Singapore homeowners embrace the jungalow trend

Singapore homeowners embrace the jungalow trend
PHOTO: Timothy David

It's official: plant ladies are the new cat ladies. Flick through the decor tags on Pinterest or Instagram and you'll be sure to find homes with one common denominator - plants.

From giant monstera leaves to tiny succulents and draping ferns, it seems that houseplants are the newest obsession for city-dwellers.

Even if you lack a balcony, garden or a green thumb, you can still dress your home with beautiful and thriving greenery.

There is a name for this trend of filling a home with indoor plants: jungalow. A portmanteau of "jungle" and "bungalow", this lush interior decor trend is a great way to breathe life into empty spaces and corners.

Here are four handy tips from local gardening experts to get you started:

"Equip yourself with some basic knowledge such as which plants like to bask in direct sunlight and which ones prefer to stay in the shade," says Evelyn Chow, showroom manager of Tumbleweed Plants.

"If you travel a lot, it is better to get low-maintenance plants that do not require much watering," says Darren Neo, founder of Noah Garden Centre.

Opt for airplants like tillandsia that don't require soil and can maximise space by being hung from the ceiling, says Mr Kevin Chong, founder of Pick A Plant.

"Airplants are cleaner to maintain as there is no need for soil or a potting medium. You don't have to worry about dirty water draining from the soil," he says.

"Plenty of trial and error, learning and curiosity will help to keep your plants alive and lush," says Charles.

Check out how three Singapore homeowners embraced the jungalow trend:

Singapore homeowners embrace the jungalow trend

  • Open gallery

    Creating an urban jungle in her home was part of Livina Rahmayanti's nesting process when she was pregnant with her first child in 2015. The 35-year-old architect had quit her job to become a stay-home mum and started collecting plants. Today, her home is filled with mostly large potted plants. The floor-to-ceiling windows in her apartment allow an abundance of sunlight throughout the day, making it ideal for her home's foliage. I prefer big leafy plants as they are more impactful visually. Without them, the house will look very bare, she says, citing the fiddle leaf fig tree as her favourite as it was her first purchase and is easy to care for.

  • Open gallery

    Livina's three-year-old toddler Matteo Cali helps her out sometimes. "I remind my son not to hurt the plants because they are living things just like us. In fact, he likes to be involved in taking care of them, like helping to water them and removing the dry leaves." She is pleased with her plant collection for now, and is not looking to add any more."I don't encourage people to have many plants in the beginning because it can be quite cluttered. It's a gradual process. But even just having one small pot will make a huge difference in your house," she adds.

  • Open gallery

    Tyco Tat's rented HDB in Tiong Bahru is filled with an estimated one hundred plants of all shapes and sizes. Living in the apartment next to the lift lobby, the 39-year-old user experience designer is used to curious eyes peering through the grill-less windows into his home. "Design is all about blurring boundaries between the inside and outside, and I want to bring some of that greenery into my house," he says. In his free time, he makes ceramics under the label Still Wares and uses some of his creations to house his plants.

  • Open gallery

    He has managed to create a mini greenhouse in his small kitchen, which is completely overtaken by plants, both hanging from the ceiling and sitting in pots on multiple shelves. Thanks to the wide windows which overlook an empty grass patch, the space is drenched in natural sunlight. The bachelor says he does not cook at all. "Actually, I don't think of myself as a particularly nurturing type of person it's not like I sacrifice my social life for my plants," he says. It is about finding the right plants that work with his hectic work schedule, he explains. "Plants that flower are quite needy and require a lot of care so I stay away from them. I tend to go for plants that can go a few days without watering, he says. As long as these plants stay happy and don't take up too much of my time, I think it's a good relationship."

  • Open gallery

    Stepping into Herman Yap's three-room Housing Board flat is like being transported to a home in Japan. The cool earth tones of his furniture, peppered with dashes of bright green leafy plants and hanging planters, are calming to the senses. It is a conscious decision by the 43-year-old, who travels to Japan at least once a year to visit friends and browse furniture shops. Japanese homes typically have a very natural vibe, so I try to incorporate both dry and live plants in my space, says the visual merchandising teacher. "I can't go on holiday all the time, so when I'm here, I want to feel like I'm in Japan."

  • Open gallery

    Almost 30 per cent of his home decor is done by him, including the hand-drawn monstera leaf motifs in his bathroom and kitchen planter dividers made from photo frames. Herman has a soft spot for unique-looking plants, often buying them first before reading up on how to care for them. "Some people are afraid to have plants in their house, but I think it makes the place cosy. I love nature, so I need to be surrounded by plants," he says.

This article was first published in The Singapore Women's Weekly

Purchase this article for republication.
Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.