Woman & Home (South Africa) - - A Place Of Our Own -

‘I see plants as home ac­ces­sories; like a neck­lace to a gown!’

Katja Kell­hofer, 46, lives in Houghton with her hus­band Ger­ard, 38, their five dogs and two cats. Katja is a free­lance events co-or­di­na­tor, stylist and florist.

“We moved into our old Vic­to­ri­anstyle house eight years ago. The con­ser­va­tory was a blank, walled-in can­vas just wait­ing to be painted. It’s where we would be en­ter­tain­ing our guests and, be­ing the queen of green, I couldn’t sim­ply leave it un­touched.

Be­fore get­ting into floristry, I was in fash­ion de­sign, which has over­lapped with my gar­den­ing style. I fo­cus on colour and tex­ture when dec­o­rat­ing a space with plants. I al­ways think of them as ac­ces­sories, like a neck­lace to a ball­gown! I love lush, op­u­lent, bold-green plants with big, mon­ster leaves, much like the green­ery you’d find in a trop­i­cal jun­gle. The con­ser­va­tory gets a nice amount of sun dur­ing the day, so it’s the per­fect spot for this kind of plant, in­clud­ing trop­i­cal pitch­ers, palms, or­chids, and the devil’s ivy that hangs from the ceil­ing. I re­ally adore hang­ing plants, so I’ve added Span­ish moss in my bath­room as well. Here, the plants add a lovely touch of colour against the white-tiled back­drop, and they don’t need much wa­ter­ing, be­cause they soak up the steam from the bath or shower.

I in­her­ited my love of gar­den­ing from my mother, who had deft green fin­gers. To­day, I style edi­to­rial mag­a­zine photo shoots with plants that come from my gar­den. Adding a nat­u­ral el­e­ment to an or­ches­trated en­vi­ron­ment helps bal­ance out the at­mos­phere, and some­thing as small as a plant can draw at­ten­tion to an oth­er­wise bor­ing fore­ground.

I don’t see why plants should be re­served for out­side ar­eas. Hav­ing them in­doors looks gor­geous, and helps clear out car­bon diox­ide, giv­ing you bet­ter air qual­ity.” >>

Katja cre­ated a lush trop­i­cal par­adise in her con­ser­va­tory

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