Last week I took some photographs whilst shopping in & Other Stories to showcase their impressive plant display in their Regent Street store. It’s one of my favourite shops and I always like to see how the variety of plants are ‘curated’… I actually enjoy looking at the plants as much as the clothes! What I like most about & Other Stories is that the greenery seems to feel really ‘at home’ here – seamlessly sitting between rails and clothing arrangements. The most majestic (large!) plant they have at the moment is the Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree (Ficus Lyrata) which sits in an organically shaped neutral concrete pot.
One of the trademarks I associate with this store is the triptych displays dotted around – and the consistent use of plain terracotta pots with saucers. This minimal, utilitarian choice works so well with the white backdrop they are often placed on. The contrasting warm colour of the pot also really helps to make the colour of the plants stand out.
There is a hearty mix of succulents and cacti here, I particularly like the contrast of the furry ‘old man’ cactus (cephalocereus senilis) coupled with the chinese money plant (pilea peperomioides) [image above right].
In conjunction with the more traditional plants detailed so far in the post, something unique to this retailer is their small glass ‘bowls’ that accompany the jewellery and beauty shelves and worktops. In these spheres sit delicate sprigs of variegated ivy that are happily rooting in water. It struck me that this is quite unusual because the process of rooting plants is usually considered an early stage activity, with the aim being to plant into compost and continue growing into an established plant. These cuttings look perfectly at home sat amongst the minimalist jewellery displays in particular due to their dainty appearance, with the silver roots appearing to resemble a delicate necklace suspended in water. This actually is quite striking when the vases are positioned above eye level and backlit on the jewellery shelves. I think it offers a really subtle but interesting aesthetic that is unique to this store, it also communicates the brands ideology and minimalist modern style extremely well.
In my kitchen I always have numerous jam jars on my little windowsill with rooting herbs, usually mint, basil and rosemary… alongside cuttings from my ever multiplying spider plant! It hadn’t occurred to me to make more of a feature out of rooting plants and to display them in this way. I’m definitely going to look out for some of these small spherical vases to root my cuttings in – I think they will work better than jam jars due to their thin neck which will help hold the sprigs up unaided.
Lastly, I wanted to mention the beautiful jade plant (crassula ovata) [above] which has been trained to take the shape of an indoor bonsai. I remember reading that these plants are great as a ‘bonsai for beginners’ as they are more robust and easier to cultivate than traditional bonsai trees. I recently repotted my jade plant (also often called a money tree) and will share some photos in a later post – mine is nowhere near this stature however!
An aspect that is often problematic for a lover of houseplants is how to display them – especially the larger plants that require some elevation to really look their best. I’m forever looking for plant stands that suit my mid century decor, I love the West Elm ‘Turned Leg Planter’ that comes in a variety of sizes but don’t own one… yet! This style of plant stand has definitely got more popular over the last two years, which I am very pleased about. I saw a similar style in Homesense a while ago for 29.99 and really regret not buying it, I took a photograph of it [see left] but by the time I decided I wanted it, it had gone!
The simple use of reclaimed stacking chairs as plant stands in & Other Stories is really nice – they add just the right amount of height and are not too heavy or fussy to detract from the plant itself [see photo above and below]. They don’t take up too much room and are dotted around at the end of clothes rails often standing at the same height as the clothes.
Thanks to & Other Stories for providing a great shopping experience not only for clothes, but also for offering a more qualitative, contemplative experience in a retail environment. Rather than focusing on using valuable store ‘square metres’ (which are of course at a premium in central London) to stock more clothes, this store understands that plants can offer solace in the hurly burly of a shopping experience to provide a more positive experience overall.
I hope you enjoyed reading my ‘Plants in Shops’ post about & Other Stories… next time you visit a shop, see if you can see any plants cropping up – they are becoming increasingly popular as you will see from my subsequent posts in this series!
The next ‘Plants in Shops’ post will focus on Anthropologie.
*This post is not sponsored!
Thanks for reading!