Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Taking a Stand

Here in Atlanta, we finally got a taste of fall a few days ago.  With nightly temperatures hovering in the 30s, it was time for my pretty potted geraniums to come indoors.  Unfortunately for them, though, they went from a comfortable balcony to the floor of the kitchen, the only spot that I could find for them where they would get sun.  And because I do find geraniums to be a genteel plant, they really have no business being unceremoniously dumped on the floor.

I could always find a narrow table like the one in the illustration above, one on which I could park a few plants, but the problem is that such a table takes up space, something in short supply around my home.  What I want, and think that I need, too,  is a good old-fashioned plant stand, one dignified enough for geraniums, not to mention my living room as well.  Of course, what I covet is a stand much like that owned by the late John Fowler, seen immediately below this text.  That has to be the all-time best looking plant stand that I've ever seen. 

While looking for other photos of plant stands, I realized that the best examples I could find were featured in books on English and Irish design.  Not surprising, really, as a pretty stand holding a flowering plant seems made for both quaint country cottages and grand country houses alike.

For all of you who are being affected by Hurricane Sandy, please stay safe and be well!

John Fowler's stand in the hall at his Hunting Lodge.

A plant stand in Lady Gunston's drawing room in Pelham Crescent, decorated by John Fowler.

A wire plant stand on a table in Fowler's home-showroom at 292 King's Road.

A modern scheme includes a column supporting a potted urn, decorated by David Mlinaric.

A stand with what looks like a terrarium on top, in an 18th century lodge decorated again by Mlinaric.

The charming and much-photographed living room of the late Mark Hampton. The curvy plant stand in the window held a pot of pretty paperwhites.

A fountain converted into a plant stand, at Killadoon, County Kildare

And a Victorian looking stand at Birr Castle, County Offaly.

Image #1 and #7 from Colefax and Fowler: The Best in Interior Decoration by Chester Jones. #2 from Nancy Lancaster: English Country House Style by Martin Wood; #3 and #4 from John Fowler: Prince of Decorators, also by Wood; #5 and #6 from Mlinaric on Decorating; #8 and #9 from The Irish Country House.


  1. I'm all about that Mlinaric image! It is truly not so easy to find places for outdoor plants once fall sets in!!!

  2. Great post! That first illustration is so familiar -- is that another John Fowler house? Or the home of a senior partner at Colefax & Fowler?

  3. I've been wanting a console table for behind my sofa for my living room to cover in plants under my window. Why is something so simple so hard to find?!

  4. Beauty! Southern ladies like my own mother have always had tons of indoor plants and flowers. Thanks for this post!

  5. Living in S. CA(so blessed) plants stay out all year round + Adore the Mlinaric photo. To those affected by Sandy,prayers to you all. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

  6. The ideal plant stand can be elusive, I agree.
    A few years ago, the Fulham Road Colefax shop displayed a copy of the narrow
    plant table used by John Fowler. It was just under 12 inches deep, with a top that
    had a near oval shape, stippled off white and picked out in moss green, modestly

  7. clinton smith7:28 PM

    great post. -cs

  8. I love plant stands and plants indoors. Thanks for sharing.
    All the best,

  9. All so familiar and loved to the extent that my sister at Pigotts Store had that old John Fowler table In the first pic.of the watercolours re produced (as we have no C&F in Aust) I bought one and still love it - great behind a sofa and fab covered in scented geraniums
    So love Mark Hamptons drawing room too, in fact all the photographs are fab.

  10. Josef Frank designed a great plant stand in the 1930s: http://www.svenskttenn.se/en-us/product/0125/furniture/ma10261/plant-stand-942.aspx