Melbourne-based botanical wares studio IVY MUSE has helped put the humble houseplant back into the spotlight. Born from a passion for greenery, founders and long-term friends Alana Langan and Jacqui Vidal teamed up to launch the business in spring 2014 with a small collection of hand-made powder-coated steel plant stands.
The company has since grown to include a Botanical Emporium retail store in Melbourne suburb Armadale, a botanical wares wholesale business supplying over 50 retailers worldwide and most recently, the duo released their first book PLANT STYLE: How to greenify your space published by Thames & Hudson. The charming guide explains how to design and nurture an oasis of greenery at home with handy tips and expert advice along the way.
Choosing Your Plant Gang
There is a huge range of commercially grown plants available nowadays. We are literally spoilt for choice, and new varieties are coming onto the market more regularly than ever before. It can be overwhelming, but a few basic guidelines make the process of choosing your plant gang a whole lot easier. What to look for:
Before committing to a plant think about its size and how it will grow. Some indoor plants do most of their growing before they are made available to buy. For example, a kentia palm can take up to six years to reach a height of two metres. Yet plants like devil’s ivy can grow literally metres within months. It pays to do your research.
Plants are highly resilient but don’t purchase plants that show signs of distress, as this often means they’ve experienced less than ideal conditions. To ensure your plant has the best start in life, choose healthy thriving specimens so your investment is well spent.
Scale and proportion — two basic principles of interior design — should always be considered when working with plants. As a general guide, the more room you have the larger you can go with your plant choices, but it really comes down to the overall look and how the plants relate to the other items in your house.
Styling with plants is not a science. There’s no single rule, other than keeping them alive of course! Learn what works for you, understand the conditions of the spaces in your home and if something doesn’t look right, move it. Plant styling is all about having fun and creating something beautiful. Like most things in life, with a little practice and know-how, you’ll be styling your plants like a professional in no time.
Words: Alana Langan