Giant green nature in the dressing room.

I’m on an ongoing quest to address a lot of little projects around the house that have gone undone or put off or half-addressed for a while, and taking care of the dressing room was the most recent item on the agenda. The dressing room is actually the smallest of the four bedrooms in the house—it’s only about 6×12′ and it has doors leading to both the hallway and the master bedroom, so it was probably originally intended to be used as a nursery.

Let’s flash back to this post from June 2009, shall we? Specifically these last lines:

I’m still not sure about keeping that little bookshelf in there, but for now, it’s fine. I also need a big plant, I think. Weirdly, the wallpaper has made me hate the orange-y floor color a little less than I did before. Hmmm.

Yup, a mere three years later, I finally moved out the little bookshelf (which was serving zero purpose and never felt quite right), moved in a bench (the screamingly-bright fluorescent orange Offcut Bench from Tom Dixon—there are no words adequate enough to describe how electric this thing is in person), and got that big plant taken care of! I’m not sure why I put these things off for so long. The room looks so much better now! (If you REALLY want to see how much this room has transformed over time, take a look at how it looked six years ago. Yikes!)

So…I’m in love with this new plant. It’s a fiddle-leaf fig tree, and it’s BIG and LUSH. I have a really sad history of killing plants (Remember this guy? Dead in less than a week), but I’m determined to keep this one alive. Apparently fiddle-leaf figs are pretty durable as long as they get a decent amount of sun and a nice, long drink a few times a month, so I actually think I can do this. I need to get a bigger pot, though, since I expect it to get much bigger. I’m also going to have to do some pruning of the lower leaves in order to train it to grow taller—I’d love to see it eventually hit the ceiling and grow into the bedroom.

And now for some fiddle-leaf fig inspiration…

Above photos:
1. Interior design by Mikel Larrinaga, via Nuevo Estilo
2. Home in Houston, Texas, via Memorial Bend Architecture
3. Interior design by Emma Reddington at The Marion House Book
4. Interior design by Anna Burke, via Lonny (March/April 2012)

  1. AnyaJul 29, 20124:42 pm

    I just brought home a huge fiddle leaf fig yesterday, its WAY bigger than I thought it would be and it has about 8 inches to go before it hits the ceiling. The one I bought is a standard (single stem) and I can’t wait till it grows across the room toward the light. Hurray for Ficus Lyrata!


  2. planktonfisherJul 29, 20124:52 pm

    guess, what i´ve just bought a week ago? found the fig for very little money at ikea in germany. love it!


  3. TameraJul 29, 20124:54 pm

    Love it! I want one for the living room but also keep flaking on finding one!!


  4. JulesJul 29, 20124:59 pm

    I bought mine a few months ago. Maybe spring time? It had three stalks, and one quickly died. The other two seem fine. I did a lot of pruning, too. So far, I’ve had good luck filling my vitamix pitcher with water every other week or so. I live in a much drier climate than you do, though. I can’t wait to see how tall yours grows.


  5. Victoria SmithJul 29, 20125:01 pm

    looks lovely. i’ve been wanting one of those fiddle leaf figs – so fun to say, too!


  6. kay*Jul 29, 20126:52 pm

    I love fiddle leaf figs – so sculptural! I actually just tracked one down yesterday and tweeted it – I was that excited…but it’s in rough condition so the nursery is ordering one in for me…should be in later this week…very excited!

    Please keep us updated on how yours grows!


  7. Dan | Manhattan NestJul 29, 20127:26 pm

    It looks great! We have matching fiddles! YAY! I really hope I can keep mine around long enough to grow super tall. I’m deathly worried about killing it.

    BENCH OMG. Can’t wait to see that crazy neon thing in person.


  8. elizaJul 29, 20128:06 pm

    sometimes a few small changes can make a big huge difference! good luck keeping your plant alive! (i’ve never had luck with it)


  9. DoriJul 29, 20129:51 pm

    Gorgeous fiddle-leaf. I say you can’t beat a lush, healthy houseplant (+ stylish pot) as a perfect accessory for any room. I would put houseplants in my car if I could.

    I’m glad you’re blogging again.


  10. Laura CaseyJul 29, 201211:03 pm

    Holy. Crap. I have never heard of this kind of fig before; I am utterly amazed. I can’t wait until I someday live somewhere that has light for plants again!

