PLNTS X Jay and his plants
Hey there, I'm Jay Kusters,
a 34-year-old living in Hilversum, a charming spot in The Netherlands.
I spent a good 12 years of my life working in Fashion PR for a big company. But then, I had this itch for something different, something that truly resonated with me. So, I took the plunge, left my job behind, and embarked on a journey to follow my real passion: indoor plants!
Plants have always fascinated me. All those different kinds, their vibrant colors, and unique shapes – they're like a natural work of art. And the perks of having plants around are pretty amazing too. You've probably heard about it - they can lower stress, boost productivity, and even spark creativity. Those who live or work with plants can vouch for these benefits. It felt like my mission to spread the word about these green wonders and help people get back in touch with that nature-loving part of themselves.
While digging deeper into this world, I stumbled upon the concept of Biophilia. It's a term that basically means a love for life and all things living. It's in our DNA, this deep-rooted connection to nature. We used to live in sync with it - seeing, smelling, hearing, and even eating from it. But as time went on, we started building concrete jungles, and a big chunk of that connection got lost. That's where my passion ignited. I want everyone to rediscover that innate bond we have with the natural world.
Here's the thing – it doesn't matter if you're into a modern, minimalist vibe or you're all about that urban jungle look.
It's about finding a way to blend nature into your interior and lifestyle, in a way that suits you.
Whether it's a big, eye-catching plant in your living room, or plants scattered throughout your home, there's a green solution for everyone. If you're always on the go, low-maintenance plants are your buddies. If you work from home, high-maintenance ones can be your lunchtime companions. Your style could be wabi-sabi or metropolitan chic - there's a plant and a pot combo that fits your taste.
So, the bottom line is, anyone and everyone can have plants in their lives.
That's become my mission, and I've kicked off my own gig called "Jay and His Plants." I blend my love for styling with my plant know-how to help people live alongside plants, making that line between indoor and outdoor spaces a bit blurrier. When I tackle a project, I start by listening to what my clients want in terms of greenery. I soak up the style of their place and how they live in it. Then, I merge all this info with my plant smarts and styling skills to craft a tailor-made plan for them. I pick out the most gorgeous plants and pots to match the plan, and then it's time to let the greenery run wild. I put everything in its place, so they can kickstart their greener lives and enjoy the beauty and perks of living with plants.
So, my goal is pretty simple:merge modern city living with our innate love for nature. With the right placement of plants, I want to awaken that nature-loving part of us and turn living spaces into lush green sanctuaries. Let's journey together where the boundaries between indoors and outdoors blur, and where the beauty and life of plants enrich our lives.
Let’s get wild!
Photo's by Matthias Eyckmans
Jay and his PLNTS: A green journey through every room
On a personal note, I have a bit of a minimalistic streak when it comes to my approach to living with plants. Well, it really depends on the room, but the one thing I'm absolutely committed to is having plants in every single room. So, in that sense, my minimalistic tendencies take a back seat.
My goal is simple:
I want to seamlessly integrate plants into each room's ambiance, making them an integral part of the room's character, architecture, or overall interior design.
Now, let's talk about the living room, shall we? This is the space where you can go all out. I've opted for some substantial plants here. I've positioned a large Strelitzia right next to my couch, with a Caryota Mitis right beside it. These beauties double as magnificent living sculptures, and when you group them together, they make a powerful statement. I've chosen identical pots for them, creating a sense of harmony that imparts a soothing vibe to the room. When it comes to pots, I have a soft spot for natural colors and materials. It's like a subtle nod to our connection with nature, tapping into our biophilia. For this setup, I've gone with the brown-black Pablo baskets fashioned from a natural material and equipped with a waterproof plastic insert.
On the table, I've added a touch of charm with an Anthurium Clarinervium. It's one of those special plants that I simply adore. You won't find me going for flowers in my interior styling, but this petite plant on the seating area table is just perfect. I've placed it in a Chad pot, which boasts a delightful natural hue and material. It has a warm gray-beige color with a concrete finish. To give it that extra oomph, I've sprinkled some moss on top. I'm quite taken with moss, and it lends a wild, untamed flair to the setup.
Now, let's not forget the grand presence of the Ficus Lyrata in this zone. This one's my top pick among the larger plants, hands down. Those thick, dark brown branches exude a wonderfully wild outdoor vibe. I've positioned it between the seating and dining areas, effectively acting as a room divider. Just imagine how grand it will look as it continues to grow! Because it's still part of the living room, I've stuck to my Pablo baskets for this one. Using consistent pots in a single area brings about a sense of unity and makes the blending process a breeze.
I’m also a big fan of having plants in the kitchen, a place where nature is already present with the fruits and veggies we prepare every day! I have placed a few plants between all the mugs and plates so they've become part of team kitchen. I'm quite the enthusiast when it comes to introducing plants into the kitchen. After all, it's a space that already exudes a natural vibe, what with all the fruits and veggies we prep daily. I've strategically nestled a few plants amidst the mugs and plates, seamlessly making them a part of the kitchen crew.
