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Art and Design

Rope-Made Planters from Brooklyn Studio Closed Mondays

Hanging Planters Made of Rope by Closed Mondays

 

Every time I sit down to research designs that houseplant lovers might like, I keep in mind a list of criteria that the product should meet.

And even for a short 400-word post, I drill down as deep as I can to uncover all the details that might not be obvious at first glance.

I once scrapped a whole post just as I was getting ready to hit “Publish” when I realized that the extremely cool-looking planters I had written about were actually made in a factory in China. There were no guarantees of fair trade or fair work conditions. But the product specifications were buried so deep down in the recesses of the designer’s website, that it was impossible to notice them.

Well, almost impossible.

I was even more disappointed to find that same product all over Pinterest and on other sustainable design websites.

It shouldn’t be this hard to find more information what we’re buying. It shouldn’t be this hard to find out who made it and where. And this is especially true when we’re talking about design studios that attach hefty price tags to their products.

An informed buyer is an empowered buyer, and more and more millennials are making the choice to cast a vote with every purchase they make. A vote for what they want to see more of in the world.

What I want to see more of are products that are sustainably-made by artisans who are fairly compensated for their work. Products that are created by designers who understand that sustainability is no longer a choice, but a necessity.

That’s the kind of product I want to show you today.

This adorable rope hanging planter from Closed Mondays ticks all the boxes.

Sustainable material. Slow creation process. Hand-made in the United States. Reasonably priced.

The colorful rope planters are made in the Closed Mondays studio in Brooklyn, New York, by artisans who receive fair wages. And there’s one more thing that sets them apart that I haven’t really found anywhere else: the studio sells their “mistakes.” A blotch of paint here, a loose thread there – these aren’t reasons why we should discard perfectly good products.

The Closed Mondays studio was founded by Bekka Palmer, a designer and photographer on a mission against fast fashion and poor working conditions. When she was six years old, Bekka learned how to sew from her grandmother, and she continued to be influenced by the craftiness and attention to detail of her parents.

Hanging Planters Made of Rope by Closed Mondays

Hanging Planters Made of Rope by Closed Mondays

Hanging Planters Made of Rope by Closed Mondays

To buy some rope planter “mistakes” >> this way

To buy rope hanging planters >> this way

For more of Bekka Palmer’s projects >> this way

All images via Closed Mondays

 

Art and Design

Active Packaging for Herbs from Lithuanian Designer Edmundas Jankauskas

Lifi Compostable Herb Packaging designed by Edmundas Jankauskas

From tea containers to humble pencils, we’re seeing a rise in plantable packaging. We won’t lie, it makes our environmental-loving hearts skip a beat every time several serious problems are tackled at once.

In this case, the creator of Lifi is showing us that it is possible to avoid packaging waste and avoid loss of organic materials through pointless burning (think of how your city handles leaf collection during the fall).

This project comes straight from the mind of Lithuanian designer Edmundas Jankauskas.

Edmundas created Lifi (pronounced ‘leafy’) as a final project for his Master’s Degree at the Vilnius Academy of Art. Lifi is already an award-winning concept, having received accolades such as Red Dot Award for Design Concept in 2018 and Silver, A’ Design Awards 2017-2018

Here’s how Lifi works:

Every autumn, the package creators collect fallen leaves from the deep forests of Lithuania. The leaves are washed, crushed with a mixer, turned into a fibre, placed into a mould, and carefully shaped into cube packaging. The entire process remains untainted by chemicals or additives.

The hand-made packaging is then filled with herb seeds.

When you bring the cube home and start watering it, the packaging starts to dissolve while at the same time helping the seeds inside grow into a healthy herb. All the organic decomposing materials release minerals which help the plant thrive. Compare that to the alternative of buying herbs potted in plastic, which is often the case with herbs you can find in the supermarket.

The active packaging can be reused many times or just thrown away when you no longer need it. It will decompose in nature or in your garden. You can even add it to the soil of another plant in your collection.

Lastly, the label is made with an eco-friendly paper and printed with plant-based ink.

Lifi Compostable Herb Packaging designed by Edmundas Jankauskas

Lifi Compostable Herb Packaging designed by Edmundas Jankauskas

Lifi Compostable Herb Packaging designed by Edmundas Jankauskas

Photos from Edmundas Jankauskas’ Behance profile.

For more plantable packaging ideas, have a look at this compostable tea container that comes with a seed stick.

Art and Design

The Sip, the Terrastone Planter Designed in Norway

Sip by Ann Kristin Einarsen for Case Furniture

Sip by Ann Kristin Einarsen for Case Furniture

I’ve been noticing a pattern while curating design pieces for houseplant lovers. Often, the design follows a minimalist aesthetic associated with Scandinavian decor. And almost just as often, the craftmanship is executed in countries such as Portugal – renowned for its ceramic artistry and use of organic materials. (Have a look at these planters from Dedal to see what I mean.)

So naturally, when I found a planter that’s the best of both worlds, I knew I had to feature it.

The Sip plant pot is designed by Norwegian ceramicist Ann Kristin Einarsen, and it comes to life under the masterful hand of Portuguese artisans.

