30 MAY 2012

Bringing the Garden Indoors

As the weather cools, we're sure that most of us would rather stay warm indoors, than pull on our boots and jackets and head out to do some weeding.

Cultivating indoor gardens, terrariums and planters is a great way to experience the best of both indoors and outdoors. Here is some inspiration for bringing the green of the garden into your home or work area. Let's start with some Kiwi design history: John Crichton pioneered Pan-Pacific modern style for New Zealand interiors in the 1950s. Pacific style was all about texture. Crichton embraced rattan, woven cane, tapa cloth, mosaic tiling and indoor plants in his designs. Tropical plants were a trademark of a Crichton interior; his own home was tastefully lit with plants in pots and hanging baskets. Not only did these plants help to circulate the air but they were also an integral part to the overall design 'look' of his modern interiors. The emerging Pacific modern style can also be seen in the work of leading New Zealand architects during the 1950s. A stellar example is the Blumenthal 'Mondrian' house designed by Vladamir Cacala. This ultra-modern 'international style' pad features clean lines, a flat roof and lavish use of large glass windows. It's not just the inspired geometric forms that make it special; it proudly exhibits a large double height room, specifically designed as an indoor garden. Even in the middle of winter the lush indoor tropical garden could be admired by anyone lucky enough to be invited over. Today, our best contemporary designers are concerned with being cleaner, greener, homegrown and organic. Fortunately you don't need to be a designer to embrace these values; you just need a few plants and a great way to display them. Be creative. You might find some old 'Agee' preserving jars to make a terrarium, or a vintage German ceramic pot for a Lady Palm. There are also some great retro examples like tripod bullet style planters and mahogany room dividers with built in planter bases. Mid century furniture was also created to sit in harmony with plants. New Zealand made furniture was often constructed from mahogany, rimu or tawa and influenced by the simple, organic designs made popular by the Scandinavian designers. The simplicity of form, warm tones of the wood and its' natural grain brought the same life-giving, harmonious qualities to a room, as plants did. We have a large selection of mid century furniture as well as a selection of German ceramic vases and Danish glassware. Some of our favourite Pan-Pacific inspired designs are Morgan and DON sofas incorporating rattan, John Crichton dishes with mosaic tiles and gently winding mahogany lamps inspired by the organic form of plants.

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