Botanophobes may find it hard to step out these days without being confronted by their greenest fear. As the tropical theme continues to thrive, one plant in particular has been playing muse across the design world: Monstera Deliciosa. The creeper, with its distinctive, glossy, perforated leaves, climbed its way out of the rainforests of Central America and onto the urban landscape; wooing us to water it, wear it, and didn’t stop until it was on just about every ware in town.
What prompted the monstera’s current It status? Millennial plant parents and their oversharenting may be partially responsible for this. Look no further than the 200,000-odd posts that pop up for the #monsteramonday hashtag on Instagram! The climber’s appearance in home interiors though, goes back to the Seventies, melding in with the era’s groovy, back-to-nature vibe. Interestingly, it inspired Indian design as early as 13th century AD, featuring on Hindu and Jain temple sculptures in Gujarat and Rajasthan.
As a houseplant, the monstera’s appeal lies in its low maintenance and high artistic value. “The cut shape makes it extremely aesthetically pleasing and makes it stand out from the regular leaves we see every day,” says Vidhi Khandelwal, Designer and Founder of lifestyle e-shop The Ink Bucket, who is known for her pastel-toned, botanical art. Its larger-than-life leaves create the illusion of lush interiors without the hassle of tending to too many plants. The evergreen is a hot prop with professional stylists and decor-loving Instagrammers, courtesy its simplistic, graphic lines that effortlessly fill any frame. Make a bold statement in an otherwise bland entryway or stick a cutting in a transparent vase to layer a tablescape. What’s more, the monstera’s easy, relatable form complements a variety of decor styles; be it adding oomph to a bohemian Jungalow setting or warmth to a minimalist-chic one.
Those lacking a green thumb, can channel the monstera’s vacation vibe through art and home decor. We spy it, with other botanical motifs on signature walls at Goan boutique hotel Amrapali ⦁ House of Grace, Mumbai’s sign-and-dine restaurant Ishaara and Fabcafe in New Delhi. As a graphic motif, it inspires product design of lifestyle labels like Cyahi, Masilo and Portico New York, with offerings ranging from furniture and soft furnishings to wall art and tableware.
As the monstera gets more firmly rooted in homes and hearts, here are some of our top picks for you to grow and tell.
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