The big names in interior design agree that olive trees should be allowed to take root inside our homes this year.
Joanna Gaines, a host of HGTV’s popular Fixer Upper program, is a huge advocate of bringing the olive tree inside. If Gaines were to pop-in on you, she’d more than likely turn up with a potted olive tree than a bunch of flowers. According to Gaines, you can add a little farmhouse charm to any room with an indoor olive tree.
American interior designer Nate Berkus has embraced the trend for indoor olive trees for quite a while. Berkus’s partner, Jeremiah Brent (also a designer) idolizes trees as houseplants. The couple’s Los Angeles home is awash with olive trees in old Indonesian pots. Prior to moving to Los Angeles; Berkus’s New York apartment housed an olive tree on an occasional table.
English architect Ian Simpson is another devotee of the indoor olive tree. Simpson welcomed olive trees in his home well before the current trend began. The architect created an indoor garden in his Manchester penthouse apartment and graced it with 30 olive trees imported from Tuscany.
Richard Brunton, art director at NZ House & Garden magazine is enthusiastic about the trend for indoor olive trees. “I really like the sound of it. It has quite a Mediterranean look and could be very interesting in the right space. An olive tree would look wonderful in a home that has a Mediterranean theme or Tuscan decor. They can also be a great option for filling the gaps in a room with limited furnishings,” he said.
Olive trees are also spurting up in chic hotels and trendy restaurants around the world. Guests at The Four Seasons Hotel in Bahrain Bay are welcomed by eight 200-year-old olive trees that adorn the hotel’s lobby. In the UK, Gusto new Nottingham restaurant is decked out with indoor olive trees.
As well as bringing a bit of nature into your home, olive trees create a relaxed, calming environment and may boost your creativity. Aristotle accredited his greatest thinking to being among olive trees. Vincent Van Gogh claimed that he found profound learning in olive trees, which he believed housed a sacred force.
Dwarf varieties of olive trees are best for interiors unless your home is large with tall ceilings. Even dwarf varieties can reach a height of around 6 feet. To thrive indoors an olive tree requires around six hours of sunlight each day. Olive trees flourish best near south-facing windows.
Olive trees add an interesting twist to home decor trends. Potted olive trees make adaptable, low maintenance house plants, but don’t expect a bumper crop of olives; most potted olive trees won’t bear fruit. Olive trees that may produce fruit indoors are the Arbequina, a slow growing “weeping” olive tree, and the Picholine.