Every few seasons, it seems the internet cycles through a trending plant: flowering cacti, Fiddle Leaf Figs, Pilea Peperomiodies, Monsteras, succulent gardens, bouquets of dried eucalyptus (that you hang in the shower, natch), olive branches, an air plant in a terrarium. But here’s a wild proposal: Are we actually in the era of the 2-D houseplant? 2014 had a number of contenders, from the art-driven Strange Plants to Polly Brown’s study on office plants, to some sort of black and white Japanese ikebana reference on basically everyone’s Instagram feed (guilty as charged). A new contender for this category is Barcelona-based Flora Indoor, a line of minimal (but cheerfully colorful) prints of thriving houseplants.
The prints are curiously described as “a better way to love plants eternally,” with design inspired by the idea of experiencing plants in a new way. After all, a print of a Japanese Fan Palm lives forever and doesn’t require much space or regular watering. And while we’re not trying to make the case that a print of a houseplant replaces the appeal of something…living, what’s most compelling to us about the project is it’s lack of presentation. Other than being set against a poppy, colorful background, each print is essentially just a photo of an ideal houseplant — the aspirational plant we buy to stick on office shelves and cheer up a sad apartment bathroom, only to quickly discover the fickleness of a fig tree or to realize that no natural light hits your desk corner. And that’s why they appeal: yes, Flora Indoor’s springy prints are fun to look at. They are crisp and perfectly composed, they’re rooted in a smart pop of color and well-executed simplicity, and they feel familiarly trendy (but not too trendy). They would actually make the perfect gift for just about anyone on our list. But under the surface, they make us pause for a moment to consider what we like and why we like it. They just make us think! And that’s what it’s all about.