Plants aren’t just pretty to look at – they’re also uplifting and calming. Melbourne-based botanical wares studio IVY MUSE uses greenery to create beautiful, good-mood rooms. Owners Alana Langan and Jacqui Vidal carefully curate a collection of plants, ceramics and art from around the globe, and style spaces to perfection. They share the tricks of the trade.
Everyone seems to be filling up their homes with beautiful, lush greenery. What’s trending with indoor plants and pots at the moment?
Alana: It’s all about creating at jungle at home – the green movement has really begun to take hold. We’re also seeing a move toward pots and vessels with interesting graphic shapes and natural textures – think carved stone and terrazzo.
How do plants affect the feel of a space?
Jacqui: Plants add softness and warmth, and remind us of nature, which in turn makes us happy. They’re a budget-friendly way to enliven our homes and create a sanctuary to retreat to. Long after you’ve given up chasing the latest trend in furniture or decor, your plants will still be growing and bringing beauty to your home. Also, keeping plants can be a fun experience for the family. Children love to water plants and watch new leaves unfurl – as we do!
What are the most low-maintenance indoor plants?
Jacqui: Cacti really are great. They need minimal water and as long as they’re placed in a spot with direct sun, they’ll be content. The Zanzibar Gem – a plant that’s known to ‘thrive on neglect!’ – is another good option. It can tolerate shady positions indoors and doesn’t need a lot of water, which is great for the forgetful amongst us. For something a little more romantic, try Devil’s Ivy. It’s hardy, easy to look after, and very easy on the eye.
What are the best ways to style plants, particularly in a small space?
Alana: Get creative with your greenery and make the most of the space. Often, there’s a lot of floor space to work with, and many surfaces to create arrangements on. Picture rails, fireplace mantles and even windowsills are like gold dust to stylists – if your space has them, use them! In small areas especially, think about going vertical. Hang plants from the ceiling or from shelves, attach air plants to wall hooks, and think outside the box!
What do you predict will be the next big thing in indoor plants?
Alana: We’ll see a move toward considered indoor plant design, where we’ll think about the placement of plants within a space from the inception of design.
Can you talk us through the process of plant styling a space for a client?
Alana: Plants enrich spaces. They soften contemporary environments, creating lush sanctuaries that invigorate us and help us to reconnect with nature. Plants increase our quality of life. We assess our client’s green goals, as well as the lighting and other environmental conditions of the residential or commercial space. Then, we curate a design-savvy botanical solution that inspires.