Forget the Ficus
Sad dusty green puffs in the corner. You know you had one. Perhaps you still do. Look at that fake ficus. It wants to go away, far far away.
House plants seem to come in and out of vogue every few years. The 80's and 90's were all about the ficus tree, dried flowers in an urn, and silk floral wreaths, bless their hearts. Then house plants were largely considered "out." This worked out just fine for me since I couldn't keep anything alive anyway. The problem now is that the outdoors is in again and I have to learn exactly how many times per week to water my jade succulent. I have not figured out the correct answer to this...as 6 jades can attest.
Not all house plants are created equal, however. Look for ones that have a bold graphic element that add more to the room than just oxygen. I am a fan of several varieties of succulents, ferns and fig trees. See exhibit A, B and....C.
Exhibit A: Succulents. I mean, is there anything more to say? Gorgeous and unfussy. They are perfect in vintage modern decor and perfectly lovely in any other style as well.
Exhibit B: Ferns go way beyond the front porch basket staples. I used this lovely maiden hair fern in a client's dining room. I love how graphic and bold or delicate and ladylike they can be depending on the variety.
Exhibit C: The plant de jour....Fiddle Leaf Figs. These babies are, hands down, the house plant or tree to have. You will find them in the corners of the chicest rooms of glossy magazines or as living sculptures in their own right.
Here are a great compilation of how cool fiddle leaf ferns can look in other rooms.
A note on faux: As a rule, real is better but, I know, it's hard to keep things alive. If you're going to go fake, spend the time and money to find good substitutes. I tend to like fake succulents since real ones look like rubber anyway. And keep them dusted!
I found these gorgeous plants yesterday at the Westside Market. If you have to touch to tell they are fake, they are good!
So breathe easier and purer and let one of these little plants in ...and forget the ficus.