Created especially for Case Furniture, the planter is made of terrastone, which is a hybrid material with the porousness of terracotta and the durability of stoneware. What lies hidden inside the planter is a nylon wick which works as an extension of the plant roots. The wick draws water from the base reservoir, thus controlling the amount of water that the plant receives. So the plant only takes what it needs – a surefire way of controlling overwatering, making it perfect even for the novice plantkeeper.

All you have to do is add water to the cleverly shaped glazed tray, and the plant will take care of itself.

The Sip is also the perfect flower pot choice if you’re the forgetful type or if you travel a lot and your plants can’t rely on you for regular watering.

We’re advocates for self watering containers around here, because even with the best intentions, some things are bound to go wrong when we’re taking care of plants. But the beauty of plant keeping is that houseplants are forgiving. And even when they’re not, there’s always a lesson to be learned along the way.

In the designer’s own words ideas come “from life, from living, learning, seeing, experiencing, touching, making, dreaming and failing; and they develop and change through testing, problem-solving, discussion, experimenting, experience and failing, again.”

Sip by Ann Kristin Einarsen for Case Furniture

The Sip by Ann Kristin Einarsen for Case Furniture

Sip by Ann Kristin Einarsen for Case Furniture

Images via Case Furniture

For another self-watering planter designed by Ann Kristin Einarsen, have a look at Rolla

Art and Design

Plantable Packaging from Greek Tea Masters, Rhoeco

Plantable Packaging from Rhoeco (Tea Makers) H

A couple of years ago, I received a postcard from a friend living on the other side of the Atlantic. The postcard, issued by the United States Postal Service, was made with special paper that had wildflower seeds rolled in it. It ended its life – or started its life – as an act of guerrilla gardening in a vacant garden on a university campus.

Thus started my love for all things plantable.

There’s something especially hopeful about planting seeds and waiting for them to sprout.

There’s something even more special about objects that would otherwise go to waste transformed into another opportunity to plant and be hopeful.

Rhoeco, a Greek purveyor of fine quality organic teas, has made it their mission to get us planting.

The company sells a few types of loose leaf tea blends, aptly named after natural elements (mountain, forest, sea, agros). Once you’ve savored the tea to the last leaf, you don’t have to worry about disposing of wasteful packaging. Under the lid, you’ll find a stick that’s imbibed with a mix of organic herb seeds: chamomile, mallow, sage, lemon balm, thyme, and hyssop. The glue holding the seeds together is natural and eco-friendly, and helps feed the seedlings after you’ve planted them.

Now the planting is up to you. All you have to do is fill the empty container with some soil and press the seed stick in it. Keep it watered, but not soggy, and place it on a sunny windowsill.

You can write the planting date on the stick and observe the seed growth day by day. You’ll see the results of your green thumbs in 7 to 20 days.

When the seedlings are 3-4 cm (1-2 inches) tall, you can take the next step and transfer the planter to a larger flower pot or to your garden. You don’t have to worry about digging it out, because the container itself is biodegradable.

Isn’t that an amazing idea?

You get to enjoy the soothing tea inside and then, if you put at least a little bit of effort in the process, you get to grow your own blend.

I can’t think of any other company that offers their buyers a chance of by-passing them to get the same final product. But that’s the beauty of circular economy and sustainable business practices in action.

Rhoeco – whom I’ve been introduced to via the Maison et Objet Fair, is a team of young professionals, ecology enthusiasts and herb lovers, with the ambition to revive traditional habits and insert them into our modern hectic days.

You can read more about their manifesto (you should, it will speak to your soul) on their website.

Plantable Packaging from Rhoeco (Tea Makers) 00

Plantable Packaging from Rhoeco (Tea Makers) 0

Plantable Tea Packaging from Rhoeco (small)All photos via Rhoeco’s website and their Instagram account.

For more product-seed-plant examples, have a look at
> the Sprout pencil – you can plant it once you’ve sharpened it to the stub
> the bee saving paper – releasing a delicious cocktail of flowers that bees can feast on.

 

 

 

 

Art and Design

Voltasol the Flower Pot that Rotates towards the Sun

 

Voltasol flower pot mint by We Are Living Things

Can you imagine a rolling flower pot? What’s the first thing that comes to mind? Maybe when you’ve accidentally knocked one over when you were vacuuming. (Just me?)

What we’re talking about today is something a little bit more sophisticated than that. The Voltasol flower pot has been especially designed to move according to the direction of the sun.

Why is the sun so important?

If you’ve ever cared for a houseplant, you already know that they’re major light chasers because they get the energy they need for photosynthesis from sunlight.

I once had a purple heart plant (Setcreasea pallida) that craved the sun so much, it almost twisted itself around a bookshelf just to get closer to the window. And when plants put their energy into chasing the light, they often don’t have enough energy left to grow in any other direction. Plants lacking light will often end up leggy and frail.

Ideally, you want to rotate your plants every month to make sure their growth is even and not lopsided, but that’s just one more thing that I’m not keen to add to my to-do list.

Back to the Voltasol planter – it’s designed to rotate easily, either spontaneously as the plant leans over, or if given a gentle nudge. Voltasol comes in pleasant color combinations of terracotta top and mint, peach, white or yellow bottom – mirroring the shades of summer in the Bisbal d’Empordà, where the pieces are made.

