If you love the look of fresh flowers in your home but despair at how quickly they wilt, replace the live versions with great fakes. Today’s varieties are much improved from past offerings – the colors look natural, petals are soft, leaves are shaped well – and they last forever. Here’s how to make the most of a fake thing.
1. Go high end.
If you buy cheap flowers and plants, they’ll look it, and everyone will be on to you. “Higher-end faux flowers and plants will have more details that closely represent the real thing,” says interior designer Nicole S. O’Dwyer of NS Designs in northeastern Pennsylvania. What to look for: longer stems that bend, making them easier to arrange, natural colors, matte finishes and multiple blossoms and leaves. The dead giveaway: Every petal, leaf and stem looks perfect. On the other hand, if you wind up with flowers whose stems look artificial but the flowers look real, use a solid vase to hide the stems.
2. Pick wisely.
Fake succulents (cactus, jade) often do a good job as passing for real, as do narcissus plants. For flowers, O’Dwyer recommends ranunculus and dahlias. “Topiaries are also good, especially in the winter because of their holiday charm and ability to blend into any decorating style,” she says.
3. Put plants in places that get sunlight.
Keeping your fake plants in a sunny spot – just as you would with live plants – will add to their realism. It’s like you’re putting them in places where they really could grow.
4. Spiff up walls.
Wall planters are a great place for faux plant and flower arrangements. “The design of wall planters makes it difficult to grow real plants, and adding color and texture on a wall is a great way to enhance any room,” O’Dwyer says.
5. Repot plants but not with dirt.
“Instead of using real dirt, fill the planters with foam or rocks, and cover with artificial Spanish moss,” suggests O’Dwyer, for the most realistic look.
6. Change with the season.
Treat your faux plants and flowers as seasonal décor. Try silk sunflowers and hydrangea arrangements in the summer and autumn months and poinsettias and greenery in the winter.
7. Don’t mix and match.
Unless you need a special arrangement with a certain flower that is out of season, keep artificial arrangements separate from real ones to avoid the faux flowers standing out, O’Dwyer says.
8. Dust them every now and then.
Use a damp cloth or feather duster to keep flowers and plants looking fresh and natural. “A hair dryer on a cool setting also works great,” O’Dwyer says. If your faux arrangement is in the kitchen, you may want to purchase artificial flower cleaner, which will clean and protect it from any food grease.