Using succulents to improve indoor air quality

Houseplants, including succulents, are an excellent way to bring greenery inside all year long and clean the air of environmental toxins. Indoor air has been shown to be 2-5 times as contaminated as outdoor air,  and of course, indoor air is much more stagnant. Substances such as chemical-based cleaners, air fresheners, and detergents can pollute indoor air and contribute to poor health over the long term. But plants will naturally absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, making your home healthier. Although there are other plants, such as ferns and palms that are even better at filtering, in addition to these, I love to have succulents in the house because they are so easy to care for and so interesting to look at. 

This year, as winter approaches, I'm giving my dining room a quick refresh by creating a corner filled with succulents as a way to bring the green inside year-round and keep the air fresh.

I got a hanging glass terrarium as a gift from my sweet family who came to visit this summer - picked up from the awesome shop Centro Garden in Burlington. Friends had given me the bubble top glass terrarium from West Elm that I've put to good use, and I added a cactus in an antique crock to the mix. Finally, I added one more succulent by creating a natural DIY planter using a dollar store container wrapped in birch bark. I simply hot-glued a piece of natural bark to the tin container; this natural element plus a wood cutting board as a platform for one of the planters add a natural rustic feel to my dining room.  

Succulents love sunshine and dry soil, so don't overwater. Some suggest that you only water when the plants look like they're about to shrivel. Here's an excellent overview of succulent varieties (from 


Succulents are an easy way to refresh your home to make it naturally healthy. Here are more brilliant ideas for introducing them into your home. 

succulents in burlap cans

Kelly Anderson

Refreshed Designs

A re-designer focused on natural, sustainable and holistic design.