The planter is designed by BAG Disseny studio, a project started by Sandra Compte and Xavier Mora. The studio is based in Barcelona, Girona and Andorra.

The planter has already won multiple awards and has become the darling of the design fairs all over the world.

You can buy all four sizes of the planter from Living Things

Voltasol flower pot by We Are Living Things

ZZ plant in Voltasol flower pot by We Are Living Things

Voltasol flower pot sizes by We Are Living Things

Voltasol flower pot centerpiece (by We Are Living Things)

Voltasol flower pot pink (by We Are Living Things)

Voltasol flower pot by We Are Living Things

All photos via We Are Living Things.

To buy the Voltasol flower pot, head over >> this way

Art and Design

Vayu, the Scupltural Planter Made in the United States

Vayu Planter made in the USA by Light and Ladder

When I came across these flower pots from Light and Ladder, I felt a chill of deja vu sneaking into my brain.

Where had I seen this shape before?

The sliding lines wrapped around a sphere, so elegantly yet so precisely. With no extraneous corners, no botchy transitions, no rushed revelations. Just simple, clean, magnetic.

It took a while to be able to place it, because the context was so different. But it came to me eventually. I could use the exact same words to describe a building I had seen on a trip to Luxembourg City. The Luxembourg Philharmonic, with its soft lines and 823 facade columns of white steel, is modern architectural masterpiece.

I don’t think I can describe the Vayu planters better than their creators do: by peeling away layers and staggering the proportions, the eye is drawn towards a view that’s unique from every angle.

You can order this piece both as a flower pot (meaning it has drainage holes) and as a planter (just insert the plastic pot that your plant came in). The flower pot version comes with a matching tray for catching the excess water.

The ceramic planter is made in the United States and comes in a stone finish (grey) and a blush finish (a pleasant peach color).

Light and Ladder is a Brooklyn-based studio headed by Farrah Sit. Farrah’s dream is “to create a business based on quality, function, beauty and community” with a focus of nudging their buyers towards owning fewer, but better, home accessories.

And they’re doing a great job at taking out the excess to reveal the beauty of everyday decor.

Vayu Planter made in the USA by Light and Ladder

Vayu Planter made in the USA by Light and Ladder

Vayu Planter made in the USA by Light and Ladder

Luxembourg Philharmonic in Luxembourg City

All photos via Light and Ladder

For a direct link to the Vayu planter >> this way

Luxembourg Philharmonic photo by Jean-noel Lafargue via Wikimedia commons

Art and Design

An Artful Display of Houseplants from Studio Hali-Ann Tooms

Airplant table-top display (white) from Studio Hali-Ann Tooms

Airplant hangers by Studio Hali-Ann Tooms

As a plant lover and an art museum aficionado, I can’t help but draw the parallel between these two hobbies of mine. They both elicit the same kind of quiet admiration. The anticipation that takes over when I watch the slow unfurling of a new leaf is not far removed from the feeling of awe when I first rest my eyes on a painted canvas.

And I’d like to believe that most plant lover identify with at least some of these feelings.

Part of what brings art into perspective (literally) is how it is displayed. And the same can be said about houseplants. The designers behind Studio Hali-Ann Tooms seem to understand this intuitively.

The Copenhagen-based design studio released a collection of houseplant display home accessories that are luxurious in their minimalism while still managing to remain affordable. The stripped down shape of the holders helps bring to the forefront the special beauty of each plant. You can buy the handmande brass holders together with an airplant of your choice.

And if you want to switch it up a bit, and bring your airplant closer to the ground, the tabletop holder made of powder coated steel is an excellent addition to any desk.

For a list of retailers carrying these holders, click this way.

All images via Studio Hali-Ann Tooms and their Instagram account (which you should definitely follow if you’re a fan of airplant displays).

Airplant table-top display (white) from Studio Hali-Ann Tooms

Airplant display from Studio Hali-Ann Tooms (T.silver)

T.diagutensis in an Airplant hanger from Studio Hali-Ann Tooms

Airplant teracotta display from Studio Hali-Ann ToomsAirplant table-top display from Studio Hali-Ann Tooms

 

For more plant hangers:

+ Botanical hanger inspired by nature and Gaudi

+ Shinai, the minimalist oak hanger that grows with your plant

+ Masumoss, the new Japanese plant art trend

+ Sculptural air plant hangers from Fuxigold

+ Wood eco plant hanger by Dutch design studio All the Things You Like

 

Art and Design

Scandinavian Indoor Greenhouse by Design Duo Atelier 2+

Scandinavian indoor Greenhouse by Atelier

Think, for a moment, of all the places you’ve lived. All the apartments, cities, countries. There’s no doubt in my mind that all of them have left an imprint in the way you see your surroundings now. The places that we live in shift something in us; they mould our world view; they sharpen our senses to previously unimaginable observations.

The same happened to the designers at Atelier 2+. Bangkok-based designers Ada Chirakranont and Worapong Manupipatpong moved to Sweden to study at Konstfack, the prestigious university of arts, crafts and design. But in addition to acquiring knowledge and skills, they also absorbed the quintessential Swedish ethos – that of always having nature on their doorstep. And because the harsh weather keeps nature out of reach quite often, green elements make their way indoors. And this is precisely what their gorgeous greenhouse aims for.

