Research has repeatedly shown that nature—even just looking at it—has a positive impact on one’s mental health. And during a year rife with mental turmoil and limited time outside the home, accessing nature and its benefits has required taking the outdoors inside: “People are more willing than they have been in the past to bring live plants into their space,” says Bobby Berk, interior designer and star of Netflix’s Queer Eye.
“People who've never owned plants before are not only getting into them for the very first time, but getting deeply into them,” adds Eliza Blank, founder and CEO of direct-to-consumer plant retailer The Sill. Blank notes that both average order size and order value at The Sill have increased since March: “We've had customers tell us, ‘I bought my first plant in April, and now I have 70.’” (That’s not an exaggeration, she assures.) Instagram data supports this piqued interest in plant parenthood—use of the hashtag #houseplants grew 40 percent from August to September, and plant-fluencers have seen exponential follower growth; @plantkween (Instagram handle of plant-focused community builder Christopher Griffin) has added over 223,000 followers, amounting to over 429 percent growth in 2020 so far, while @hiltoncarter (handle of plant and interior stylist Hilton Carter) has seen a 68 percent growth in follower count.
This interest in indoor greenery is expected to grow to new heights in 2021: A report by the market research firm Technavio projects the flower and ornamental plant market will increase nearly $29 billion between 2020 and 2024. Accordingly, Blank says The Sill has plans to expand its offerings in the new year to meet increased demand. “A lot of people have gotten really comfortable and confident with plants. So, in 2021, we’re introducing more rare, unique plants; plants that don't have so much resilience to neglect,” says Blank.
In addition to a variety of options, 2021 will also bring literally bigger plants to the home. Both The Sill and New York City-based subscription plant retailer Horti will make larger plants available for sale in 2021, with Horti revamping its infrastructure to be able to support a greater range of offerings and also planning to move to a bigger brick-and-mortar space in early 2021. Bloomscape, another plant e-tailer, meanwhile, will launch an outdoor plant category next year.
In the coming year, Berk says, our need for green will also be reflected in our home decor palettes. “Earthy tones and nature-inspired colors have really saturated the design world this year and I think will continue to get more popular as we move into 2021,” he says. To this end, the paint brand Dulux named a tan hue called “Brave Ground” its color of the year for 2021. “It’s a color that echoes the fabric of the earth—soil, clay, stone, making even an urban space feel rooted and part of the natural world,” the company’s website says. Blank says that The Sill also plans to introduce a few earthy tones into its line of planters next year. “I think that speaks to, again, just trying to create a calm, safe space,” she says.
Explore the rest of our 2021 Wellness Trends.
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