Books

It’s a jungle in there: Lauren Camilleri and Sophia Kaplan on indoor plant design

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Watching a recent episode of Channel Nine’s The Block, judge Shaynna Blaze was highly critical of one contestant who had used a fake plant in the centre of a table.

Not a hanging offence, but as the authors of their new book The Leaf Supply Guide to Creating Your Indoor Jungle, Lauren Camilleri and Sophia Kaplan explain: “We understand why people use them and they do have their place but the best part about owning a plant is caring and nurturing them and watching them change.

“Plants also have the benefit of cleaning toxins out of the air, so they are not just aesthetically pleasing.”

Indoor Jungle is filled with a vast array of photos from some amazing homes and offices around the world to showcase how best to transform your house or office into a green haven. Indoor Jungle follows from their highly successful first book Leaf Supply, released last year, which was more about how to care for plants.

Indoor Jungle does touch on that topic, but not in detail.

Camilleri is a freelance art director with a background in art direction for magazines where she worked for many years. Kaplan has background in floral design and together the two founded Leaf Supply, an online Sydney-based plant business.

“We work well together because we have totally different skills. I am less neat,” says Kaplan, “whilst Lauren has amazing attention to detail. With the books we are just drawn to what we were better at rather than say you do this and I’ll do that.”

They both believe that Australians don’t have enough plants. “It went out of favour with the older generation but Millennials are a bit plant obsessive. A lot of it comes down to maintenance. Unless you are willing to put the time and effort into caring for your plants – and putting them in the right place – they will die so what’s the use.”

A lot of the photography was undertaken in some of their favourite haunts in Sydney and Melbourne but Camilleri and Kaplan wanted to expand their reach overseas. Through Instagram, they found a host of places to photograph in New York, Amsterdam and London where they employed local photographers “and owners were really keen to be involved”.

“Our first book did well in the US and UK so we thought we should broaden the appeal of our second book to include overseas locations. Hopefully it pays off!”

Indoor Jungle is published by Smith Street Books and is available at all good book sellers for $49.99.

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