The Greenhouse designed by Atelier 2+ is small enough for indoor use but large enough to house a miniature garden. Its creators describe it as “a sculpture that makes room for nature”.

To me, it almost seems like it’s a combination of museum display case and playground full of possibilities. What kind of plants can we bring together in such a protective space? What else can we put in it? How playful can we get within the confines of the box? “Perhaps the size of Greenhouse encourages people to create miniature worlds because it is not large enough for people merely to plant just anything in it. It makes demands on the user, perhaps requiring green fingers or the sensitive touch of a sculptor,” the designers add.

The Greenhouse, available for purchase at Design House Stockholm, is made from lacquered solid ash timber with panes of toughened glass which open up in two hatches. A planting tray made of galvanized metal lines the bottom part of the greenhouse. You can purchase the glass cabinet separately, if you feel like the sculptural height is too much for your home.

Scandi Greenhouse designed by Atelier 2+

Greenhouse designed by Greenhouse by Atelier 2+

Greenhouse by Atelier 2+

Greenhouse by Atelier 2+ (for Design House Stockholm)

 For more info: Atelier 2+

Images via: Design House Stockholm

Art and Design

Monstera Planter that Takes Root in Your Home

Monstera planters by Tim van de Weerd

Imagine a planter designed to look so fluid, that it seems to twirl and flow with the plant it houses. Like graceful ballerinas, the planters sold by Dutch designer Tim van de Weerd manage to become the focal point of any room, but without taking away from their surrounding.

Tim says that every accessory or piece of furniture must stir the imagination and play with expectations; that the imagery should always be surprising yet recognizable.

He’s a big believer in design that is simple and elegant, but at the same time characterized by subtle tension. And that design philosophy really comes to light in his Monstera planter collection.

Tim’s designs are anything but rigid traditional plant pots. The Monstera planters collection aims to liberate the plants from windowsills, and make them integral parts of the rooms they inhabit.

The delicate legs of the planter are meant to resemble delicate roots – they stem from the bottom of the planter, almost as a continuation of the plant itself. As fragile as they may seem, the legs are made of steel bars bent by hand and moulded with industrial clay.

The monstera planter set comes in three different sizes: Monstera Magnifica (the tallest one), Monstera Fugiens (which shows the plant as fleeing object) and Monstera Crescens (at 120 cm, it stands out above all tables and sofas).

Monstera Magnifica planter by Tim van de Weerd 2

Monstera planters by Tim van de Weerd 3

Monstera Magnifica planters by Tim van de Weerd 2

Monstera planters by Tim van de Weerd 2

 

 

 

Art and Design Plant-made

Energy Drink for Bees, Courtesy of Paper

Bee Saving Paper Card

Can a piece of paper feed tired bees?

The innovators behind Bee Saving Paper believe so. The concept is simple, yet brilliant. So simple and so genius, in fact, that after I read about it, I was left wondering: How come we’re not already using this on a large scale?

Here’s how bee saving paper works:

+ This fully biodegradable paper is infused with energy-rich glucose that is delicious for bees, yet keeps the paper suitable for everyday use – in other words, it won’t stick to your fingers. This kind of sugar is already used by beekeepers as nourishment for their hives throughout winter.

+ The paper can be turned into business cards, paper bags, take out plates, coffee cup sleeves, concert tickets, clothes labels, and whatever else your imagination desires. Currently, all of these single-use items are usually headed for the landfill after only a few minutes of utility, a practice that’s both  wasteful and environmentally hazardous.

+ But once the items made of bee saving paper are no longer needed, they can be used as energy drink for bees. For example, you could place the paper bag in your garden, or set the business card in a flower pot on your balcony. The paper will attract bees due to its water-based UV paint which has been applied in patterns that bees see as a meadow. (More about how bees see UV this way.)

+ Once the bees find the paper, they can feast on the glucose, and gather up some energy for the road. What’s left behind is another bee favorite: Lacy Phacelia seeds (purple tansy), one of the most attractive plants for insects. The paper is fully biodegradable, so you won’t be left with litter that needs to be cleaned.

The bee saving paper is currently working with corporate partners to make

This project came together as a collaboration between Saatchi & Saatchi IS Warsaw and City Bees, an organization that advocates for the well-being and protection of bees in urban communities.

Bee Saving Paper

Bee Saving Paper Pack

All images via: Bee Saving Paper

For more info on what to do to protect pollinators, have a look at the Pollinator Partnership leaning center.

 

Art and Design

Acorn Sprouting Vase from Iconic Swedish Brand Svenskt Tenn

Acorn vase by Estrid Ericson from Iconic Swedish Brand Svenskt Tenn

There’s one thing that comes naturally when you come across Estrid Ericson’s work: becoming obsessed with it. From the subtlety of the curves in her creations to the minute attention towards keeping simplicity as the ultimate indication of everyday luxury.

Estrid Ericson has long had her own chapter in the history of Swedish design. But as the obsession (there’s that word again) with Scandinavian aesthetic still holds a strong grip on current trends, it’s about time for non-Swedes to discover Estrid’s creations.

In a nutshell, Estrid Ericson took Swedish design from drab functionalism to a homely yet sophisticated bearer of colors, patterns and textures. In 1924, at the age of 30, she opened a store to sell pewter products that she had created herself. Ten years later, she partnered with Austrian architect Josef Frank to transform the store into one of Sweden’s most iconic brands, Svenskt Tenn.

