museums&MORE Summer 2018
Bringing the outdoors inside By Zeke Jennings

Whether accentuating houseplants or standing alone, botanical wall art and décor are trendy ways to liven up the home
Mud Pie’s Basil Terracotta Pot

Just about everyone can appreciate the color and vibrancy of plants and flowers. At their essence, they are life.

Like houseplants themselves, botanical wall art and decorations are a great way to bring the outdoors inside the home or office. Better yet, décor items don’t require water, they don’t irritate allergies and your cats won’t eat them. Well, cats will be less likely to eat them, at least.

What’s blooming in botanical trends? We asked some leading industry vendors, like Ellen Fruchtman, Director of Public Relations for Mud Pie.

“Botanicals are definitely trending,” Fruchtman said. “Mud Pie has expanded home décor categories for 2018 to include silk and faux botanicals, wreaths and drop-ins. These are designed to pair with our new selection of vases, pots, planters and baskets.”

“For fall, seasonal stems like Amaryllis, Paper whites, winter berries, pinecone and cedar branches are trending. Also preserved boxwood, preserved myrtle and dried branches.”

In terms of specific plant styles, those with large, leafy greens are drawing a lot of attention. After recent trips to Germany and Asia, Jennifer Boake, senior buyer for Abbott Collection, confirmed cacti are still very much on trend, as well.

Abbott Collection

“We are still seeing tons of cacti — more so than succulents — and, of course, a huge abundance of large green jungle leaves (Monstera, Banana Leaf, etc.),” Boake said. “These two themes are still very strong and based on how much product I saw with these types of plants and foliage, this trend will still be here for at least another year.”

“We are planning on expanding both of these themes in our range both for the near and far future, as in this fall and next spring.”

Leana Fischer of May We Fly specializes in botanical-themed artwork, stationery and home goods. She echoed Boake’s comments on long-leafed plants and cacti.

“I’ve noticed that eucalyptus is trending as a very popular botanical. Ferns, cacti, and Monstera are still strong picks, as well,” Fischer said. “I carry prints and cards that feature ferns and cacti, and I’m working on incorporating eucalyptus into my fall line.”

May We Fly

When looking beyond larger plants to smaller flower trends, Megan Gygi, owner and sales director, Darren Gygi Home Collection said to think big patterns and bold colors.

“Current trends we’ve seen indicate that big florals and floral patterns are popular subjects for wall art, throw pillows and even fabric patterns on sofas and chairs,” Gygi said. “Bright florals — bold pinks and purples — are eye-catching and on trend. We are seeing this quite a bit in the sales of our Dahlia and Lavender canvas art prints. Also trending is simple art in shades of green — the new neutral! Eucalyptus and ferns are popular choices for fashionable, clean decor.

“We have several lines that fit into the current trends. Our Pleasing Posies set of four is a hot seller, as is our Botanical set and our Stunning Stem set.”

Looking for something a little outside the box? Jessica Hollander of India & Purry has an idea: poppy seeds.

“I personally have been obsessed with poppies, both the flower and the seedpods, and those have been very popular with customers,” said Hollander. “I’m not sure if my passion for them is reflected by a trend, but for me, they are the plant of the moment.

“I also feel that pink is going to be a big color, and I’m working on some designs with brilliant, rich pinks in them now, which will launch soon.”

India & Purry by Jessica Hollander’s Poppy Seeds on Grey

Showcasing your botanical décor

Offering a great selection of products is more than half the battle for brick-and-mortar retailers, but good ones know presentation matters much.

“The great thing about displaying wall decor is that there are so many options!” Gygi said. “Mix and match different sizes and textures of varieties of wall decor

to create a fun gallery wall. Don’t have wall space? Make a wall out of the end of a bookcase or a door and cluster coordinating wall pieces in small spaces. Use Gridwall or shutters to make small freestanding walls to highlight excess product.

“Double up on limited wall space by tucking some coordinating decor into the center of a wreath. Hang a piece of artwork on a hook or a doorknob. Or, prop a piece of wall decor on an easel with some coordinating decor for a lovely table scape.”

For Hollander, colors are key in botanical wall art displays. “For me, everything is about telling the most stunning color story,” she said. “When I’m exhibiting my work, I take great care to create a strong simple color statement, which means

Darren Gygi Home Collection

sticking with one color family, in a variety of values and hues, and complimenting the chosen color with neutrals only.”

Fischer echoed the strong-yet-simple approach and added wood display pieces and real plants add a finished look.

“I find that simplicity is key when displaying wall art,” Fischer said. “I don’t tend to use more two different frame colors for my pieces, which helps my work look coordinated when hanging as a collection. My favorite wood choices are walnut and ash.

“As a botanical artist, I also think incorporating fresh plants into a styled scene is a very nice touch.”

Zeke Jennings

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