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NAFA Campus 1

Wing B Room #4 – 05
80 Bencoolen Street I Singapore 189655
Tel : +65 6512 4000 I Fax : +65 6337 6817
Fundamental of Interior Design

Lesson 12: Indoor plants

12.1 Composition and arrangement

The composition and arrangement of houseplants is a matter of personal taste and

judgment, but an informed person will certainly be doing it better than those who are
uninformed. There are five factors to remember in the context of plant arrangement. They

- plant appearance
- plant container
- principles of arrangement
- style/theme
- lighting

12.2 Plant container

- Proportion- the smaller the plant, usually the more it should equal height of its

- Style- the material, shape, colour and texture of containers must reflect the style in
which they are located.

12.3 Style/ Theme

12.3a Country style:

- use fresh flowers, foliage and flowering plants to have soft shape. In a country style
interior, flower patterns used in abundance on wallpaper, curtains, cushion, well-
crafted wooden furniture with natural fabrics and warm colours.
12.3b Ethnic style:

- use brilliant flowers and strong form, plants with strong outline & solid shape. An
ethnic interior uses a great deal of lively patterns fabrics which are abstract or
figurative. The texture of these fabrics is usually rough. The colour is natural.

12.3c Oriental style:

- use plants with strong forms and contrasting textures. The oriental style concentrates
on a few simples shapes and large areas of neutral colour, offset by focal point of
bright colour. The contrast of textures are also used often (e.g. coarse- weave
bamboo mat and lacquer table).

12.3d High- tech style:

- use vivid and almost abstract from flowers; plants with vigorous outline and bright
lighting. High tech interior is based on the utilitarian shapes and material of industrial
product. Decoration is minimal and the overall effect is hard and clinical looking.

12.3e Art Deco style;

- use plants with strong outlines, hard edged shape, pastel colour or white, shiny texture

12.4 Selection of interior plants

12.4a Upright plants.

- Small leaved, e.g. calamondin orange

- Large leaved, eg. Rubber plant, spotted dumb cane
- Compound leaved; umbrella plant, Norfolk island pine
- Spikey leaved, e.g. mother- in- law’s tongue, stick yucca

12.4b Arching plants.

- Small leaved, e.g. wax plant, button fern

- Large leaved, e.g. Coconut palm
- Compound leave, boston fern, bamboo palm

12.4c Rosette- shaped plants.

- Arching rosette, flaming sword, bird’s nest fern
- Spiky leaved, veitch screw pine, variegated pineapple
- Falt leaved, scarlet star, earth star plant

12.4d Bushy plants

- Small leaved, e.g. elatior begonia, busy lizzie
- Large leaved, e.g. angle wings, painted leaved begonia
- Compound leaved, maidenhair fern, asparagus fern

12.4e Climbing plants

- Small leaved, e.g. Algerian ivy, cape ivy
- Large leaved, e.g.burgundy philodendron, swiss cheese plant

12.4f Trailing plants

- small leaved, e.g. sweetheart plant
- large leaved, e.g. staghorn fern

12.4g Creeping plants

- Small leaved, e.g. mind- your- own- business, club moss

12.5 Plant shapes


Calamondin orange Spotted dumb cane

Norfolk island pine Sansevieria

(Mother- in- law’s tongue)


Wax plant Coconut palm

Boston fern Weeping fig


Bird’s nest fern Variegated pineapple Scarlet star

Bushy plants

Maidenhair fern Painted leave Begonia Angle wings Begonia


Algerian Ivy Swiss cheese plant


Staghorn fern Spider plant

12.6 Display.

The pleasure of display comes from being surrounded by the objects that define our
place in the world- family photographs, art collections, favorite books. It invites us to fully
appreciate the simple beauty of everyday objects.

Most of us love to reinvent our surroundings with intriguing display and display takes
planning and it strengthen the stylish impact of a space. Choose a mix of storage and
display to play down what’s awkward and highlight what’s beautiful.

The rooms we love and remember most vividly are infused with personality. They are
filled with thoughtful choices and unique pairings that blur the line between storage and
display. Symmetry and balance are said to be the keys to a successful display, its true
heart is the ability to create a place that entices people to linger.

Most memorable displays thrive on reputation and relationship. Displaying items in

multiples or repeating basic shapes, creates more interest and elevates everyday objects
to the status of artwork. A single glass bottle may not catch the eyes but a shelf full of
them is bound to be admired. Think about relating pieces in a display by color and
materials as well as provenance.
While most anything can hung on a wall or arrange on a shelf. The classic method of the
art of display is to group items by color, materials or theme. You can hang or display you
favorite objects in the middle and create a focal point.

Shelves offer infinite possibilities for arranging decorative still- life displays with books.
Sorting books according to their hue can make a colorful impact. Rocks and other organic
objects from nature are a nice way to break up the geometric repetition of books on a
shelf. Try topping horizontal stacks of books with a rock, a shell or a fossil or fill an entire
shelf with oversize books stacked flat.

Display is as much a matter of heart as it is a balance of shape and scale. Drawn from an
expanding collection of art, books, objects and photos, reflects the beauty and texture of
our lives. Use built- in shelves to highlight your treasures and create a room full of
For every kitchen holds wonderful possibilities for creative arrangements, whether by
taking advantage of cupboards and countertops. When planning displays for kitchen,
choose items that combine style and utility. Look at shapes as well as placement.

Display in the bedroom is even more personal matter because our private retreats tend to
contain our very favorite object. You may wish to leave a prized collection of jewelry in full
view. For maximum impact, group collectables together on windowsills and dresser tops.

Display cannot be measured by worth. If an object brings back fond memories or just
makes you smile, put it out to enjoy.
Final Assignment: To evaluate good design by using the laws of design.

Two cut- out interior images from magazines on module topics (e.g., furniture, design elements,
lighting, etc.) It may be assigned early and continued throughout the course. You are to evaluate
and analyze the images with the following points,

 the use of the elements and principles of design

 how design represents ideas and personalities of the individual in the selected images
 the function the object will serve (form follows function)
 the materials used to make an object (how design makes efficient use of resources)
 the appropriateness of the style or where it will be used
 how design accommodates special needs.

Assessment Grading:

- Project research and understanding brief statement 10%

- Identify and understanding of three dimensional, materials & spaces. 30%
- Final print presentation 20%

Total: 60%
Submission Criteria:

- All research materials in A3 size folder.

- All work to be printed on A3 size paper and on A3 size mounting board/ compressed
- All work must have proper printing and mounting with print out text


Please refer to NAFA Diploma Student Handbook 09/10, pg 12-18. Students are warned that
marks will be deducted for late submissions of project or failure to meet submission requirements.