The trend for tropical leaf prints is growing fast – here’s how to get the look in your home
I think it’s safe to say that people have been on board with the whole house plant thing for, ooh well centuries really – it’s not exactly a new thing! And yet as trends come and go, we like to put our own individual interpretation on them. At the moment, the use of house plants, from miniature cacti and succulents to over-sized palms is an enduring trend. And with it, the use of botanical prints – in particular tropical leaf prints – across the home has also grown. In fact, if you don’t have much of a green thumb or can’t give real plants house space, it’s a great way to add greenery and drama to your interiors. Or you could just go the whole hog and have both like the amazing Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings, pictured below. If you’ve never been, this place is well worth a visit!
I always find hotels, restaurants, bars and other interesting commercial spaces endlessly inspiring when you’re looking for ideas to recreate, albeit on a smaller scale perhaps, in your own home. If you see something you love, don’t be afraid to ask the owners or staff if they know where the particular piece or material was sourced. It might not necessarily be bespoke and even if it is, they could put you in touch with a great contact if you have a special project of your own in mind. At the very least, take a snap on your phone for future reference and of course, Pinterest is a great place to find and store ideas.
If you want to introduce such prints to your home in an easy and manageable way, why not start with a couple of framed prints that can be easily moved around the house and arranged either as a group or separately. I like this set of four which create an interesting, leafy display with low commitment to the trend. Or try mixing it up by introducing one or two pictures to a feature wall or shelf to see how they fit in with your existing scheme.
However, if you’re feeling braver and wish to make more of a statement, there are some great tropical print wallpapers available in a range of prices. Depending on how much wall space you cover and how wild you wish to go, only a relatively small area of a room may be covered, so you can afford to spend a little more perhaps on just one roll of a really special, unique print. Consider papering behind a piece of furniture to create a backdrop to other favourite pieces on display as shown below.
A less expensive and more convenient option is to use a wall sticker to instantly transform a plain wall and give the ‘illusion’ of plants. Alternatively, go green with your bed linen. This is a fairly low-risk way to try the trend especially if you buy a reversible duvet cover with a plainer side which you can use depending on your mood. I like this one from Society 6 – cushions in the same print are available too.
On a similar theme, you could try producing a more artistic mural covering one entire wall from floor to ceiling with a botanical scene or part of a picture / illustration, blown up to scale and digitally printed. I love the effect created by the examples below and it shows how versatile this type of print is; it can work in any room of the house and looks particularly good in a bathroom where green and white create a vibrant and fresh feel.
Tropical leaf prints also work on a smaller scale to create accents around the room, particularly when used on soft furnishings and textiles such as rugs, cushions, lamps shades and upholstery. Again, if you’re not sure you want a whole matching 3-piece suite covered in this print, consider a smaller occasion chair to add colour and interest. I like this one from Ikea or you could buy one of their cheaper armchairs such as this tub chair and recover it in a fabric of your own choice.
Try getting creative and resourceful. You can find original, second-hand furniture online or through an auction and buy new or vintage fabric via eBay. Unless you really know what you’re doing though I’d advise to have your chairs covered by a professional (or why not take up an upholstery evening class?).