August 29 2011
I have always struggled with house plants – the problem isn’t so much the plants themselves, but the pots. Until recently I’ve found it hard to find attractive, contemporary-looking alternatives to those usual suspects – the functional terracotta pot, and the tacky plastic garden-centre vessel. Then I discovered the Outside In pot by Muuto.
These plant pots, designed by Thomas Bernstrand for indoor use, are made from rubber-coated plastic, which gives them a terrifically matt surface; this, along with their muted, natural colours, such as dark green, smudgy purple and pale grey, means that they’re unobtrusive and let the plants do the talking – in my case a nubbly succulent that sits on my living-room sideboard in a purple Muuro pot.
Which is what I like about Muuto in general: this Nordic talent company – which promotes the best of Nordic design – is low-key and muted (the name Muuto, incidentally, comes from the Finnish for “new perspective” and not muted at all, but the inference fits). I’m attracted to their very Northern colour palette (strong dark greys/stormy purple with hints of sunny yellow and cobalt blue, which suit my hankering for the North of England), and their earthy shapes.
Their products also feature clever details, such as the coloured flex of their hanging bulb lamp. Or, as in the case of my plant pot, the fact that the pot has no saucer; instead there’s a lining pot with drainage which sits inside the plant pot, making the finished article neat and discreet.