How to Decorate Your Home With Houseplants That Clean The Air

If you are worried about Dirty House Syndrome (indoor pollution in your home) you don’t have to worry about buying an air cleaner. Mother Nature already produces her own natural air cleaners – houseplants. Some houseplants are very efficient at removing all kinds of toxins from the air including the formaldehyde fumes that are emitted from new carpeting. If you burn a lot of essential oils and are worried about the residual carbons that can linger in the air afterwards then air-cleaning houseplants might be in order.

Indoor air pollution is considered by many experts to be one of the main threats to health in the twenty first century. People are getting ill in what are called “sick buildings”. To make matters even worse, statistics show that most North Americans spend 90% of their entire life indoors in buildings that may be off gassing chemicals and particulates.

Many palms and tropical plants naturally purify the air. Among the two most effective are the Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens), the Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii). Plants from the Ficus family are also pretty air purifiers and include the Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica) and the Weeping Fig.

The Lady Palm is also excellent for removing chemical vapors and it is every easy to take care of. The Bamboo palm is top rated by NASA for removing benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the air. with its attractive, broad shiny leaves survives in less light then most houseplants from the ficus family. It can also survive cooler temperatures (down to forty degrees.) It is very easy to grow and known for its ability to effectively remove all of the types of toxins but particularly formaldehyde from the air.

This is a beautiful South American plant that produces beautiful white shell shaped flowers called spathes. The plant sends up stiff white spathes and can reach a height of two to three feet. It excels when it comes to removing alcohols, acetone, trichloroethylene, benzene and formaldehyde from the air.
\In the fern family, which is probably the least expensive, the top three air cleaners English Ivy, the Australian Sword Fern and the Boston fern. Other assorted plants that combat indoor air pollution are Posths (Epipremnum aureum), any of the many varieties of Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) and English Ivy. Just a note here about English Ivy – it is also used to draw prosperity into a home if you are into gathering lucky plants that also clean the air.

How to Decorate for a Sweet 16 Victorian Party

The ideal number of girls to invite to a Sweet 16 Tea Party is of course 16. There are tons of Sweet Sixteen party ideas out there, but the classic tea party is probably the most romantic and also the most intimate. The format for this party is based on a proper Victorian tea party with lots of angels, fairies and cherubs as themes. If you want this party to have a bit of a dramatic edge you can ask your guests to wear “Angel’s Wings.”

Another idea would be to ask each girl to wear a tiara and phrase the Sweet Sixteen Invitation as “Have Tea With The Queen of Sweet Sixteen.” Otherwise you could phrase your Sweet Sixteen invitation like this “You are invited to My Sweet Sixteen Party. Dress: Big Hats, Victorian Dresses, White. Gloves.”

Also on your Sweet Sixteen invitation you will want to include the Menu, which is modeled after a proper British tea.Of all of the Sweet Sixteen Tea Party ideas, the Victorian inspired party is one of the easiest to realize. Using lace tablecloths with pink or floral linens and china can easily achieve the prim and look of the Victorian era. The china can be pure white, but a floral china or silver tea set suits this party perfectly. Botanical illustrations of flowers, dragonflies and bees are also symbols of the Victorian era. For each guest, you will need a teacup and saucer, dessert plate, silverware, napkin and placemat (a lace doily would be an elegant touch.)

As this party is going to include a lot of finger foods, make sure you have lots of platters, lazy susans and three tiered platters upon which you will serve your tea sandwiches and little cakes. A serving cart also lends a genteel quality to the scene.

This is also a good occasion to make use of any crystal that you have such as ornate crystal sugar bowls or platters. You can also dangle crystals in the windows and angel or fairy shaped placards from chandeliers and balustrades. To create even more atmosphere, filter any light coming through the windows by hanging sheer curtains and play music by the favorite composers of the Victorian which included Mendelssohn and Strauss.

As far as flowers go, the more old fashioned the better. Pink and white roses are a good choice as well as African violets, peonies and bleeding hearts. English Ivy (fake or real) can be entwined around balustrades and around the edges of the ceiling. In fact a small potted African violet or a pot of English Ivy is the perfect party favor for these girls to take home. You could also put a packet of seeds for growing herbs in their pockets as they leave. A particularly elegant gift would be a small ornate picture frame with your daughter’s picture in it.