Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Don't Dust the; Plants Can Make a Statement in a Contemporary Home. Pattie Barron Discovers a Designer with Original Thinking

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Don't Dust the; Plants Can Make a Statement in a Contemporary Home. Pattie Barron Discovers a Designer with Original Thinking

Article excerpt

Byline: PATTIE BARRON

ALTHOUGH there are gardeners with rolling acres who are able to bring in boughs of berries and yards of ivy throughout the winter months, the majority of us depend heavily on house plants for a touch of growing green around the home. A lone yucca, often in need of a dust, a fern or three and the occasional flowering orchid are about as imaginative as it gets.

To Diana Yakeley, an established designer of both contemporary interiors and gardens who has written a book, Indoor Gardening (Aquamarine, pound sterling20), every room presents at least one terrific plant opportunity. In her bathroom there might be a majestic umbrella papyrus, utterly content in the moist atmosphere, or a row of miniature bamboos in concrete containers on the glass bathroom shelf. In the living room, she favours the Zenlike simplicity of sprouted wheatgrass in a zinc tray as a centrepiece to be admired plants for appropriate gaps in the border, and you're on the right lines. Diana's philosophy, which can equally be applied to the cool, clean spaces she creates, is to keep things simple.

"The contemporary interior is about space, light and reduction, with less clutter and larger areas of glass making it the perfect setting for well-chosen plants. Only specimen plants with sculptural lines will look right, whereas the more traditional interior will happily absorb prettier, more rounded plants."

In winter, centrally heated homes with chilly windowsills and a draughty hall to boot are disaster areas for all but the most stoic of plants, says Diana.

She suggests taking a fresh look at the classic, indestructible evergreens; in the right setting, and out of the ubiquitous plastic pot, even the humble rubber plant can start to look rather exciting.

Several same-size spider plants ranged along a shelf, each in a white terrazzo bowl, suddenly look like perfect pieces of green-and-white sculpture, rather than the world's most humdrum house plant. …

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