First up, I've gone all out with the stunning Monstera Thai Constellation. Given my kitchen's modern aesthetics, I figured we could afford to get a little extravagant here. This Monstera is stationed at the coffee and water area and truly stands out, doesn't it? All the materials in my kitchen are organic - marble, mango wood, ceramics. So for this Monstera, I've opted for Tess paper pots. What an amazing material, and that warm taupe colour effortlessly blends in while still commanding attention with its striking leaves and patterns. And because I'm all about embracing the wild side, I've added a touch of moss on top for that extra flair.
On the other side, I've introduced two more fabulous species. There's the lush Rhaphidophora Decursiva and the Monstera Obliqua. Those leaves, goodness, I could gaze at them for hours! See what I did there? Yes, I've kept the pot theme consistent in this area too. These beautiful recycled paper pots, harmonising with the brown marble, blend seamlessly into this space.
Now, on the flip side of the kitchen, there's a lovely dining area, which doubles as my workspace during the day. You've probably already gathered from my book collection that I'm a bookworm, especially when it comes to books about plants and interior plant design. They're a constant source of inspiration for my projects. Naturally, these kinds of books always sport green covers, so it was a no-brainer that these shelves needed some green companions.
For this spot, I've gone with the Stu pots in a soothing sage green shade, a perfect match for the books, making the blending process a walk in the park. These pots boast a fantastic shape and a textured, recycled vibe. In terms of plants, I've extended the kitchen's vibe, but with a bit more pzazz. On the top shelf, I've placed the Rowleyanus Variegated, with its enchanting pearl-like appearance. On the bottom shelf, there's an Anthurium Warocqueanum.
This one boasts gorgeous, velvety leaves, and when the morning sun caresses its foliage, it puts on a dazzling show.
Now, let's not overlook the bedroom – if there's one room in the entire house where you yearn for that natural touch, it's definitely after a long day spent in bed. Here, I've created an oasis of green, offering a subtle nod to nature through the linen on my bed and a more direct connection with the sizable plants that grace this room.
Adjacent to my bed, I've placed a plant that has its own special day – it's Monstera Monday here! I've chosen a Monstera Deliciosa, grown around a cocos pole. The ceilings in this room stretch up to a generous 4 meters, so as it continues to grow, I can encourage it to grow even taller. Just take a look at that fresh, light green leaf – it's a sight to behold.
On the other side of the room lies my favourite nook, a cosy spot facing the balcony. It's the perfect place for drinking a morning coffee. However, it often gets cluttered with clothes, so I decided to elevate the space. A charming little Caryota Mitis on the table has added warmth and charm to this corner, making it less likely to be overrun by clothes. And can we take a moment to appreciate the mesmerising beauty of those fishtail leaves?
My apartment has a loft-like vibe and layout, with this bedroom seamlessly connected to the living and seating area. The doors between these spaces are always open, allowing for a seamless transition of style from the living room into the bedroom. That's why I've opted for the same natural brown-black Pablo baskets from the living room in this space.
It creates a sense of continuity and tranquillity that ties everything together.
Now, let's talk about the room that probably receives the most questions in my DMs and during client visits – the bathroom. It seems like everyone's eager to infuse their bathroom with the calming, spa-like atmosphere that plants instantly provide. And who can blame them? We all cherish that serene feeling, don't we? However, here's the catch: not everyone is fortunate enough to have a window or natural daylight in their bathroom. So, if you happen to be an architect reading this, please take note: windows in small bathrooms can work wonders!
You see, plants of all kinds, no exceptions, require light. It's a non-negotiable necessity for them to carry out photosynthesis. I count myself lucky to have natural daylight in my bathroom, but let me clarify – it's an apartment, so it's not exactly vast. Fortunately, I've got some adorable baby plants on hand. I have a soft spot for these little guys, as they can easily snug into small spaces, shelves, and corners. What's more, they're far from boring; in fact, some of these young plants are striking in their own right and can make a statement even when they're small
In my shower area, I've got this built-in shelf, and it seemed like a great idea to pop a couple of plants there. It's pretty cool watching them grow as I start my day with a refreshing shower. I've chosen a stunning Alocasia Macrorrhiza Splash, coupled with a Monstera Esqueleto. I mean, what a dynamic duo, right? They both sport the same Robin Wood pots, boasting modern, organic shapes that enhance the appeal of this shelf..
Another spot in the bathroom that can be elevated by some greenery is the sink area. After all, this is a spot where we find ourselves a few times a day, so why not bring some life to it? I've gone with the dazzling Philodendron Scandens Micans, known for its captivating, trailing leaves and branches. Just picture how they'll grow and flourish alongside the sink – a wonderful sight to behold.