Confession: I’ve been a fake flower/plant snob. Years ago, I used to decorate with them but stopped when I felt using real plants was much better. To me, they were better because they have their own scent, help clean the air, and definitely look better than the fake ones. No judgement on anyone using the artificial versions; I just felt having something as natural as possible was the best.
But today, I’m declaring that there is nothing wrong with using artificial flowers & greenery!
How I came to this conclusion is twofold. One of my creative resolutions for 2013 was to challenge myself with decor I wasn’t accustomed to or attracted to, so using fake flowers & plants is a great way to achieve this.
The other aspect is that I’ve yearned to add more plants to my home. I envy people who have a jungle of plants in their home. I’d so be one of those people if my home received enough natural light. Because my home faces east, I have to limit my houseplant collection to those that require low light, such as pothos, philodendron, and snake tongue. Using artificial houseplants is a great method of adapting to the low-light issue & still allows me to enjoy a bevy of greenery.
Here are my tried & tested tips for faking it:
1. Do your homework. Save images of the real thing on your phone and take them with you when you go shopping. Compare the leaves, petals, stems, etc. I’ve found a lot of flowers & plants look great on the top but when you inspect the stems, they have that very obvious plastic appearance or those annoying plastic sleeves.
2. Consider the materials. Not all artificial flowers are made from silk (or a similar fabric). Some of the most realistic ones I’ve seen have petals made with foam. Not only do they look real, but they also feel real.
Fake cacti and succulents are a wonderful option because the real version of these plants have a plastic-like aesthetic. (Scroll down to check out my succulent arrangements.)
This “FEJKA” plant from IKEA is also fairly deceptive. This bad boy was only $10! I believe this is to be an Arrowhead plant. I used this in my bedroom to help establish the beachy vibe:
I like the little touches of realness at the base of the stems and even the “dirt” in the pot:
3. Buy or make arrangements that look natural. Don’t just throw some stems in a vase & call it a day. For example, you wouldn’t want to place a rose stem in a vase filled with river rocks.
I made these fake succulent arrangements using sand & rock as fillers. These fillers help trick the eye into thinking they’re real because they’re items used in growing live cacti.
These were simple to make: pour sand into your vase, insert the stem of the plant, and add a layer of rocks while holding the stem with your other hand. The combination of the sand and rocks keep the stem firmly planted, so you don’t need to use styrofoam.
4. Use actual pots and planters. Years ago, I used coir hanging baskets for fake ferns. Guests would constantly comment on my lovely plants, to which I’d reply with the truth and a mad giggle.
5. Create arrangements with faux water. We’ve all seen those simple, modern arrangements with one stem in a glass vase with fake water and you can actually buy the “water” to make your own. (This stuff is on my to-do list.)
6. Alternate your arrangements & place them in different areas of the room. If you’re concerned about guests in your home (and maybe even your family!) noticing the same vase of flowers week after week, rotate them.
You can also go one step further & make sure the arrangements are relevant to your locale and current season. A great example of this would be a pot of tulips since they’re only seasonal in the early spring.
7. Clean your fake arrangements regularly. Nothing will reveal your secret faster than a layer of dust on those lovely orchid petals!