SAN DIEGO · LOS ANGELES · PALM SPRINGS · SAN FRANCISCO  ·  RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL INTERIOR DESIGN

 

© 2023 BY M. SWABB

Palm Reader

July 26, 2017

 

 

 

Like everything in life, interior design is cyclical. Don Draper's office chair? We'll take two. The brass of the 80s? Look who's back! But one of the most important style icons to be in our lives again is the palm! And while we certainly wouldn't turn down any palm tree – real or pattern! - the palm in question is the Banana Leaf. 

 

The most widely known use of this motif is course at the Beverly Hills Hotel. It first debuted in 1942 and guess what? It's still there! Proving the age-old adage that if it's not broke, don't fix it! 

 

 Most notably used on wallpapers, but now finding it's way into draperies, pillows, and accessories, many designers throughout the years have looked to the Banana Leaf to decorate homes and hotels. Everyone from Dorothy Draper to Ralph Lauren to yours truly have had a love affair with this famous plant.

 

 So why has it stayed so popular through time while other patterns have fallen to the wayside?

 

Hollywood Glamour

 

The Banana Leaf makes us think of Elizabeth Taylor sunning herself at the Beverly Hills Hotel or Marilyn Monroe driving down to Palm Springs for an illicit affair with JFK (you didn't hear it from us!). One of the reasons we love to visit the Parker Hotel in Palm Springs is to imagine the luxury those stars lived in.

 

 Breaking Tradition

 

While we had all the glitz and glamor of the 1920s Art Deco period, the playful prints of the 1940s, 50s, 60s, and beyond were the first real opportunity for a new generation of designers to really have fun! At M.Swabb, we take inspiration from so much of design history, particularly Mid-Century Modern, and the palm print is one more way to do that!

 

 

The best thing about the comeback of the palm print is that it's taken on so many different forms to suit so many different styles. You can use it in a fun and poppy Jonathan Adler-esque way for your apartment overlooking the Pacific or tone it down a notch for your apartment overlooking Central Park.

 

 

There's really no wrong way to use the Banana Leaf, and that's why it's here to stay!

 

 

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