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.
Kelli Collins (@kelli_e_collins, @chickswithplants) a former Marine Scientist with the Coast Guard and mother of two shares her colorful, plant-filled (over 140!) bohemian home with us. We love her eclectic personal style, bold use of color, and of course all the plants!
1. Tell us a little about yourself and who you share your home with.
I live with my husband Tony, my two daughters, and my puppy (Sage) on the Space Coast of Florida. I was a Marine Scientist in the Coast Guard and met my husband (also Coast Guard) around 12 years ago in Hawaii. The Coast Guard has taken us to San Diego, Key West, Hawaii, San Francisco, Seattle, Charleston and now central Florida where we plan on staying for awhile! We usually spend our day surfing, thrifting, cooking, exploring & having a good ole time!
2. Tell us about your home.
Our home is around 1750 square feet- Florida Ranch style home. It was literally a white box when we bought it (sight unseen) but we quickly changed that with my crazy ideas and my husband’s handyman skills. We’ve replaced our backsplash, re-done both bathrooms, painted almost every room & more!
3. What inspires you and how does your home reflect that?
My travels & places that I’ve lived have inspired me! I’ve been to all seven continents and collected treasures along the way. I grew up in Arizona and would travel down to my great-grandparents’ ranch in Mexico. I remember that my great grandfather would give me $5 to head out into town for souvenirs. I would spend hours hemming & hawing over different items but would always come back to Talavera pieces. I have a lot of Talavera throughout my home & my kitchen was a nod to my great-grandparents’ home in Mexico! I was also very inspired by the bold & bright designs from Key West & Hawaii. I have so many colorful decor pieces that remind me of both places.
4. How many houseplants do you have?
I have 140 including the ones in my Florida rooms. Many are tropical plants that thrive in this Sunshine State.
5. Why do you like having plants in your home?
I’ve always been a fan of biophilic design and I believe that bringing nature in…and earth inspired items make me (us!) happier! If we are deprived of our ability to affiliate with nature then it can majorly affect us. We try to be outside in the garden, at the beach, really anywhere in nature as much as we can. Bringing the outside in is just an extension of our lifestyle.
6. What’s your favorite plant and why?
What a HARD question. I would have to say either palms or birds of paradise. I have always been taken by those two plants and associate them with the tropical environment that I love so much.
7. What tips do you have for living with plants?
Research a plant if you’re interested in it! Every single one is different and requires different care. Don’t give up on one if it’s not doing well. Change its location, replant it, propagate, fertilize…there are so many things you can do to make a plant happy again. You WILL have a few losses! Especially if you’re a beginner. Don’t let it discourage you! Keep going and start with plants that are good for beginners. Also, keep to a schedule. Write it down if you have trouble remembering what plants need what & when. I spend a little extra time on Wednesdays & Sundays taking care/watering my plants and it’s totally worth it!
8. Tell us about @chickswithplants.
Chicks with Plants was started by my friends and I a few months back! We all thought it would be fun to start an account to celebrate ALL women with their plant gangs! It’s been so much fun to see the beautiful women from around the world that share a mutual love for plants. We each take a week and share our favorites! It’s a lot of fun since we all have such different style!