Photographer Bart Kiggen and journalist Magali Elali, the duo behind the successful interior design blog Coffeeklatch, have a passion for everything that grows and blossoms. In their brand new book Greenterior. Plant loving creatives and their homes, they show the homes of twenty creative people who share their passion for greenery. Bart and Magali visited homes in Belgium and abroad – Amsterdam, Barcelona, New York – and let the inhabitants talk freely about their collection of plants.
Where does your passion for plants come from?
‘We like the caring relationship a plant entails: if you take good care of your plants, they will take care of you. They look good, they provide oxygen… It is a very honest and natural process, which can be instantly gratifying. When we spoke to garden architects Bart Haverkamp and Pieter Croes for our blog, our love of greenery was further enhanced.’
Is it an easy subject: plants?
‘The interviews were always very easy. The people we had contacted where also open to our idea, because it is a theme that is not often discussed. While one person keeps very detailed information about his plant collection, the other barely knows what is growing in his house. But all of them are perfectly capable of describing where they got a plant from and what they like about it. We saw people opening up while they were talking about their plant collection. Many times, the type of plants we found in people’s houses – cacti, big or small, eclectic or Seventies – also told us something about the personality of those people. That was really fascinating.’
How can I create my own greenterior?
‘For us there is only one rule: chose those plants you find beautiful. Don’t let certain demands regarding plant care scare you. Make sure you know exactly what your plant is called when you buy it, so you can look up all the necessary information about needs and care on the Internet. Keep that information in a little notebook or in the vicinity of the plant in question. As you watch your collection grow, you can put together those plants that require the same type of care. That’s quite handy. Make sure you look for plants that match your taste and way of life. In our house, plants that require a lot of water tend to do badly because we are out of the house very often. But that’s okay, there are no households in which every plant grows well.’
All photos by Bart Kiggen