There are worse things to become obsessed with than the humble house plant . However , its not so humble anymore. Infact House Plants and lush indoor greenery have become so popular on the Interior Decorating scene that frankly , what’s a home without a house-plant…? ( or four …)
Plants, and the tending of them, are back in vogue.
Its cool to garden and ‘ people who love plants ‘ are the new Rock Stars …..in the Wellness Community at least !
Some pinpoint 2016 as the year Plants really asserted themselves on the home-scene . This is at the exact same time that digital -media , particularly the visual ones such as Instagram , Tumblr and Pinterest exploded with accounts depicting foliage, plants , homes filled with plants…..and the people taking care of them, Millenials ! ‘ Boys with Plants ‘ and ‘ Girls who love Plants ‘ are both hugely influential hashtags
Ironically of course, with all the digital start ups and ‘ online businesses’ exploding into the cyber realm , some identify the burgeoning Green Fingers trend as a direct reaction to our digitally lead lives . Tending to a plant gives people a chance to take a break from their screens and connect with something tangible in the ‘ real world ‘ . People were missing the sensation of nurture and touch…and even companionship .
Millenials are filling their homes – and the void in their hearts -with houseplants .
Houseplants became the new ‘ Pets ‘ ; they are easier to look after and dont require walking……although ‘ watering ‘ is key …..
Scientific studies have shown that keeping company with certain plants improves air quality and concentration, and anecdotal advice from basically anybody who has kept one alive will attest that gardening can be therapeutic. There are, in short, far worse hobbies for millennials to get involved with.
What’s really interesting about houseplant hoarding is the way it has changed over the past few years and how it has had an effect far beyond Instagram, or the windowsills of millennial’s’ rented rooms. Walk down most major British high streets and you’ll find fake greenery shoved in window boxes or pots.
Every cafe worthy of selling its ‘ trendy ‘ Matcha Latte has a ‘ matching ‘ living green wall or ceiling adorned with hanging , trailing plants. And we love it. Plants make us feel good , fact !
But why is it that Millenials are identified as the plant addicts ?
They dont own homes.They dont have kids . Freelance work feels transient…
The cost of living has put home ownership beyond the reach of many millenials . Without the obligations of children and mortgages , millenials are finding solace in their ‘ Sanseviera ‘ and Monstera Deliciosa and cultivating a sense of homeownership with plants .
They are generation rent . You move every two years . Freelance works contracts keep them moving around…..the digital nomad life can have a downside of people feeling ‘ ungrounded ‘ or directionless .Plants can humanise that. Yep , people have been known to travel with their precious succulents ….and even professional house-sitters now get briefed on how to look after the family of House Plants… ( no pressure…but what if one gets sickly , eek )
Like all lifestyle trends, there are different sub groups of customers or clients. The ones who want to nurture something and are really interested in it. Then those who want what I call ‘fashion plants’. When you get many people looking to acquire the very same plant, you know they’ve seen it on Pinterest or on their plant -heroes Instagram feed . But they’re all creating their own little spaces indoors. You might not be living in your dream home, but you can personalize it. And you can take plants with you when you move.
WELLNESS IN THE HOME AND HOUSE PLANTS ;-
Part of this is our fascination with whatever “wellness” is; perhaps we also want to add a dash of greenery to the not so appealing urban apartments so many renters call home. But a leading theory is that plants make us feel like grown-ups. When the traditional signs of adulthood — marriage, home-ownership, children — are delayed or otherwise out of reach, it’s comforting to come home to something that depends on you.
We believe that in today’s fast-paced, digitized world we need to reconnect with nature. Especially the urban dwellers . We feel the need to surround ourselves with nature, we want a connection to something so basic yet so essential, that will remind us of the ‘natural pace of life’ beyond smartphones and social media.
Sure, most Millennials don’t have the resources to chase that glasshouse conservatory dream and much has been said about Millennial home ownership being at a record low — but that isn’t stopping this generation from selectively building out and nurturing the spaces they can afford to live in, bucking a generational stereotype of flaky and fickle youths. (Also, it seems more Millennials are pursuing home ownership specifically in the shared or multiple ownership schemes. ) So be sure to team up with someone who is as green fingered as you are and is willing to share your space with your precious plant species…!
APARTMENT LIVING AND PLANTS
Apartment living comes with some constraints, but that just means most green-fingered twenty somethings are turning to durable , air quality-improving, and, yes, Insta-ready plants: Swiss cheese plants (monstera deliciosa), and fiddle-leaf figs (ficus lyrata) are popular, as are all sorts of succulent varieties, from cacti to aloe vera to snake plants (sansevieria). While it’s been suggested that the impetus for plant-growing is most strongly from a lifestyle and wellness angle, many of the Millennial ‘ Plant Parents ‘ had distinct plant ownership origins. This may have been from a childhood in the eighties and nineties where Ferns were the fashion ( plant ) and anything ‘ variegated ‘ was hip. Or buying small plants and cuttings at local village fetes and from neighbors’ plant stalls out-front ……it was something kids could get with their pocket money and put in their bedrooms…..remember everyone wanting to own a Venus fly-trap plant…..and trying to get the leaves to snap shut… ( hand is up )
Millennials are probably more inclined to associate gardening and plants with a certain look or design aesthetic. This is a generalized comparison to older generations’ focus on gardening as a curated skill, but one that, well, has some of truth to it. And it’s here that the “plant aesthetic” comes into play. For whatever utilitarian purpose — for food, for air quality, for nurture — Millennials claim their plants serve a greater purpose , there’s no denying the influence of social media and interior design blogs.
