The Eye-Catching Plant Joanna Gaines Uses To Add Charm To Any Space

Joanna Gaines is often a driving force in contemporary interiors, with the HGTV "Fixer Upper" star and the Magnolia network empire setting the pace for the modern farmhouse aesthetic. While certain elements like floral patterns and neutral textures appear again and again in Gaines' popular interiors, one very specific natural element has often been spotted as a key addition to many of the designer's spaces — the fiddle-leaf fig!

Native to West Africa, fiddle-leafs (Ficus lyrata) are known for their towering presence decked out in large dark violin-shaped leaves with a wax-like texture. Gaines' love of the fiddle-leafs is much discussed on the web, particularly with Magnolia's launch of their own line of plants selected from Gaines' favorites. The fiddle-leaf fig tree is, of course, front and center along with other favorites like monstera and olive trees. Gaines' interiors often can be found with lush greenery rounding out the spaces, a trick you can put to use in your home as well.

The allure of the fiddle-leaf fig

How did the fiddle-leaf gain such a prominent place in Gaine's heart and designs? Discussing a "Fixer Upper" episode on the Magnolia blog, the designer writes, "You will find a fiddle leaf fig in most of the living spaces I design because I just love them so much. It fills in blank corners that are often tricky to decorate and adds some height and natural texture to the room." This texture is a nice accompaniment to many of the other textures in Gaines' rooms, which include ample natural woven baskets, luxurious textiles, and rustic woods. 

While fiddleheads come in different sizes, with a tree and a smaller plant variety available, the presence and drama of the larger version cannot be ignored, often becoming a focal point in any room it occupies. The effect is elegant and sophisticated. The trees, which average around 6 feet tall when fully grown, can do a great job filling in large and high-ceilinged rooms, particularly when grouped with other plants and trees.

How to get the look

Like many house plants, fig trees are known for their oxygen generation and air filtration properties. While they do require adequate indirect lighting and correct moisture to thrive, fiddle-leafs are also easy to care for compared to other similarly-sized household plants. They require little pruning and are easy to clean by dusting due to the limited number of large and readily-accessible leaves. They also grow quite fast to full size.

Use this towering plant as a way to fill in corners or other empty spots near windows, bookshelves, or entertainment consoles. They also make a perfect bit of greenery in an entryway to greet guests. Fiddle-leafs are loved among feng shui practitioners for their rounded large leaves and symbolization of abundance and good luck, making them excellent for home offices and workspaces. For a blank and uninspiring corner, add a fiddle leaf in a richly woven basket for a touch of both nature and texture.