55.00


Jasmine and Ylang Ylang “and” Unisex Candle

AED 200.00


Lotus Serenity Incense

AED 30.00


Lavender & Eucalyptus Candle

AED 100.00


7 Chakra Sage

AED 55.00


White Sage Smudge Stick

AED 50.00


Dragon Blood Sage

AED 75.00

The question to really ask yourself is, are you in need of a peaceful and calming living space? Do you often feel stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed in your current home? That’s when you know for sure that a Zen home is just what you need to strive for.

You may even follow your higher sense of self and spot signs such as feeling distracted by technology, constantly playing catch-up with household chores, wishing deep inside for a welcoming and calming home, or feeling overwhelmed or anxious by clutter. These are clear signs pointing you toward the need to create a Zen home for yourself. The results are well worth the effort and the process can be healing too.

The Gaggler team is passionate about finding and sharing great products with our readers. We take pride in researching and testing products to find the best of the best, and we only recommend things that we love and think you will, too.


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