Paging through the current decor magazines, like House Beautiful UK, what jumps off the page in addition to the glorious interiors featured is the number of counter-top fruit bowls. It seems as if cut flowers and elegant bouquets have made way for displays of fruit. Apples and pears seem to feature even more frequently than lemons and other fruits.
While, according to Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing, apples and pears should be stored in the fridge and not in an open fruit bowl for the best eating quality, the relatively low unit costs makes it possible to have fruit in the fridge to eat and on the table-top to display. “Some pears require ripening at room temperature for a few days,” says Tru-Cape’s Quality Manager, Henk Griessel, adding “apples and pears will last longer and eat better when stored in the fridge. The smell of a ripe apple is wonderful. As an apple ripens, it gives off aromatic scents that fill the air. These are designed to attract bears and other fruit eaters to disperse the seeds and enlarge the footprint of the specie but, for our purposes at home, it also makes the room smell delicious. And, the appeal of reaching for a healthy snack rather than rooting around the cupboard for chips etc, is also important.”
Internationally renowned South African furniture designer, Haldane Martin, says there’s a definite shift towards authenticity and sustainability in design and in living. “We’re seeing plants and fruit taking centre stage in interiors, clothing, art and décor styling. We see it as a growing appreciation of the simple things and nature’s goodness. Using a bowl full of inviting fruit or simply seasonal vegetation scattered organically (like we did in our recent photoshoot) emphasises a welcoming feeling of homeliness and communion. It’s also a more eco-conscious way of living as the family consumes the fruit rather than disposes of dead flower arrangements,” he says.
Jean-Pierre de la Chaumette, stylist, interior decorator and publisher of www.lifestyling.co.za says: “I am such a fan of a fruit-scape! Growing up my mother made sure there was always a bounteous fruit bowl on the kitchen table. I guess it’s this concept of nature’s bounty in the heart of your home that is quite appealing. For me, fruit bowls add just as much colour and texture as an arrangement of freshly cut flowers. So, I take the same approach to a fruit bowl display as I do to flower arranging: allow your creativity to shine! For the container itself I prefer simple shapes and materials to allow the contents to be the hero. And of course, the bonus with a fruit bowl is you can delight in the eating of the arrangement!”
SA Décor and Design publisher and editor, Marcia Margolius, says fruit bowls are so on trend. “Nothing like a fruit bowl filled with delicious fruit to fill a room with warmth and colour and not only in the kitchen but in the living room too. I love the perfect coffee table-scape and fruit on a dining table too. Create variety in your selection for that extra beauty and select based on shape and colour. I love the golden yellow curve of bananas and don’t forget about avos. Pears will create an organic contrast to any display. Of course apples are an essential part of any fruit bowl and citrus also adds a lovely room essence to the décor. I love a white bowl or tray or tall glass vase filled with apples which brings sophistication to any display area. Remember no plastic fruit – we are not back in the 70’s.”