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From the Home Front: Digging the houseplant trend for 2017

My mother would have laughed hearing that houseplants are among the interior design trends for 2017. She always had big ferns hanging everywhere, ivy trailing down shelves and a jubilant jade that just kept growing and growing. If there was a spot she wanted some greenery but growing conditions were not ideal, she would unapologetically plop an artificial one there. A certain potted peace lily comes to mind.

And whenever she sketched out a plan for a room, she always drew in a plant or two.

But now I keep hearing about a renewed interest in houseplants.

“Hooray for houseplants!” reads the subject line in a recent email I received from Espoma, a company that specializes in natural and organic products for the lawn and garden industry.

Garden Design magazine had this to say in its 2017 garden trends wrap-up: “Just as bell bottoms are reappearing on runways, a 1970s-style fascination with houseplants is back.” The article points out Los Angeles designer/author Justina Blakeney’s hugely popular The Jungalow on Instagram – and calls the fiddle-leaf fig the “it” plant at the moment. Sources in the article noted that first-time homeowners and young gardeners are fueling the trend – perhaps, one muses, as “a yin to the yang of their technology-driven world?”

In a phone chat with Sally Cook from Menne Nursery in Amherst, I also learned of people’s renewed interest in houseplants this time of year, every year.

“We do really well with houseplants in January and February. I can tell you when people come in wishing they had a new houseplant and that’s right after the Christmas decorations come down. They want to freshen up the look in their house, but also everyone is noticing the information in the media about houseplants’ ability to filter and freshen the air – besides the wonderful aesthetics of having something green and alive in your living space,” said Cook, manager of annuals and perennials who works in the greenhouse during the winter months.

“We see this happen every year. Holiday decorating is great, but when you take it all down and it’s still winter with short, dark days, bringing in fresh plants – or adding to the plants you already have – is a wonderful pick-me-up,” she said.

And, yes, houseplants can be safely wrapped to transport home on cold days– as long as you head straight home. No stopping at the shopping mall.

For those with an anything-but-green thumb, tropical prints are another option. Vogue includes tropical prints as one of its top decorating trends for the new year, for example.

“It’s no secret that interior design takes cues from the runways, and this year, we’ve seen the likes of Marc Jacobs, Prada, and Emanuel Ungaro experiment with all things tropical,” the article read. The print will continue to appear in wallpaper and designer fabrics, celebrity interior designer Martyn Lawrence-Bullard told Vogue. He suggested adding throw pillows in a trendy tropical print to a plain sofa, because they can easily be changed.

A growing trend? Read on:

• included tropical influences as one of its eight trends for 2017: “Your new, jewel-toned walls (another top trend) will look fabulous alongside lush tropical plants: spider plants, Dracaena, and gorgeous ferns.”

• Elena Giavarini, from the Plus Deco Blog, wrote this for The Lux Pad website: “In 2017 people will display a more conscientious approach to consumerism, preferring more quality solutions and natural materials. Plants are going to be the must-have decoration for the house and they will inspire the color palette for wall paint together with Africa (ochre, rust, burgundy) ...”

Domain highlights greenery as a trend for 2017; Greenery is also the name of Pantone’s Color of the Year. “Bring on the green plants,” interior designer Annsley McAleer told Domain. “Everybody loves beautiful flowers but they do not last as long as the friendly fern. Green plants give a room a major boost, and they do not require a lot of attention.”

• singles out terrariums as one of its 17 trends for the new year, explaining it this way: “Nature is coming inside homes and terrariums are a perfect fit with their magical mini landscapes.”

• And this from the Australian website “Beautiful floral arrangements, large leafy greens and plants bring life to your kitchen space and is a great way to bring the outdoors inside and add an organic touch to your kitchen space.”

The seed has been planted around the world.


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