Live plants are important home accessories and — sometimes they can even become key design elements on their own. Next time you see an unused corner or empty shelf in your home, consider bringing in a plant to fill the space.

Quinlan Residence traditional living room

Plants can serve as functional design elements. Many homes in today’s suburban neighborhoods have great rooms. While most homeowners love the idea of a great room, it can also be a curse; it’s hard to know where one functional space ends and the next one begins. Large indoor shrubs or trees are the perfect solution. Use them as room dividers or to flank an area to create a more restricted passage.

Click on the slide show below for additional reasons to design with houseplants.