Estrid’s creation are universal and elegant in every season, but this acorn vase might be of particular interest for plant lovers as we navigate autumn.

It was way back in the 1930s that Estrid came up with the idea for the acorn vase, while she was spending the summer at her home, Tolvekarna (The Twelve Oaks). It was the shape of acorns that inspired that of the sprouting vase.

Here’s how to sprout acorns if you want to give this vase, or any other vase, a try.

The prime acorn-picking season is October. Once you’ve picked acorns that look healthy, test them by placing them in a bowl of water. If they float, it’s highly likely that they won’t sprout.

Put the good ones in a damp bag in the fridge – add a wet paper towel if necessary. Check it every week to make sure the bag hasn’t dried out or worse, become moldy. In about 4-6 weeks, you should see some tiny roots coming out of the acorns. Now’s the time to put them in water.

Fill the acorn vase with water and place the sprouting acorn on the rim. Give it another 3-6 weeks before you see green growth. Set the vase near a source of light. Admire the fine root structure and smooth leaves to your heart’s content.

Well, it’s October now. You know what to do.

Acorn vase by Estrid Ericson from Iconic Swedish Brand Svenskt Tenn 2

Acorn vase by Estrid Ericson from Iconic Swedish Brand Svenskt Tenn 3

Photos via Svenskt Tenn

For another variation of the sprouting vase, have a look at the Plantation porcelain series.

Art and Design

Livana, the Self-irrigating Planter from Italian Brand SBAM Design

Livana Self-Irrigating Planter by Sbam Design 2

It’s either

Crunchy. Kaput. Dry as a bone.

or

Drenched. Sloshing around ankles deep. Root rot.

These seem to be the two types of descriptions that follow the “I can’t keep houseplants alive.”

It takes a little bit of practice to get the balance right between under watering and overwatering.

And since what we call a houseplant nowadays has once been an outdoor plant growing in its own microclimate, there’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to a watering schedule. The plant wants what the plant wants, and most of the time we don’t get the memo until it’s too late.

I once came back home from vacation to a swarm of fruit flies happily buzzing around the carcass of a peace lily that had reigned supreme over a corner of my living room. My overwatering had claimed another victim. It was not a pretty sight.

What the apex of my short-lived career as an over-waterer taught me was to seek help in my sloshy ways before another one of my green friends bit the dust.

And until you learn your plants’ dos and dont’s for hydration, a little help is more than welcome.

In this case, a little help means letting your plant regulate its water intake by placing it in a self-watering container like the one from Sbam Design. Livana is a self-irrigating container made out of a ceramic planter and a glass vase for water storage. The glass base can hold enough water for 12 to 16 days.

So once your most precious plant is settled in a Livana, you’re free to go on vacation.

Sbam Design, a showroom collective based in Italy, was born out of the desire to bring together art, design, fashion and generally all things creative made by young people. They bring all of these things together through their showroom and event venue in Busto Arsizio, a city steeped in textile industry, and only 34 kilometres away from Milano.

Livana Self-Irrigating Planter by Sbam Design

Livana Self-Irrigating Planter by Sbam Design

Livana Self-Irrigating Planter by Sbam Design

Photos via Sbam Design and Maison Objet.

For more plant hangers, have a look at the links below:

+ The Boskke Sky Planter

+ Botanical hanger inspired by nature and Gaudi

+ The lamp-terrarium ecosystem

+ Shinai, the minimalist oak hanger that grows with your plant

+ Masumoss, the new Japanese plant art trend

+ Sculptural air plant hangers from Fuxigold

+ Modular planter from Portuguese design studio Dedal

+ Wood eco plant hanger by Dutch design studio All the Things You Like

+ Shinai, the minimalist hanger that grows with your plant

Art and Design

Sustainable Suspended Shelf by Irena Ubler for Dedal Portugal

Snuro Suspended Shelf by Irena Ubler for Dedal Portugal

Snuro Suspended Shelf by Irena Ubler for Dedal Portugal

Crash! Boom! Bang!

Not just the title of a Roxette Top 40 hit (hello, 90s’ child!) but the symphony of onomatopoeia performed by a few of my flower pots as they tumbled off a suspended shelf.

The culprit: me.

More specifically, my miscalculated decision to hang a shelf in an area with a lot of foot traffic. Now there’s no way to undo the mess. No way to make the dirt clean itself. No way to glue together the crassula ovata succulent that snapped.

So what I needed to do was either to tone down my clumsiness (ha, not a chance) or find a safer way to secure pots on suspended shelves. These shelves by Dedal seem like the perfect choice for the latter solution.

(If Dedal sounds familiar, that’s because we’ve also featured their versatile modular planters.)

The Snuro shelves – designed by Irena Ubler – were created with plant-lovers in mind, and the design will fit most Ikea-sized flower pots. During the design ideation phase, Irena Abler and the team at Dedal explored different types of materials and shapes – from wood board to clay and ropes. But in order to develop a more stable and safe product, they settled on a cork and wood sandwich board.

