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Fe Fi Faux: Decorating with Artificial Plants

By Tales of an Interior Stylist on Feb 18, 2013

Faux, fake, or silk plants and florals are great to use in your home decorating so long as you use them sparingly and display them as if they were the real thing. Fortunately for us, there are some beauties out there for us to choose from. Here are some 'rules' to keep in mind when buying or styling your spaces with faux floral.

1. Be in tune with current styles. Page through shelter magazines, websites, blogs and other sources to get the scoop on the latest trends and styles. If you've got ivy perched on top of your china cabinet, armoire, or entertainment unit, please remove it! Using ivy to adorn the tops of things went out with the dress-up goose. Instead, re-house the ivy in a rustic glazed urn or colorful pot and add it to an appropriate counter or table as a welcome accent.

An Ivy Issue... (from

Ivy housed in a glazed pot

2. Choose one that looks real. From color palette to texture to scale, when shopping, make sure to choose a product as close to nature as you can get. If shopping for a large tree or floor plant, ask yourself how this species would look in nature.

Silk fern terrarium by NDI

Fern Terrarium by NDI

Trees should look as if in nature

3. Make sure it could grow. I've seen ficus trees in the oddest places, mostly in some dark corner of a windowless room. Common sense says plants need light to grow, so place yours near a window where it can pretend to grow.

Place faux trees near a window to mimic a real one


Trees can't grow in sunless corners!

4. Faux flowers. Floral arrangements should look as if a professional florist put them together for an occasion, or as if you're making an artistic statement. A mega-sized rose in an urn arrangement on your dining room table says, "My daughter just got married," or, "I wish I was living at Downton Abbey." Stay true to the bones of your home and to what would be appropriate (and affordable) if real.


Look for silk floral arrangement that could actually be real.

5. Display florals that are in 'season.' Tulips, daffodils, forsythia and forced branches are perfect now. Sunflowers? Not so much. Try rotating out or refreshing your florals as the seasons change.

6. Consider the purpose of the room.

A four-foot vase filled with sticks is not great on the TV room's cocktail table, and a tree in place of the refrigerator in a vacant, staged home can't fool anyone. Likewise, ivy lining a powder room shelf is only a dust collector. Instead, use this curly willow arrangement on your entry table, adding just a simple square vase with fresh eucalyptus from your local grocery store.


Curly Willow from Vickerman

7. Use a light touch. Acres of fake plants adorning your home is too much. The best rule of thumb is the rule of three: Try using one large, one medium, and one small plant in a large room. Too much of anything looks like your hoarding.

A trio of florals adorns this room (Photo: House Beautiful)

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