Part nursery, part homewares store and workshop space in Manly, The Plant Room founder Emma McPherson has created a haven of natural pieces for the home. Showcasing beautiful handmade and vintage furniture, art and plants, she seeks to build community through her love for sustainable living, carefully curated items and in-store events.
When did you begin The Plant Room, and what inspired you to create the business?
I believe our homes are a reflection of our hearts; they are the housing of our souls and a powerful and important spiritual space. For me, the handmade also holds this spirit and the spirit of creation. When we fill our homes with pieces that are made from the hands of someone doing what they love, that energy then permeates throughout our space and our lives, and the same goes with plants. We are inseparable from nature, it is a part of our every breath, and for me belongs in the spaces that hold us and connect us to the earth.
While working as a designer I realised that there were very few options to purchase beautiful handmade pieces and plants around the northern beaches. I also realised that plants were not really present in people’s homes. So the idea began to rise out of my mediation in 2015 and we opened in August 2016.
How do you hope your greenery can inform the spaces you service?
I think the Assembly Label stores are a perfect example of how our greenery informs a space. Greenery brings life, it attracts people and creates a healthy and clean environment. It adds colour, interest and detoxifies air. It’s our connection to nature and our existence.
What is your personal favourite plant for indoors and why?
I find this question really difficult because I don’t have a favourite. Different plants work in different environments and conditions and there is always the perfect plant to fit within a space. I love them all.
Tell us about some of the homewares and brands you stock.
We have so many beautiful brands and makers. We work very closely with JD.Lee Furniture, and absolutely love his work. It’s refined, clean and classic, and a reflection of his beautiful soul. One of our new favourite ceramicists is Mel Lumb, her work is really powerful and has a beautiful mid-century feel. Nic Ceramics is a local favourite. We love her heart, her shapes and texture and can’t go past her Californian desert feel. We also have some beautiful makers from the US - A Question of Eagles, Easy to Breathe, and Little Bear bring a unique and distinct American feel to the space.
What elements are important to you when selecting the items you want to carry?
I choose everything in the store by feeling, it has to grab me by the heart and make my heart sing. Obviously, everything is handmade or has a handmade element. The most important part of the pieces is the energy that they hold. We don’t usually purchase from line sheets as we like all of our makers to be making from the heart and be creating what they love. It’s this energy that permeates the store and makes everyone want to move indoors.
What does ritual mean to you?
Ritual is everything, it’s those moments in life where I get to connect in with myself, nature, the earth and the natural rhythms. It’s when I get to be present with the moment and connect with a higher plane of consciousness. For me, life without ritual is like life without plants.
Tell us about the Palo Santo essence and why you choose to burn this in the space.
Palo Santo or “holy wood’ is a sustainable timber from South America. It was burned by shamans and indigenous people of the Andes in ceremony, for purification, energy cleansing and healing. It helps to raise your vibration and deepen your connection to the earth, and source energy. Before we open our doors we burn Palo Santo as part of our daily ritual within the store as it cleanses the energy in the space, connects us and helps us to align with our intention for the day.
Manly is very close to our hearts, can you tell us why you chose to set up shop here and what you love about the neighbourhood?
Manly is my home, it’s my community, it’s filled with creative people who live consciously and in their hearts. I love that we get to live between the beach and the bush; I’m a lover of both and they both feed me in different ways. I feel cleansed by the water and at home with Mother Nature and so in Manly I get to live in my centre.
The Plant Room is located at 57 Pittwater Road, Manly.
Photography by Sam Riles