|While the prevalence of tropical flora might feel like an entirely modern, Instragram phenomenon, tropical plants have a long history in interior design. From status symbols to catalysts for architectural innovation, lush greenery has long had a place in the heart of our homes:|
First Encounters: Renaissance of Design
Tropical plants have often been utilized in the designs of their native climes; however, it wasn’t until British explorations and colonization during the Renaissance that these ‘exotic’ plants, now quintessential to tropical design, made an appearance in European décor. This history and design development would later shaped American style foundations.
When first introduced to northern Europe during the Renaissance, tropical plants were only accessible to the wealthy elite. The foreign flora had no natural adaptions to the colder climate, and indoor heating was a significant expense. As a result, the ability to cultivate these plants became the ultimate status symbol.
Those without the means to maintain greenery could still incorporate the exotic blooms into their home; both Baroque and Rococo stylings of the 16th and 17th centuries featured ornate embellishments with strong floral influences.
Florals Reshape Architectural Foundations
Fast-forward a few centuries to the Victorian era, when plant cultivation became accessible to the middle class. Heating innovations made it more reliable and affordable, which led to a verifiable boom in home horticulture. In fact, the plant craze was so intense, it reshaped the very foundations of architecture.
In order to maintain the most fashionable of indoor plants, many which were tropical imports or hybrids, interior spaces needed to be reimagined. The solution? The bay window and sun porch. These iconic Victorian architectural features arose from the need to create space that supported the perfect blend of light, humidity and consistent temperature to sustain tropical plant life.
More affordable heating wasn’t the only thing that spurned the plant craze; industrial innovation and mass production made décor both readily available and affordable. Floral and nature-themed wallpaper blossomed in popularity during this time, making the Victorian era the precursor to today’s modern botanical obsession.
Modernization and Transformation
As industrialization marched on into the 20th century, living plants slowly receded from minimalist, modern home stylings. However, greenery continued to be a prominent influence in interior design. Natural themes were key to artistic movements like the Art Deco and Arts & Crafts eras, and even the most minimalistic of modern homes brought the outdoors in, at least visually. Architecture during this time often incorporated full walls of glass, bridging the gap between the streamlined interiors and wild greenery beyond.
By the late 1900s, strict adherence to minimalistic design loosened, and interiors once again were filled with living plants. Which brings us to today, when monstera plants and other tropical fronds are back in vogue. Tropical greenery’s become so popular that it’s become a distinct design aesthetic, prominently featured across a variety of home décor. Which means even those without green thumbs (or bay windows, like our Victorian counterparts) can bask in tropical beauty.
Pacifica, the latest wallpaper collection by A-Street Prints, offers an aesthetic that combines the plants natural beauty with the vibrancy of the tropics themselves. The collection is bursting with color, bohemian-infused geometrics and, of course, lush botanical designs. Whether you’re looking to augment existing flora or incorporate tropical flair that requires no watering, Pacifica provides a delightfully fresh and eclectic take on the popular aesthetic.
Visit the A-Street Prints website to explore the full collection and begin augmenting your tropical style today!