    I cannot WAIT to visit! I want to take photos of myself with every design element, like people do when they visit historical sites. Ha!



    Anna @ D16 /

    Hah! Maybe I should set up little plaques suggesting areas that are good for posing.

  11. FrancineJul 30, 20129:55 am

    Photo #2 is crazy! Like the plant is taking over that room! Awesome.


  12. Callie GraysonJul 30, 201211:21 am

    I had to laugh, I am horrible with house plants. I kill them right off
    But outside I am much better, I have a wonderful garden. So I can’t understand why I kill them inside


  13. Elisabeth | Aesthetic ShelterJul 30, 201211:24 am

    This is the reason I follow your blog. Every time I see how things have evolved in your house I’m amazed by all the hard work you have put into it. Building a home takes time…yes sometimes it takes 3 years to have a stroke of genius and realize the bookcase is unnecessary. So be it. The result is stunning and so is the fiddle leaf fig. And I’m happy you are back…can’t wait to see what you’ve been working on.


    Anna @ D16 /

    Thank you, Elisabeth, that’s very nice of you to say!

  14. KristyJul 30, 201212:14 pm

    Hi Anna – could you tell me where you got the Dixon bench? I LOVE it, looks amazing.


    Anna @ D16 /

    I bought it at ABC in New York, but there are other retailers!

  15. DianaJul 30, 20121:12 pm

    A fiddle-leaf fig! This looks like a really neat plant, I like how tall and sculptural it is in the photos you posted. I am going to keep an eye out for one – did you get it locally?


    Anna @ D16 /

    Yes! I bought it at Adam’s in Newburgh. It was about $30, which from what I gather is a pretty decent bargain. :)

  16. dean / my little apartmentJul 30, 20125:11 pm

    that’s an amazing bargain! good luck with the fig, I’ve put them in several clients’ homes and everyone has killed theirs. though they were like, 8′ trees, so maybe the smaller guys will be easier? it looks super happy in front of the window!


  17. LatrinaJul 30, 201211:17 pm

    Oh wow, I’ve never heard of this plant before. I love it though! I definitely need some nature in my studio. Something besides the flowers I get from the farmer’s market. I want a plant! I really love the photos you shared too. Such great design. :D


  18. Paige @ LPDJul 31, 20129:02 am

    Such a wonderful plant! I’ve been keeping my eyes open here in cincinnati for one, I may just end up getting our plant guy to order one. They add so much to a space.


  19. Brett AldermanJul 31, 20127:45 pm

    Very nice! Great blog post! I love the bench and the planter that the fig is in now looks great. I’m sure you’ll find an equally fabulous planter in a larger size.


  20. SimoneAug 1, 20123:16 am

    I’m terrible with plants, thats why our only plant is a (really) big container with basil (very practical). I’m better in the garden. Love the cut-off bench!!! Very cool. Did you see the beautiful glass pendant lights by Tom Dixon? (who are we kidding here I love everything he makes) Have a wonderful day!!!


  21. MartinaAug 1, 20127:54 am

    Looks great – really love that Tom Dixon bench too! Just read Daniel’s post on Manhattan Nest…am in bits! You are all such great people…it really is a wonderful story!


  22. LorieAug 1, 201210:13 pm

    Coolest Plant Ever. Want.


  23. meganAug 4, 20121:03 pm

    Absolutely love the design of this room and the plant is a perfect fit.


  24. RachelAug 14, 20123:03 pm

    Which font did you use for the words “fig tree”? Enamored!!!!!


    Anna @ D16 /

    Mrs Eaves italic

  25. paige p @ lpdAug 28, 201211:27 am

    Are you taking any precautions with the puppies? I just brought a fiddle leaf and my friend informed me they are actually toxic to cats and dogs. I’m torn about keeping it now.


    Anna @ D16 /

    Hi Paige, yes, all ficus trees are poisonous to dogs (and humans, too). Fortunately, my dogs have absolutely zero interest in anything plant-related! I’m not at all concerned, but all dogs and their behaviors are different. ;)

  26. BrittanyOct 30, 201210:04 am

    Just found your blog while searching fiddle leaf figs…I’m hoping to by one in the next while. I LOVE the look of them- and it looks great in your home. I am not a plant person, so let’s PRAY I can keep it alive!!! Btw- love your blog and am now a follower! Check out my blog too :)


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