Is there room for houseplants within the clean, minimalist style of a Scandinavian interior? We say, yes.
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Nature plays a big role in Scandi-style. Many minimalist spaces contain objects (such as natural wood furniture) that often take their cues from the outdoors. This focus on nature means that houseplants fit right in. In fact, they can add the perfect touch of color to complement a neutral Scandinavian interior. However, not just any houseplant will do. We've picked out five gorgeous plants that are an ideal match.
1) Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)
Foliage plants are the way to go in Nordic design, matching the uncluttered, minimalist soul of the home. The snake plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata), with its stiff, narrow, upright leaves that can grow between six inches and 10 feet tall, offers the perfect, stylized look. It's foliage is simple in form and color. Similar to how furniture in Scandinavian spaces perform multi-functional duties (like containing concealed storage), the snake plant doubles as one of the best houseplants for removing toxins from the air. Pick a pot that matches the furniture and place the snake plant where it looks best — even in dark corners. It doesn't require much care and thrives on neglect.
Buy now: The Sill Snake Plant, $43
2) Dragon Tree
The charm of the dragon tree (Dracaena marginata) in its simple, uncluttered form, a critical element of Nordic design. It looks like a small palm tree, with a narrow, gray trunk with tufts of thin, arching, sword-shaped leaves. Although there are many leaves, all are long, glossy, and slender, and all are green with a red tinge. Native to Madagascar, this spiky tree is famed for its easy-care ways. The dragon tree is drought-tolerant, slow-growing, and nearly indestructible. It is equally happy in bright light or low light.
Buy now: Dracaena Marginata Open Weave, $195
3) Rubber Plant
Functional elegance is the watchword of Scandi interiors, and those terms also describe the rubber plant (Ficus elastic). Everything about the rubber plant is classic. The leaves are classically oval but oversized, big as your hand. They are a classic forest green, extending from the slender stem on stiff leaf stalks that seem intended to exhibit each leaf individually. The dark foliage works well against the light, neutral backdrops of Scandinavian design. The plants are surprisingly easy-care considering their visual impact, requiring occasional watering and an indirect-sun location.
Buy now: Rubber Tree, $150
4) Aloe Vera
As the designers say, a room done in Scandinavian style will have both form and functionality, not just one or the other. No plant encompasses this mix better than the stemless succulent aloe vera (Aloe spp). Its leaves are upright and plump, filled with a gelatinous goo that has been used medicinally for centuries. Aloe gel takes the sting out of burns and helps calm cuts and scrapes. Meanwhile, the aloe's simple, elegant design is pleasing and minimalist. The rumor is that the only way you can kill aloe is to overwater it, which says a lot about its easy-maintenance ways.
Buy now: Flowerbx Aloe Vera, starting at $70
5) Monstera Plant
If the monstera plant (Monstera deliciousa) looks familiar, keep in mind that it is sometimes called the "tropical split-leaf philodendron." Native to the rainforests of Central America, the unusual houseplant is also known as the "tropical split-leaf philodendron." The monstera plant's leaves are bigger by far, but they are the same shade of green and have the same heart shape as the philodendron foliage. The monstera's otherwise classic look is stylized by the oversized leathery leaves (to three feet long) with deep slices in them, parallel to and between the veins. This climbing evergreen is a favorite of many interior designers for its elegance, and it works very well in Scandinavian-design room. Thrives in bright, indirect light but also in low-light areas.
Buy now: Monstera Deliciosa, $67
From Alaska to California, from France's Basque Country to Mexico's Pacific Coast, Teo Spengler has dug the soil, planted seeds and helped trees, flowers and veggies thrive. A professional writer and consummate gardener, Spengler has written about home and garden for Gardening Know How, San Francisco Chronicle, Gardening Guide and Go Banking Rates. She earned a BA from U.C. Santa Cruz, a law degree from U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall, and an MA and MFA from San Francisco State. She currently divides her life between San Francisco and southwestern France.