When we first walked into Erika Wadler’s stunning home in Palms neighborhood of LA, the first things we noticed are a) she must love plants; b) she’s got at least 5 Ruggable rugs (probably more); and c) can we just curl up in this corner and sleep? That is how soothing and calming her home is.
“Planterior design is now my ‘thing,’” she explains. “I am obsessed with all the textures and colors that plants offer. Mother nature is truly brilliant. There is nothing else that can bring a room to life like plants. They add warmth, coziness, nature, dimension, focal points, and intrigue that really can’t be achieved by accessories or prop styling.”
Erika’s penchant for home design and decor stems from her long career in fashion magazine publishing and TV production. But after remodeling and transforming her first home in L.A. into a stunning space, which made it the #1 booked location on various peer-to-peer location services, she now dedicates most of her time decorating and redecorating her home and helping others achieve the same success through her company, HomeSliceHome. Now, major companies rent out her home for TV shows, commercials, branding campaigns, and photo shoots.
A self-proclaimed plant and Ruggable rug aficionado, Erika sat down with us to share some expert tips on how to enliven your space with plants and rugs.
RUGGABLE: How did you first get into house plant decorating? Have you always had a green thumb?
ERIKA: “I really got into plants about a year ago by happenstance. I started to rent out my home for brands to use as a location for commercials, ad campaigns, Instagram shoots, you name it! I think that one thing that makes a home feel homey is great plant decor, so I really leaned into curating a gallery of plants in my home. My green thumb has been ever-evolving, and now I think I have it down pat. There have been hurdles along the way, but there is a certain love language with plants that takes time.”
What do you find the most challenging about decorating with house plants?
“It’s deciding which plants to buy. I always want them all, but my home is not conducive to having the ‘greenhouse’ or ‘jungalow’ style, so I do need to stay on brand with my home’s more minimal aesthetic.
Sometimes I need to remind myself that less is more, but if I am truly being honest, sometimes I really can’t resist a great, healthy plant that needs a happy home.”
Any tips on keeping house plants alive and healthy?
Tip#1: Get to Know Your Plants
“The key to styling your home with plants—and keeping them alive—is to learn how to care for them. Plants are all unique; some need a lot of sunlight, some like shade, others you need to water every other day, and some just need watering once per month. It takes time to learn the cycle of your plants, but once you get the groove of how to care for your house plants, then it’s a cinch.
For example, if you have cacti or succulents, you really don’t need to water them at all. A mist once a month is adequate with ample sunlight.”
Tip #2: The Easiest Plants to Care for: Pothos or ZZ
“For those who are fearful about their ability to care for a plant, there are great options. Try a Pothos or ZZ plant; they don’t require a lot of light, and if you forget to water them, no worries. They will be ok…promise! It’s best to water them when the soil is completely dry.”
Tip #3: Dab a Little Coconut Oil
“Coconut oil is a great way to add a little pep in your plants’ steps. Sometimes leaves can lack a little luster or are dusty, so smear some coconut oil on a rag and gently wipe the leaves. Not only will they shine, but the oil will kill off any bugs and make your plant healthier.”
Tip #4: Trim Your House Plants
“It’s always a good idea to trim your plants and keep them healthy. If you see brown or dead leaves, don’t pull them, rather prune them with scissors on an angle.”
Tip #5: Plant, Replant, Repeat
If there is a plant you absolutely love, try making a new one by propagating it. Simply cut off a stem with a leaf at the top, and put it in a glass of water. Over time, when you will see roots form, be sure to keep the water fresh. Once there is a sufficient root structure, carefully take the rooted stem and plant it into a pot with healthy soil. You will have a brand-new plant. Isn’t mother nature awesome?
Tip #6: Keep House Plants in Their Original Containers
“Since plants are always moved around my house during shoots, I like to keep my plants in the containers in which I bought them. Then I put them into various pots and baskets. Not only does that make moving them around a breeze, but it makes re-styling them super convenient. Plus, it’s super easy to water them; for the smaller ones, just put them in the kitchen sink, and for the bigger ones, put them outside and water with a garden hose.”
When it comes to decorating a room with a rug and house plants, what is the key to success?
“For me, when it comes to decorating, I am all about the minimal, neutral palette aesthetic with a strong rug and plant game. Rugs set the tone and vibe of the rooms. It is pretty incredible how you can completely change a room just by swapping out your rug. You can go from boho to mid-century in five minutes with minimal effort, and feel like you have a full room refresh.
Plants add color, texture, and volume. But plants have a double benefit: not only are they beautiful, the health benefits are wonderful, and who doesn’t love to feel better, mind, body and soul?
For those who have feared taking the plunge into plants, fear not, you can always start small and try your hand at it without a huge commitment. One plant on a coffee table, kitchen island or in a bathroom is easy to care for. See how you do and from there, you can expand your ‘plant wardrobe,’ one piece at a time. Before you know it, your house will be styled from top to bottom.”
We see you have so many Ruggable rugs. Which one’s your favorite and why?
“I change my mind about my favorite rug like I change my shoes! I literally re-style my home every day, so for me to choose a favorite rug would be impossible. I change out my rugs every two weeks.
The soft gray hue and intricate pattern of the Inik Ikat Rug brought life to my living room. The rug creates a sense of intrigue without being overpowering. The Watercolor Herringbone Rug reminds me of threads and yarn, which makes me happy because I love to sew and make fiber art. The Nodum Light Grey Rug is so serene, it’s calming for me. And when I feel like going crazy, I pull out my pop of color rugs, Kenza Polychrome Rug and Kilim Batik Pink Rug. They are the only color in my home, and I love them because the patterns are so interesting, and they give me inspo when I am cooking since I use them as runners in my kitchen.”