Millennials may not consciously realize it, but [plant buyers] want it the way its depicted in design magazines . A single-trunk ficus lyrata in a white cylinder … I couldn’t tell you how many white cylinder pots we get asked to source , or pale grey concrete planters ; 20 years ago, white gloss pots were considered naff , now look. Lifestyle trends always seem to go in cycles..
A lot of the social media aesthetics that Millennials are into — the Boomerangs, the time lapses — they’re all so conducive to plants. Flowers blooming or ornamental grasses blowing in the wind.
But despite those Millennial plant clichés that have arisen out of the (literally) picture-perfect social media communities (i.e. the same kinds of plants, arranged the same way, shared with the same kinds of filters), what they fail to articulate are the ways in which plants can serve as symbology for a generation of urban-dwelling , job- and location-hopping young people.
Don’t mock millennials for hoarding houseplants – it could be the start of a life-long relationship with nature . And this a good thing for our future eco-system.
Benefits of indoor plants
Indoor plants and interior-scapes can be just as fun as landscaping outdoors. Along with becoming a major trend on the interior décor scene, there are also many health benefits of having plants inside your home.
Indoor plants essentially do the opposite of what we do when we breathe: They release oxygen into the air and absorb carbon dioxide. This not only cleans and improves the quality of the air we breathe, but also eliminates harmful toxins. Extensive research by NASA has revealed that houseplants can remove up to 87 percent of air toxins in 24 hours. Studies have also shown that indoor plants improve concentration and productivity, reduce stress levels and boost your mood – making them perfect for not just your home but your office too.
An indoor garden can be a sanctuary from the outside world, and for many people it is a source of great pleasure. Whether you live in a small apartment, or a large house, surrounding yourself with nature and introducing plants into your home will create a soothing living space. As well as enhancing your mood, plants can also help with loneliness and depression as caring for living things provides purpose and reward, especially when they bloom and thrive.
TYPES OF PLANTS TO BUY
I’ve broken this down into essential ‘ planty characters ‘ , easy to find your perfect planty alias ! I also strongly believe people choose their plants depending on their personal character traits….just like pets again ( see reference above ) . What do your plants say about YOU….?
Maranta kerchoveana (“prayer plant” because its leaves fold closed at night like hands in prayer). Good for terrariums, but will grow happily in the open with regular misting.
Steamy bathrooms are perfect for humidity-loving houseplants. For sunny rooms, try Saxifraga stolonifera, the strawberry begonia, which will grow beautifully from a shelf or hanging pot. In darker corners, try Aglaonema commutatum (Chinese evergreen), or Maranta kerchoveana.
Crassula ovata (money tree or jade plant). This popular succulent thrives in the sunny spots where other plants struggle. Quite happy with a little benign neglect.
Tillandsia (air plants) don’t need anything as grubby as soil. They thrive in bright, filtered sunlight with an occasional soak and misting from spring to autumn.
Epipremnum aureum (devil’s ivy), great in a planter on a high shelf or a hanging pot. Forgiving and cheerful.
PLANTS DECORATORS- Stylists decorating with Greenery
It seems not so long ago that smart interiors weren’t complete without artfully placed vases of cut flowers, but now a subtle, stylistic change is wrapping its leafy tendrils around the country’s most fashionable homes, shops and restaurants . Greenery is everywhere . But talking specifically about Home Interiors here , less is more with plants , unless you really are going for that ‘ Overgrown Secret Garden ‘ vibe….
When Pantone https://store.pantone.com/uk/en/color-of-the-year-2017/ announced the 2017 Color of the Year was “Greenery,” a zesty lime shade that evokes “flourishing foliage,” it signaled that plants would continue to dominate both interior decorating and the design world . Green was officially cool and here to stay . But if you didn’t fancy painting your walls green , people went for the plants Greenery option instead. Drawing their inspiration from specialist plant insta-accounts and the Design magazines ….plant shopping exploded…!
So What is a fiddle-leaf fig and why so popular ?
The plant that we see everywhere is actually native to West Africa and grows in the lowland rainforest. Unsurprisingly, these things are HUGE and can reach to be ten feet tall at maturity. They read as a statement plant, adding height and texture to a rooms ‘ negative space ‘.
The fiddle-leaf fig is interior design gold
…………due to its striking, sculptural constitution; the thin trunk and big, lush leaves create an impeccable balance of negative space and immediately catch the eye. It’s the perfect solve for a barren corner or an awkwardly shaped area. Fiddle-leaf figs also have character (how could it not have character…it’s called a fiddle-leaf fig!). They contribute a sense of whimsy and individuality to a space . They have a prehistoric, Dr. Seuss feel. A tropical feel , even .
