In the past, the mere mention of cactus conjured up prickly connotations of a deserted wasteland and dusty, tumbleweed blown westerns. These were not plants grown in the typical backyard and you'd be hard-pressed to find a collection on display in any living room. Some of our mid-century masters were a little quicker to recognize their contributions. Today, these curious creatures of the wild west are finally gaining popularity and use in more modern day living spaces.
At last, it's cool to be a cactus.
Ironically, what were once icons of an arid, no man's land now breathe new life into man-made minimalist settings. Their towering spirals and thorny paddles both command attention and blend seamlessly into the background of these carefully curated rooms.
In our own modern-day interpretation of mid-century living, we refer to cacti as the house plant. For a time we leaned solely on succulents, their easier to digest, water hoarding cousins. But we quickly realized the power of their architectural-like shapes and forms. Cactuses add uncluttered dimension in a way even the handsome, but fickle Fiddle Leaf can not.
Aside from their various shapes and often towering sizes, part of the allure of cacti are their leather-like, thorny skins. It's human nature to be a little intrigued by the threat they impose and displaying them amongst the comforts of home is somewhat unexpected. Just like a daring piece of art hung on the wall, cacti can certainly bring the drama.
Dark green, chartreuse or covered in a wash of gray, razor-sharp hair, their colorful hues add yet another layer of appeal. While I'm particularly fond of a singular emerald column rising from a solid white, textured planter, there are other groupings in our home that incorporate three or more varieties in various form, height and color.