Sunday, February 19, 2017
Art and Air Purifiers: Houseplants are Making a Comeback
WSJ, Feb. 17, 2017
For many people, houseplants remain stuck in the 1970s, when it was entirely common to macramé a hanger for your 14th Boston fern while listening to Mac Davis 8-tracks and sipping Riunite on ice.
Forty years later, design pros are evangelizing a more considered approach to indoor greenery. A half-dozen new décor books—with titles like “Rooted in Design,” “Urban Jungle” and “Greenteriors”—feature rooms that appear unmistakably ’17 as opposed to ’71 and provide guidance far beyond care and feeding.
What you won’t see on these pages is a static line of houseplants, snoozing on a windowsill like a tabby house cat. The arrangement, shape, and pattern of plants have become integral to a room’s design scheme. A swooping fern does the work of a pattern on a drapery. A stately palm, noted New York designer Frank de Biasi, can “give height and verticality to an otherwise low-ceilinged space.”
Tara Heibel, founder of the Sprout Home plant stores in Chicago and Brooklyn, concurred that statuesque forms catch the eye of her “more fashionable” clients. But she also sells plenty of violets and philodendra, which she said serve as “comfort plants” to younger customers, who associate them with, say, a grandparent’s house.
In the right hands, these new plants don’t languish in foil wrapping like a leftover from the office birthday pool. They’re purposeful parts of a room’s décor, as seen in the interiors shown here, and see a list of designers' top five favorite houseplants: https://www.wsj.com/articles/houseplants-that-stand-in-for-art-1487347759