Plant Life Series: A Plant-Filled, Cat-Friendly Home in California
At Bloomscape, we’re here to help you strengthen your relationship with plants—it’s all part of our mission to bring gezellig to the world. And we love seeing how real-life families live with plants in their home. In our Plant Life Series, we’ll be taking a peek inside inspiring, plant-loving homes from around the country.
People avoid plant parenthood for a number of reasons. Maybe they fall for the myth of the green thumb, think they don’t have room in their home or don’t know how to select pet-friendly plants.
Cyril Sontillano doesn’t buy into any of those excuses. His two-bedroom condo is filled with more than 150 house plants and is home to his cat, Storm. Cyril’s putting the final nail in the coffin against owning house plants, refuting those common excuses with air plant solutions and plenty of catnip.
Tell us a little about yourself and who you share your home with.
I am a creative weirdo who loves plants, crafting, the arts and animals. I live in a condo unit with my spouse, our cat, Storm, and our fish, Pisces.
What’s your day-to-day life like?
I’m fortunate to spend most of my day at home, taking care of my plants, doing chores and playing with Storm. I watch a lot of home renovation shows and browse actively on my social media accounts. I make time to workout during the weekdays, and, during the weekends, you will usually see me in nearby plant centers and nurseries or in my local craft store.
Tell us about your home.
Our home is a small two-bedroom condo with a lot of cedar wood finishes and high ceilings. I have incorporated a lot of textures into our home decor to create a cozy and warm space filled with worldly decors and design. We have a small balcony where I keep some outdoor plants which are mostly flowering plants. I keep most of my plants in the living room, on the kitchen counter and in the spare bedroom.
Tell us about your favorite room.
My favorite room has to be our living room. This is where the majority of my plants are, and this is where I spend most of my time. Every morning, I just love sitting on the couch sipping a cup of coffee, admiring my plants and enjoying the warmth of the sun and the sea breeze from the screened sliding door.
How many houseplants do you have?
I have around 150 house plants which includes 40+ air plants. Most of my houseplants are Calatheas and tropical plants.
Why do you like having plants in your home?
Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, I love that plants have health benefits such as cleaning the air, and they create a calming environment for me. I always loved to be around plants, and I believe bringing nature inside your home will definitely create a much more positive environment conducive for everyone.
What’s your favorite plant and why?
My ultimate favorite plant has to be the Monstera Deliciosa. I first saw it in person during my vacation in Phuket, Thailand last year, and I could say it was love at first sight. After my birthday this year, I decided to get one. Ever since, I love it more and more, because I find it easy to take care of, and it has been so giving when it comes to sprouting gorgeous leaves.
We noticed you have a cat (who’s on Instagram too). How does your cat react to plants in the home?
Storm, just like her username (@stormsuperstar) suggests, is a superstar in her own way. She is full of personality, and you occasionally catch her sniffing the Monstera Adansonii leaves or playing with the ferns. As she is a matured cat, I am fortunate that she knows that plants shouldn’t be eaten, and if ever she wants to have contact with plants, she has three pots of her own catnip to play with. I can say that she appreciates the plants around her, and she is curious whenever I bring a new one home.
Are there any special considerations pet owners and aspiring plant parents should know?
As a responsible pet owner, I believe the safety of our pets should be a priority when we choose our plants. We have to identify the plants that are safe and harmful to our pets. Luckily, Storm is already trained to not nibble on any of the plants but for those with younger pets, I suggest to keep dangerous plants away from our pet’s reach or refrain from keeping these plants within the same area where the pets are. It would always be helpful to have houseplant books or guides or have the ASPCA website as a resource. Pets and plants can peacefully coexist!