I just created a new mid-century style plant stand for my living room with a refurbished stand from my grandmother's house and a great ceramic pot. I've been thinking about what kind of plant to put in it and decided to do a round-up of houseplants that look great in mid-century and retro settings. Here are a few of my favorites:
Snake Plants are very versatile indoor plants since they do well in bright and low light conditions. Their graphic leaf blades come in many different shades of green and different variegated varieties. They don't like much watering, and propagate themselves very easily. You can ignore them and they will love you for it! They are my favorite plant for the areas in my apartment that don't get any afternoon light. They were a favorite for those snazzy built-in planters in mid-century homes.
Image from Design Sponge
The Spider Plant is a classic indoor hanging plant. The off-shoots are easily propagated - trim them off and place them in some soil and they will start a new plant. They prefer bright light but will grow in many different conditions. They like regular water and misting. These are especially retro looking in groovy macrame hangers.
Image from Miss Moss
I've had a Ponytail Palm for about 7 years and it's one of my favorites in my plant collection! The exposed root ball stores water and expands after watering and contracts when it's thirsty. Pretty cool! I water mine once every 2 weeks or so. They are very slow-growing and like bright light. Their finely bladed leaves get long and curly and compliment the sleek lines of mid-century style furnishings.
Image from HGTV Remodels
The Umbrella Tree (or Umbrella Plant) is a fairly common house plant. I'm sure you've seen these everywhere. They like evenly moist soil and bright, indirect light but can be tolerant of many different conditions.
Image from Plan 59
There are many species of Ficus that are appropriate as houseplants. Did you know the Rubber Tree is a species of Ficus, too? The most trendy of the Ficus (right now) is the fiddle leaf fig. They have beautiful, large lobed leaves and have a great structure. They like bright light and can be trained into a shrub or tree shape. One of these would look great in my large planter, but I fear that room doesn't get enough light. Clearly, they can get very large when placed in the right location.
Image from Mid-Century Modern Freak
If you're looking for some color, the Flamingo Flower is a great choice! They will bloom nearly year-round in a spot in your home with filtered light. They like mild temperatures, evenly moist soil, and humidity.
Image from Plan 59
The Split-Leaf Philodendron is a broad leafed tropical plant. Their large glossy green leaves bring texture to indoor settings. Good for rooms with some extra space, these can grow up to 10' tall! They like bright, indirect light and occasional waterings. The photo above is of Charles and Ray Eames' Case Study House. They clearly loved their houseplants.
Image from Arch Daily
Of course, if you have a total black thumb, you can continue with the Eames theme and hang your favorite tumbleweeds on the wall!
Image from Design Milk
P.S. Learn how to hang and take care of a Staghorn Fern!