Greenery is no longer an afterthought in of-the-minute interior design. Whether it’s millennials fighting off their existential dread with a houseplant jungle, or the ecologically-aware rebooting native flora and urban gardening, indoor plants are a trend that’s here to stay. Following on from our recent foray into the history of houseplants, we’re circling back to share some of our favorite ways to style greenery for every genre of interior decor.
If you’re lucky enough to have a conservatory at home, an abundance of plants behind glass provides the perfect backdrop to modernist furnishings. If not, pair your midcentury interior with a few sculptural species, like tall cacti or a rubber plant (the modernists’ favorite!). An original planter from the likes of Kai Kristiansen or Aksel Kjersgaard will definitely keep a midcentury space cohesive—just steer clear of plants that are too fussy or floral. It’s not all about solid wood though; these Copper Planters by organic modernist Hans-Agne Jakobsson are as stunning today as when they were produced in postwar Scandinavia.
Brutalist and Industrial
Brutalist and industrial-style interiors have impact in spades, but sometimes a few strategically placed plants—especially larger plants or artfully arranged succulents—can give these somewhat cool styles a touch of life. Even absolute brutalist purists will find that iconic neo-functionalist designers like Willy Guhl foresaw plants in their homes; he designed a number of stunning planters, like the graceful, concrete Eternit (1950s) standing planter, or a series of round cement fibre planting bowls. The material is all-important here; think concrete, metals with patina, and industrial forms. This Ghisafon Cast Iron Planter ticks all the boxes. There are also a number of fantastic contemporary designs influenced by the industrial style, like this fantastic Black PLANT Table by Kranen/Gille—just add greenery.
Scatter gorgeous vintage side tables in rich woods, lacquer, or chrome, and crown them with some delicate, draping foliage. Keep an eye out for purpose-built vintage planters that occasionally pop up; sometimes a piece that might not, strictly speaking, belong to the deco movement will still work spectacularly well in a deco-inspired interior. We love the bold geometry and luxe metallic finish of this 1950s wall-mounted plant holder. Or, for a contemporary take on Art Deco, look no further than the likes of Cristina Celestino—her playful inlaid side tables from the Happy Room collection are perfection. And we’re pretty into the opulent marble tops on the Sass Pedestals by Brooklyn-based design collective Souda. Flowers in stunning glassware are also ideal—anything that reflects the light and adds a touch of glamour. You can even grow some varieties, like lilies or orchids, in a vase without soil to have beautiful flowers all year round. Since Deco is all about embellishment and pattern, a good rule of thumb is that the larger the pattern (on wallpaper, home textiles, etc) the smaller the leaves of the houseplant, and vice versa.
An earthy, natural style like Boho Modern is always going to need greenery to complete the look—the more, the better! Arrange a rich combination of larger-leafed potted trees and shrubs, hanging baskets and vines, and smaller succulents in generous groups around the space. This look is not about restraint; you’re looking to create the impression of a full-on indoor jungle here. Rattan baskets, bamboo plant stands, and textured ceramic pots work best in a Boho interior—we love eye-catching woven hangers, like the Lucille Grand Natural Flower Cocoon by Llot Llov
. With a houseplant collection of considerable size, you can play with a range of heights and textures to build a rich, layered effect. Or go for a vintage plant stand in a natural material—like this Rohe Noordwolde Bamboo Plant Stand from the 1960s—to give instant height variation. Make your thicket of luscious plants look even lusher by adding a vintage bamboo mirror on the wall behind them to amplify your collection.
Of course, plenty of contemporary designers are reacting to the indoor plant trend as well and the range of styles and materials is quite mind-boggling. Studio Lorier
are bringing 21st-century innovation and a sense of play to indoor planting with their gravity-defying Distorted Flowerpots and the Flowertop Flowerpot, as well as the multi-purpose Branch-out plant stand. For a more earthy texture, we recommend the Babilus series by Nir Meiri. The Chen Chen & Kai Williams design studio has turned out some stellar planters in recent years, including the Stone Fruit collection and their new Stacking Planters. And while the plants are, naturally, the stars in the contemporary house jungle, adding a splash of color and panache with a few Dot Side Tables by Reda Amalou
will take your greenery styling to the next level.
More to Love
Large Vintage Storage Basket, 1930s
Lucille Grand Natural Flower Cocoon by LLOT LLOV
Lucille Grand Grey Flower Cocoon by LLOT LLOV
Lucille Grand Black Flower Cocoon by LLOT LLOV
Lucille Petit Black Flower Cocoon by LLOT LLOV
Vintage French Bamboo Plant Stand, 1950s
Wall-Mounted Plant Holder, 1950s
Antique Garden Planter
Dot Side Table or Stool in Middle East Blue by Reda Amalou
Dot Side Table or Stool in Peacock Blue by Reda Amalou
Dot Side Table or Stool in Green by Reda Amalou
Blumenampel Edition, Hanging Planter by Zascho Petkow & Birgit Severin
Blumenkugel Object, Hanging Planter by Zascho Petkow & Andreas Haussmann
Lucille Bold Grey Flower Cocoon by LLOT LLOV
Swedish Teak Planter, 1950s
Italic Planter from CRP.XPN
Antique Louis XVI Planter
Distorted Flowerpots from Studio Lorier, Set of 3
French Bamboo & Rattan Mirror, 1960s
Bamboo Plant Stand from Rohe Noordwolde, 1960s
Slide Side Table by Studio Lorier
Branch-out from Studio Lorier, Set of 9
Chinese Porcelain Planters with Rosewood Pedestals, 1900s, Set of 2
Art Deco Marble Planters, 1920s, Set of 2
Black PLANT Table by Kranen/Gille
White PLANT Table by Kranen/Gille
Large Zinc Bathtub or Planter