Craig Milran's Haven Of Greens
HOME IS AN OASIS
Words by Barbara Kang
Craig Miller-Randle, better known as Craig Milran on Instagram, celebrates nature by creating interior green paradises. He is the founder and creative director of the contemporary furniture company, MRD Home, but is most known for his obsession with plants. Through his homes in Melbourne and Bali, Craig shows us how adding and cultivating plants have transformed his spaces into personal sanctuaries.
Craig’s dreamy plant-havens start a revitalizing dialogue, one of embracing nature between interior spaces and natural elements. Craig recounts the inspiration behind the designs. “Mostly it was a focus on space and light. I wanted to feel a sense of awe when I walked in—the kind you feel when looking at a waterfall or a beautiful landscape,” he says. “It’s built over four levels inside a converted warehouse with each level visible through open space or clear glass. The result is a space that mimics the rainforest. While the space has a lot of natural light, there is the promise of a bright, sun-drenched ‘canopy’ with each level climbed.”
Photograph by Craig Milran | Richmond Residence
Houseplants grow and thrive in their immediate surroundings with sunlight, air, water, and temperature. They evoke the imagery of a jungle, also adding an architectural element due to the dramatic, vertical height of the leaves or the expansive, bold fronds that make the areas look “full.” By juxtaposing a variety of verdant beauties to his furniture composed of materials such as wood, bamboo, wicker, rattan, creamy linen, ceramic, and black metal frameworks, Craig harmonizes texture and color. He utilizes foliage as accents against darker greens but also neutrals of hard surfaces. The outcome is an aura of serenity.
Photograph by Craig Milran | String of Pearls
While highlighting the airy space and the natural light, Craig blends wild plants with modern forms in order to create a sense of tamed nature. The cultural influences acquired during his adventures in Bali are evident. His indoor gardens are composed of exotic species and seasonal green varieties. The plants range from rarer species such as the Madagascan succulent and Pachypodium Geayi to more common plant varieties that include Swiss Cheese plant or climber plants. “I get a very strong sense of a connection to the natural world by incorporating plants into my spaces. Most importantly, the plants themselves require ritual practices of tending that act as a meditative tonic to everyday life,” Craig says.
As he points out, mindful gardening is the art of subtle and constant practice. Through Instagram, Craig offers style advice as well as gardening tips. His recent tutorial showcases his custom-made formula of “totems” to aid certain plant species’ leaves to fasten onto and grow properly. These totems are a combination of plastic-coated garden mesh, metal stakes, wire ties, and moist moss for the new roots and older stems to latch onto.
Photograph by Craig Milran | Bali Residence
Setting aside time to tend plants, the owner can increase productivity and mindfulness. When nurturing plants has a responsive effect, the physical manifestation of growth is extremely gratifying. “The fact is, plants can be incredibly beautiful and aesthetically rewarding. I have always seen plants as important as art in the home,” Craig says. Notable architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, has considered plants and forests as high art, since his iconic homes often copied organic forms. Similarly, Craig relies on incorporating plant life into his structural properties in order to bring the viewers closer to nature.
Photograph by Craig Milran | Bedroom
In both practical and visual aspects, the influence of indoor plants on an individual is invaluable. Craig has a penchant for integrating plants within interior spaces to transform his environments into lush, green sanctuaries. To curate visually-appealing havens of tranquility, consider introducing the presence of greenery. Craig advises new plant owners, “Choose plants that are not too demanding. The point is to bring enjoyment and pleasure into your world, not to create tension or anxiety. That means concentrating on affordable specimens that will reward you with healthy and vital growth.
Photograph by Craig Milran | Monstera Variegata
Photograph by Craig Milran | Bali Residence
“When you feel confident with the basics of plant care then you can look at investing in rarer more difficult species. On the design side, I always recommend choosing the planters that compliment your design aesthetic first and then find plants to suit them. This tends to result in a more seamless design outcome,” he ends.
Follow @craigmilran on Instagram for updates on his interior and botanical adventures.