What you should know about cork is that it’s a quintessentially Portuguese material — half of the world’s cork production originates in this country. It’s also a very sustainable material to work with as the harvesting of cork doesn’t damage the tree. Cork oaks can live up to 200 years and they can be harvested once every nine years. So this material fits right in with Dedal’s mission to promote Portuguese artists and support local artisans while also advocating for a sustainable home decor industry.

Snuro Suspended Shelf by Irena Ubler for Dedal Portugal

Snuro Suspended Shelf by Irena Ubler for Dedal Portugal

Photos via Dedal

For more designs by Irena Ubler >> this way

Art and Design

Meet the Chamans, the Most Adorable Houseplant Accessories

Houseplant accessories - Charette et Dreaman chamans by Miwitipee

When I first came across Miwitipee, the French brand designing sustainable, limited-edition home accessories, I found it hard to pick a product to feature on Green with Purpose.

I ultimately opted to introduce our readers to the minimalist plant hanger that adapts to different flower pot sizes. But in the back of my mind, I knew I wanted to talk about their other designs too. And I especially couldn’t ignore the cute little houseplant adornments that they call chamans. You can stick these these whimsical figurines in your flower pots, and they’ll watch over your houseplants. Or, if you’re the grumpy kind who doesn’t believe in magic, they’ll just put a smile on your face.

I reached out to Julia who, together with her dad, Marc, is the creator of these adorable characters, to chat about her creative process.

Hi, Julia. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your work.

My name is Julia. I live and work in Toulouse, a city located in southern France. I’m the happy co-founder of Miwitipee which is the fruit of a collaboration with my father, Marc.

We design and manufacture objects inspired by our imaginary journeys to make your home travel. We’re very concerned with the well-being of our environment, so we only use natural materials such as wood and paper.

How did you start designing houseplant accessories?

Our playground is all about how to make homes more enjoyable. Since it is difficult for us to imagine a house without plants, the idea of making objects that are dedicated to them came very quickly. So we started by drawing a plant holder and … a duet of chamans. They have met a success we were not expecting. Naturally, we’ve been drawing others to add to the collection.

The chamans are irresistible and so different from all the other objects usually adorning houseplants. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Oh, thank you ! As far as I can remember, I’ve been imagining and drawing little characters.

I love to invent characters with names and personalities of their own. I like them to look cunning and caring, fun and cute. They are like little friends who are always in a good mood.

How does a typical work day look like for you?

On a typical day, you can usually find me working in the workshop. We prioritize the preparation and shipping of orders, so that always comes first thing. Then we spend a lot of time making our products or custom creations. We usually work ten hours a day, but it really depends on the workload, which can vary a lot!

Occasionally I will work from home, pencil in hand, to draw the products to come.

Do you have a favorite houseplant?

I do not want to make others jealous, but I think I particularly like my two little avocado trees that I watched turning from pits to shrubs.

Where can people find you online?

We sell all our products directly in our online store, Miwitipee, and we ship (almost) everywhere in Europe.

Thank you for your time, Julia. To check out the chamans, click this way.

Photos by Lucie Paimblanc for Miwitipee

Houseplant accessories -chamans by MiwitipeeHouseplant accessories - Charaÿd et Cocoman chamans by MiwitipeeHouseplant accessories 2 - Charette et Dreaman chamans by Miwitipee

Houseplant accessories 3 - chamans by Miwitipee

Houseplant accessories 2 - chamans by Miwitipee

Art and Design

Modular Planter from Portuguese Design Studio Dedal

How do you feel about multitasking?

I’ll be honest, when it comes to fragmenting my time and spreading myself thin, I’m not a fan. On the other hand, if we’re talking about objects, that’s when I can get on board with multitasking. What’s better than buying or making something once, and having it perform multiple functions?

And one type of multitasking objects that’s quite popular in the design world is the modular concept.

Take, for example, the Ujo container sold by Dedal, a design studio based in Portugal.

Ujo’s modular character makes it easy to use in several different ways. Because Ujo is made out of a ceramic base, a lid and two middle modules, you can mix and match. Let’s start with using it as a vase, either for a bouquet of long-stemmed flowers – with all four components in place – or a more delicate bunch of spring floral arrangements – by removing one of the middle modules.

Then let’s imagine it as a flower planter, and you’ll see it gets even better. You start off with a little plant pup in the small container and, as your plant grows and thrives, all you have to do is add another module to lengthen the flower pot.

And if you’re keen on getting creative with its uses, it would make an excellent propagation station due to the orifice in the lid that can allow plant roots to dangle in water.

The entire line of items by Dedal is sustainably-produced in Portugal with a commitment towards preserving artisan skills and supporting local small businesses. And that’s something socially conscious houseplant lovers can get behind.

All images via Dedal Studio.

Ujo modular ceramic planter by Andre Gouveia (red 1)

Ujo modular ceramic planter by Andre Gouveia (red 2)

Ujo modular ceramic planter by Andre Gouveia (red 3)

Ujo modular ceramic planter by Andre Gouveia (red 4)

Ujo modular ceramic planter by Andre Gouveia (yellow)

Ujo modular ceramic planter by Andre Gouveia (black)

 

 

Art and Design

Plant Propagation Made Simple with the Plantation Porcelain Series

What do you use to propagate your plants in water?

