The seventies are often portrayed as the decade taste forgot – and in many terms I have to agree. But damn, the plant game was strong.
Style-wise, it’s definitely an important decade filled with contradictions. There’s futurism, experiments with all types of plastics, bright colours and daring prints – but also the hippy movement, the return to crafts and natural materials, and earthy brown tones and plants.
Houseplants were all the rage in the 70’s. I’m not sure why, but I’m guessing it’s a reaction to the sleeker midcentury modern style (the peak of design in my opinion), or maybe because people were getting aware of environmental issues and were embracing nature again. Anyhow, people started to incorporate more greenery in their homes. And just like with everything else in the seventies, more is more.
Plants were absolutely everywhere. Having just one plants in the corner of the room wasn’t enough, complete rooms were filled up with plants, creating their own microclimate. There were plants in pots, in baskets, in terrariums, hanging from the ceiling or from banisters. The most populair types were spider plants, the fiddle leaf ficus, cheese plants (monstera), rubber trees, the Boston fern and cacti and succulents.
They ring a bell, don’t they? The houseplants from the seventies have been back for a while now. I’ve tried many attempts to keep mine alive, but with two naughty cats and a 100y old house with little daylight, it’s been tough. I do feel I have a better understanding of what certain plants need now, and I want to invest in some new plants soon. So I went looking for some of the most inspiring plant interiors from fifty years ago. I’ve already got my heart set on a string of hearts plant.