I dislike faux foliage (immensely). I grew up in an era where my mother decorated with plastic flowers that would rival those found on the grave sites of some of my (deceased) relatives. A recurring nightmare that my home is overflowing with floral fakery, thankfully it’s just a dream. Although, due to modern technology and the creative genius of floral designers, we now have the opportunity to add some very realistic foliage to interiors. I’ve been in show-homes where I’ve actually had to touch the plant to see if it was living and breathing. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of pulling a leaf off a live fig tree thinking that it was less than real, only to be surprised when it was, I was left standing with the incriminating evidence in my hand (with the horrified staff looking on). If you are a designer and reading this, I know some of you are having flashbacks to a time when you might have done exactly the same thing. The moral of the story is don’t pull on a tree leaf, in a home, when someone is watching.
Even though, there the design world is flooded with fabulous fakes give me a live Kentia Palm any day of the week. While Figs seem to be the plant du jour, give me the wispy, airiness of a palm. When I was a designer, I gravitated toward Kentia’s, Chinese Fan Palm or the Pygmy Date Palm. In fact a Palm was often my parting gift to my clients (the nice ones), even if I knew the plant in question would have a swift demise due a potential lack of a “green thumb.” Why Palm Trees over Figs? I love the lacy effect, the way that light plays through the fronds, like a botanical hand, spread out in the light. They are exotic and quietly sculptural, lending a certain elegance to a quiet corner or flanking just about anything from a fireplace to a sofa.
What was the reason behind this post? I had a reader who asked me what my favorite indoor plant was to add drama, and the Palm Tree hands-down is the answer. The Fig fits perfectly in farmhouse or more rustic interiors with its dense organic shape, but the Palm just breathes life into a space with its exotic silhouette. Have I tried a palm or two? Absolutely. But, sadly my thumb is not green, and with an eight-year-old who feels it necessary to water the plants every day, I do not see an indoor palm in my near future. Maybe when “The Fashionista” morphs into a teenager and her obsession with “watering” things evaporates.
Of course, if you want inspiration what proves my point more than pictures.
What says tropi-cool more than Indochine decor…
Even a contemporary interior benefits from the sculptural quality of a palm…
Tropical chic in the sitting-room, this interior was done by the king of color-Carleton Varney.
Designer/ Robert Passal
If you weren’t sure that plants could become a focal point, you only have to look at this stunning interior for proof…
The power of four, now this is how you do the tropics. Interior design by Nicollete Horn who also studied under Design Icon- Charlotte Moss.
Builder/ Period Homes, Inc.
This is from a Show-house although I couldn’t tell you which one. This distinctly 19th Century English interior has the right amount of tropi-flair.
Every space could benefit from a disco ball and a Palm Tree…
Old world comfort meets mid-century modern…
Even if you don’t want to commit to an entire plant, a few fronds in a vase add a little tropi-chic…
via Vicki Gladle Bolick/ theaceofspaceblog.com
One of the very first design jobs I had out of design school years ago, they were my favorite clients (and dear friends). I walked through this door for over two years as we gutted a dining room, re-did a basement, living room and spruced up a power-room. This was my last day on the job, and although we didn’t do much in the foyer other than the wallpaper, it was a bittersweet day so I snapped a picture of my parting gift, yes it was a Palm that I left by the front door…
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Until next time,
BE INSPIRED. BE AMAZING.