As a self-professed jar hoarder, I oscillate between the uber-popular Bonne Maman jam jars, empty bottles of maple syrup or even the occasional mismatched coffee mug.

Does my propagation station look pretty? Most of the times, no. It does the job, but not in a “I want to stop and admire this every time I walk past” kind of way. And the inflexible sizes are an inconvenience. When I’m rooting avocado pits, I have to pierce them with toothpicks to have them hover above water. When I left pothos cuttings in water for too long, the roots grew so large and tangled that I couldn’t get them out of the bottle. The wow factor just isn’t there.

If I were looking for wow-factor galore, I’d turn my attention to this porcelain propagation station inserts by Polish artist Alicja Patanowska.

Alicja created this set of four propagation aids with hydroponics in mind. She got the inspiration for the Plantation set after the spent a month picking discarded glasses left behind by London partygoers. Early morning, she collected glass vessels from curbs, alleys, bus stops and benches. She then came up with a brilliant way to reuse the glasses as propagation stations, using ceramics inserts to turn the discarded into a green display.

How does the Plantation collection work?

You get a glass or an empty vessel of any kind, place the ceramics piece on top, add water and then add the plant that you’re rooting.

One of the shapes can even be used upside down, and turn a simple jar into a makeshift mini-greenhouse.

The Plantation collection is perfect for herbs, ornamental plants or just cuttings that you’re preparing for transfer into soil. And when you place them side by side, you get a nice plantation effect on your windowsill.

Plantation Series (ceramic plant propagation) by Alicja_Patanowska

Plantation Series 3 (ceramic plant propagation) by Alicja_Patanowska

Plantation Series 2 (ceramic plant propagation) by Alicja_Patanowska

All photos by Sylvain Deleu via Patanowska

For more sustainably-designed plant accessories:

+ The Boskke Sky Planter

+ Botanical hanger inspired by nature and Gaudi

+ The lamp-terrarium ecosystem

+ The Calabash plant hanger made out of potato starch and sawdust

+ Brass airplant hangers from Fuxigold

+ Masumoss, the new Japanese plant art trend

+ Shinai, the minimalist wood plant hanger that grows with your plant

+ Ujo, the modular ceramics planter from Portuguese studio Dedal

Art and Design

Wood Eco Plant Hanger by Dutch Design Studio All the Things You Like

EkoPlantHanger Designs - Dutch Design

What do you get if you blend the clean lines of Scandinavian design with the quirky sleekness of Dutch design?

Exhibit A: This elegant and streamlined plant hanger that plays with perspective.

The wood eco-plant hanger is designed and sold by All Things We Like, a Dutch eco-design label that focuses on playful and unique sustainable products. The entire plant hanger collection is inspired by midcentury Scandinavian design, but skillfully crafted with the help of modern techniques such as lasercutting.

With an eye towards sustainability standards, designer Janneke van der Heijden and her team use FSC-certified wood, and partner with local craftsmen and social enterprises to produce their items as locally as possible.

You can also buy a variety of porcelain flower pots from the same store.

The Utrecht-based studio believes in fair and honest design that inspires fun and sustainable choices.

In 2011, the design studio started with a line of wooden lasercut necklaces which quickly sold out and paved the way for creating more products out of wood, organic cotton, ceramics and biopaper. Nowadays, their products are sold in the trendiest concept stores in Europe and in their online store.

EkoPlantHanger - Dutch Design

EkoPlantHanger Diamond - Dutch Design

EkoPlantHanger Half_Rond - Dutch Design

EkoPlantHanger Round - Dutch Design

 

All photos via All Things We Like

For more sustainably-designed plant hangers:

+ The Boskke Sky Planter

+ Botanical hanger inspired by nature and Gaudi

+ The lamp-terrarium ecosystem

+ The Calabash plant hanger made out of potato starch and sawdust

+ Brass airplant hangers from Fuxigold

+ Masumoss, the new Japanese plant art trend

+ Shinai, the minimalist wood plant hanger that grows with your plant

Art and Design

Shinai, the Minimalist Hanger that Grows with Your Plant

Shinai, the Minimalist Hanger that Grows with Your Plants by Miwitipee

 

minimalist plant hanger

Let’s do a quick creativity exercise. If I gave you three pieces of solid oak and a roll of twine, what would you create?

It’s not a lot to go off, but that’s where the imagination of designer Julia Ravelomanantsoa and her dad, Marc, comes into play. The father-daughter team are the designers behind the French brand Miwitipee, and the creators of the Shinai plant hanger.

What we like about the the Shinai planter is that it grows with your plant. Oftentimes, when our plants thrive, we have to repot them to larger containers. And then we have to work out a game of flower pot musical chairs until plants, hangers and containers match in size again.

However, due to the flexible nature of the wood, the Shinai plant hanger adapts perfectly to pots up to 12 centimeters in diameter, for the small version, and 16 cm for the large version.

minimalist plant hanger

The Shinai planter is designed and manufactured in Toulouse, France, by a family-owned studio. The daughter-father team behind Miwitipee pay special attention to eco-friendly practices. The wood that they use is PEFC-certified solid oak – PEFC is the world’s leading certification dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management. True to the zero-waste credo of the design studio, you can plant the seeded paper labels that comes with the products and you’ll get a beautiful wildflower corner in its place.

