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.
Steven Miller, an interior designer and founder of Sub Folk Collective shares his tips for crafting an eclectic, yet sophisticated space that balances old and new. We love his unique vision for elevating a space while still keeping it cozy and personal.
1. Tell us a little about yourself and Sub Folk Collective.
My name is Steve Miller and I’m native to Los Angeles, which is rare apparently. I founded Sub Folk Collective a little over a year ago. Sub Folk was more of a concept at first – I wanted to bring people together, different artists and creatives working in different disciplines – and then it became the name that I do my design work under, as well as my Instagram handle. The idea behind Sub Folk was that great design happens through collaboration and a willingness to take risks creatively. The idea too was that I felt that my point of view was unique compared to what I was seeing at the time, and I wanted to do work that was still grounded in some sophistication but that had a more lived-in quality.
2. What inspires you and how does your approach to design reflect that?
I find a lot of inspiration in the natural world; landscapes, sticks, rocks, bones, organic forms and, of course, plants. I feel like there’s always an element of “found” items that I like to bring to my design work – I also like to play with the idea of chance, even though it is all very intentional. For example: the pothos that I’ve been training across a gallery wall may look a little haphazard, but nothing happens without intent and direction.
3. How do you like to incorporate plants into spaces?
Plants are an amazing element to play with in a design; they can add so much, whether that’s texture, height or a burst of color. Beyond that, plants make a space feel more alive, more lived in; if you have plants, you clearly see the value in nurturing something.
4. What tips do you have for decorating with plants?
Be realistic about your abilities; there’s a plant for everyone, but every plant is not for everyone. Pay attention to the light that your space gets, the ambient temperature, humidity, etc and choose a plant that’s going to thrive in that environment. If you travel frequently, consider something low maintenance like succulents – just be realistic about how much care you are capable of offering your plants. Beyond that, please be vigilant of what plants may be toxic to your pets. The ASPCA has information on their website and I consult it every time I consider bringing something new into the house.
5. What is your home like?
Well, it definitely changes frequently; I like to move things around, add and subtract, but I use as many natural elements as possible to create an environment that’s rustic, sophisticated and, above all, welcoming.
6. How many houseplants do you have in your home?
Right now I have about 7 plants and the family keeps growing!
7. Why do you like having plants in your home?
I love having plants in the house because they bring an indoor/outdoor vibe to the space and remind me of things that I love, like travel and camping. They also make the space seem softer, bring in color and, of course, there’s always the positive effect that plants have on air quality in the home.
8. What’s your favorite plant and why?
I usually don’t like to play favorites, but I have to say that my true love will always be my philodendron; I found him in the sale section and brought him back to life. He’s huge now and still growing! It was like going to the animal shelter and finding that one neglected cat or dog that you just know is right for you; he just caught my attention and I’m so happy that I discovered that I really do have a green thumb. Beyond that, it’s been really easy to care for Marty – yes, I name all my plants, what can I say?