More than popular plants of past generations (think: spider plant, dracaena, parlor palm), the fiddle-leaf fig feels more prevalent than many other interior trends. Don’t believe us? Just open an Elle Decor or Architectural Digest, and you’ll be sure to spot one, typically potted in a white lacquer box and stationed within either a minimalist or global look. Céline, the French boutique known for its luxury leather goods, uses fiddle-leaf figs for their storefronts. And Casper, the mattress company, just bought a bunch when they designed their new office space. If you need more convincing, just check out these styled , glossy mag images……but if you now feel the Fig is too much of an Interior Decor cliche , try these suggestions….
What indoor plants can I use instead of the fiddle-leaf fig ?
The problem with the fiddle-leaf fig is that it’s too ubiquitous and not particularly easy to care for, so here we’ve taken the time to give some suggestions for indoor plants that are easy to care for and less common in the design world perhaps (but still able to make a statement!).
1. The Rubber Tree: This plant is less temperamental than the fiddle-leaf fig but still features large statement leaves that fill a space
2. The Yucca: A great option for southwestern or boho chic designs , offering a much slimmer structure and leaf.
3. The Plectranthus: Although this warm and inviting plant doesn’t have the magnitude of the fiddle-leaf fig, the leaves are light and bright, and the plant grows in sweeping arcs and rivers that allow it to photograph beautifully.
4. The Oxalis: Another way to impress with your indoor plants is to invite color into the conversation. This plant is a stunning purple that stands out in any room, and its beautiful triangular leaves provide a nice sculptural element.
From a Designers ‘ Perspective ; How to style your indoor plants
Group smaller plants together on shelves or side tables. Terrariums are a popular way to display smaller plants like cacti and succulents. Keep tall, upright standing plants on the floor and use cascading plants on windowsills and mantlepieces.
Keep larger plants in empty corners to avoid obstructing views or becoming an overwhelming indoor jungle and, if possible, place them near the window to draw your eye to external greenery.
Choose plants with a similar palette to the interior of the room and play with textures to create depth. Darker colored, architectural leaves will enhance a moody space and delicate, light colored leaves will create beautiful, feather-like shadowing.
When choosing pots or baskets, use similar textures and tones to those in your furniture to continue the interior décor style.
When styling harsh, clinical spaces such as tiled bathrooms or kitchens, tropical plants will soften the space as will using natural fibers such as woven baskets to hold the plants.
Don’t worry about having too many plants. Layering adds depth to any room. For bigger collections of plants, experiment with layering color, texture, shape and size.
Re-purpose old containers or vintage items to display your plants- look at this old FISHTANK idea, genius !
Bespoke plants shelves and display units –
Here at www.candsinteriors.com we have been asked to design and construct a few of these Display Shelves for plants this year …..and we love them ! We are fully behind the wellness way of living and are happy to help you install all your big plants and pots displays….remember ceiling fixings especially will need to be robust and preferably attached into a joist , because when you add water to soil the weight of a pot will increase quite alot …
Urban homes have little space available hence why you need indoor gardening ideas if you want a chance to reconnect with nature. Gardening in small spaces is all about frugality and smart DESIGN . It requires creativity and ample care. From simple terrariums and step gardens to potted plants and herb gardens , HERE are a few ideas for those who wish to live a greener lifestyle , have a limited budget and want something bespoke or hand-crafted ;-
This is a clever yet simple Joinery idea………. by adding fitted shelves onto this angular window bay , the owner can display her plants in pots and also trailing down onto the floor …
So before we right off ‘ Millenials ‘ as the generation of ‘ commitment phobes ‘ , its interesting to read new statistics with regards to Millennial home ownership . The fact that some 40 percent of this generation who are over the age of 25 have begun saving in earnest for the down payment on a house is encouraging and indeed very sensible . This may be part of a conscious effort to save money, as studies have repeatedly shown that buying is now less expensive than renting in many areas.
What do Millennials Look For in a House?
Given that Millennials are now seriously , actually planning to become consumers in the real estate market of the future , it becomes interesting and important to understand what members of this generation look for in a home. A recent survey in which 1,000 Millennials were given a hypothetical home buying budget found, unsurprisingly, that technology plays a major role in what Millennials think of in a well designed house. In that survey, some 47 percent of respondents wanted solar power, and green energy , while an astonishing majority of 75 percent said they wanted all-new appliances. In the survey, luxury and larger properties proved less popular among younger potential buyers, with extra-long driveways being a feature only 9 percent of respondents wanted and properties of more than one acre being popular with only 24 percent.
So in conclusion, this illustrates they want to spend carefully, utilize green-technology , live in smaller and easier to maintain spaces……….and thus bring the outside in with all their plants..!
Because as I’ve mentioned earlier , they’re much easier to look after than Pets and Kids………