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How to Style Palm Leaves Like a Top Designer

Pampas grass has been the go-to for homegrown designers, tastemakers, and Instagram celebrities alike looking to jazz up a space—and while it’s low-maintenance and neutral hue makes any room look great, there’s another alternative that’s taken over our feeds: palm leaves.

Designer Allison Crawford, the founder of Hotelette and Allison Crawford Design, has already been a fan of this greener, cooler sister to pampas grass for years and regularly uses it in her properties and client’s projects. 

“Palm leaves are inexpensive and go with any décor,” Crawford says, and we'd have to agree. 

Eclectic space with white marble table, black chair and palm frond in gold vase.

Alyssa Rosenheck

The leaves are an easy addition to your photoshoots, liven up a corner of your room, and add a touch of vibrancy. “I can’t have fresh flowers out at Hotelette because they would have to be changed out all the time,” Crawford explains. Thus, dried palm leaves, or even fresh ones—which are low-maintenance and last for a few weeks—are the perfect option. 

While Crawford is lucky to have a palm tree in her backyard, if you don’t have access to one or don’t want to buy one at your local nursery, dried leaves are an equally sophisticated finishing touch. 

Want to try a little something different? Crawford regularly buys dried painted palm leaves off of Etsy. “Afloralcom has ones that come in packs of five. They come in natural colors and also a dusty desert pink,” she says.

The designer, who is currently transforming her Austin property into a pink paradise with a Parisian nod, has enjoyed adding plenty of the palms into the space during quarantine. She goes local when she can to purchase these fronds and vases, supporting artisans like Austin potter Keith Kreeger, Genna Williams and Logan Wannamaker, who works out of Arroyo Seco, New Mexico. 

Cozy white bed with breakfast tray and palm frond.

Nicole Mlakar

When displaying palm leaves, Crawford suggests going for odd numbers. Only one palm leaf is needed per vase—unlike pampas—and they look best in tall narrow vases in any room, even outdoors.

Palm leaves can even be mixed with other low-maintenance greenery for a varied vibe.

Whether you choose a painted palm, dried leaves or to cut some fresh fronds, you can’t go wrong using palm leaves as décor.