Air Cactus Chessboards Combine Greenery and Decor In the Coolest Way

This trend offers the most creative way to display your plants (and play chess).

<p>Colin13362 / Getty Images</p>

Colin13362 / Getty Images

If you’re on the hunt for that coffee table centerpiece no one else has, the air cactus chessboard trend has you covered. It allows you to show off your plant collection and your sense of interior design style—along with your chess skills.

With the rise in popularity of checkerboard prints, shows like The Queen's Gambit, and that now-viral scene from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone ("Not me, not Hermione, you!") chess has made its way into mainstream pop culture. These chessboards in particular offer a fresh take on the decor trend, featuring air cacti in minimalist pots designed to replicate traditional chess pieces.

Related: The Classic Checkerboard Pattern Is Making a Modern Comeback

Varying in heights, styles, and even type of cacti, the plant pieces aren't just a clever way to display your greenery—they're actually functional. Air cacti don’t mind being handled and are soft to the touch, making for an especially riveting game of chess.

A few plant enthusiasts have gravitated to other options, too: Using miniature cacti in ceramic pots allows even the prickliest succulent to be converted into a usable game piece. Potted cacti also work effortlessly on a chessboard because they don’t need frequent watering or require drainage holes.

If you’re the proud caretaker of multiple cactus varieties, you can easily create your own spin on the board. Sort your pieces based on the kind of cactus, or choose pots of different styles so you can tell which represents which chess piece. (If you’re working with air cacti, you won’t even need to worry about repotting.)

Related: How to Start a Cactus Garden

Air cactus chessboard designs can range from minimalist, contemporary, or any aesthetic in between. Match yours to the overall style of your room of choice, and tie in other checkerboard elements with a rug or posters.

Another bonus: Packages of miniature air cacti usually go for just a few dollars online, with mini pots typically priced around $1 to $5—aka, much more affordable than most regular statement chess sets.

Some social media users have even shown off how to take this trend outside by playing with full-sized plant pots on oversized chessboards. If you’re overrun with mid-size potted succulents, converting them to outside entertainment makes for a memorable party game or fun weekend activity. No matter the size, just don’t forget to give your new chess pieces a soak in the sink every once in a while.

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