PlantTherapy: Mr. Jones Reveals His Secrets of the Trade

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Darrell T. Lewis is the man responsible for styling the Room and Board showroom – a challenging task that requires constant care. He agree to tell us a little bit about his work:

The day-to-day care and maintenance of a retail showroom is a challenge in and of it’s self. Combine that with the addition of living organisms and you can have quite a workweek. Remember plants, especially cut flowers and leaves, need lots of fresh water rotation and regular feeding.

There is also a significant amount of prep work and staging involved in achieving an effortless look to a show room. For that reason plus the cost involved we tend to have periods where we may not feature any cut flowers and focus on longer lasting cut greens.

On plant choice:

Darrell chooses plants for a room with a consideration for the target customer and lifestyle that room reflects. So you would see wheat grass in a contemporary setting with our Andrea sofa while a bromeliad would be positioned with the York sofa in a more classic room. Room and Board has no hard rules but we attempt to keep our arrangements simple straightforward and varied like our furniture.’

Success in the Showroom:

We have been very successful with any number of succulents and cut palm leaves. Coco palms, Steel Grass, Philodendron, Scindapsus Neon, and any of the hardy orchid varieties such as Oncidium and Phalaenopsis are always present and require minimal care. We have recently had in our showroom (as seen in the AT slideshow) Steel Grass, Bromeliad, Oncidium Orchid, Coco Palm, Philodendron leaves, Paddle plant, Kentia Fosteriana Tree and Ficus Pandurata Tree.

Generally, any plant that does not have a low light tolerance such as Ficus Pandufata and certain cacti can be a challenge.

Where you shop:

I rely mainly on a variety of vendors located in New York’s floral district located on 28th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. One such shop, Caribbean Cuts (, is where the Coconut was bought (they have them in three sizes).