Oh, and if the word shinai sounds familiar, it’s because the plant hanger is named after the weapon used in kendo practice that is made out of bamboo slats held at each end.

You can purchase the Shinai plant hanger straight from the studio, from select European retailers, or via Etsy. For more fun sustainably-made products from Miwitipee, make sure you follow them on Instagram.

All photos via Miwitipee.

For more sustainably-designed plant hangers:

+ The Boskke Sky Planter

+ Botanical hanger inspired by nature and Gaudi

+ The lamp-terrarium ecosystem

+ The Calabash plant hanger made out of potato starch and sawdust

+ Brass airplant hangers from Fuxigold

+ Masumoss, the new Japanese plant art trend

 

Art and Design

Masumoss, the New Japanese Plant Art Trend

Masumoss - the new Japanese plant art from Green's Green

Masumoss - the new Japanese plant art from Green's Green

What do good designs have in common? They very often start with a juxtaposition of ideas woven together to create something new. This is the case with the latest houseplant trend coming from Japan – the Masumoss, winner of the 2017 Good Design Award.

The Masumoss combines elements of traditional Japanese culture in an innovative way: the masu – a wood box that was used to measure rice, the kokedama technique of keeping root structures watered and healthy, and the bonsai art form of plant pruning.

These three elements blend together in a new design by Keita Yamaga. The Masumoss is manufactured in Akiha, the Niigata Prefecture, which has been a major horticultural area for over four centuries.

Green’s Green, the company behind Masumoss, pays special attention to sustainable practices.

With the advent in popularity of kokedama and bonsai, the demand often leads to an ecosystem abuse, and overpicking of moss triggers the destruction of natural habitats. That’s why Masumoss uses eco-friendly moss that has been grown on moss farms that employ local farmers and make use of abandoned farmland.

The masu box is made out of sustainably harvested local wood, and the company reinvests part of the profits in forest management initiatives.

Taking care of a Masumoss art piece – we do believe it looks like art – might seem tricky. It’s actually as simple as taking watering it gently a couple of times a week when the moss looks dry.

The delicate and elegant Masumoss arrangement is currently available in Japan, Europe and North America.

Masumoss - the new Japanese plant art from Green's Green

Masumoss - the new Japanese plant art from Green's Green

Masumoss - the new Japanese plant art from Green's Green

Masumoss - the new Japanese plant art from Green's Green

Photos via Green’s Green and Premium Japan

For more well-designed plant hangers:

+ The Boskke Sky Planter

+ Botanical hanger inspired by nature and Gaudi

+ The lamp-terrarium ecosystem

+ The Calabash plant hanger made out of potato starch and sawdust

+ Brass airplant hangers from Fuxigold

+ Shinai, the minimalist oak hanger that grows with your plant

Art and Design

Sculptural Air Plant Hangers from Fuxigold

I came across Cristina’s work when I was putting together a short guide on how to incorporate houseplants in wedding decor. I was scrolling through Etsy in an attempt to find ideas that would satisfy even the most persnickety of wedding organizers. And even in such a sea of impressive creations from gifted artisans, Cristina’s air plant hangers stood out.

The mobiles that Cristina makes out of brass have an air of elegance, simplicity and sophistication. Geometric yet fluid, sculptural yet free-flowing.

I reached out to Cristina to ask her about her creative process and what inspired her to create a line of home accessories for air plant collectors.

Air plant holder Himmeli Decahedron Nr02 by Fuxigold

Hi, Cristina. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your work.

I am an interior designer from Barcelona, but I’ve been based in Berlin for the past eight years. I have always loved plants and home decor. It runs in my family as my grandma was also a plants enthusiast. So I decided to start Fuxigold to combine the things that I really like: design, handmade work, plants and home decoration.

What made you want to become a metalsmith?

I always like experimenting with new materials and making objects, so I decided to take a goldsmith course and I started to make some jewelry. I learnt how to work with noble metals such as brass and silver. However, I find doing home décor objects more interesting.

Can you give us some insight into your creative process? How does a piece designed by you come to life?

In the case of air plant hangers, I decide which air plants I like the most, and then I design an air plant holder which fits with the style and form of the plant. Form follows the function. Then I create different designs for different uses for the air plant holders – there are hanging holders, wall sconces and plant stands. I use an old Scandinavian ornamental technique, so the holders or mobiles are called Himmeli (from the Swedish sky).

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I get my inspiration from geometrical forms, such as the Platonic solids or Johnson solids, and try to turn them into a minimal geometric object, in this case air plant holders.

Do you have a favorite houseplant (other than air plants, of course)?

I have a few. But recently I got a maranta leuconeura when I was visiting my family in Barcelona and I’m in love with the colors of the leaves.

Where can people find you online?

They can find me on social media (Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook), and on the handmade platforms Etsy and Dawanda.

Thank you for your time, Cristina.

Air plant hanger Himmeli Octahedron No01 and Tillandsia Ionantha by Fuxigold

Air plant holder, Himmeli Icosahedron 01 by Fuxigold

Air plant holder Himmeli octahedron 02 and tillandsia brachycaulos by FuxigoldTetrahedron No02 and tillandsia brachycaulios abdita by Fuxigold

All photos via Fuxigold.