Four years ago if I had walked into someone’s home and seen a vase of fake flowers my eyes would have widened and I would have directed an exaggerated ‘lets get out of here, these people are cray-cray’ expression at my husband who would have had no idea what that side-eye was about and carried on socialising happily whilst I experienced some sort of inner aesthetic battle.
Look, I’m not saying my design choices are perfect either. I doubt the average person would choose to hang a utensil rail with the potential for an unsightly display of pots and pans the length of their kitchen or paint every room an ever so slightly different shade of grey but for years fake flowers in the design industry have been placed somewhere alongside dusty pot-pouri and twin-sets – the latter of which has also made a come-back… so what’s changed?
Why are fake flowers – now cleverly re-branded ‘faux flowers’ soooo trendy it hurts? The simple answer is because designs have evolved so much that the fake are practically indistinguishable from the real thing. Brands are creating glorious replicas using subtle colours and sophisticated plastics (polymers) and latex unheard of in the fake flower industry till recently.
Additionally an ‘Artificial Flowers and Plants’ drop down menu has become a staple of any good online home brand and beloved department stores like John Lewis currently stock over 75 different lines in faux – not to mention Sainsbury’s collaboration with celebrity florist Jane Packer.
A strong contender for changing perceptions about artificial flowers was Heals partnering with style guru Abigail Ahern in 2015 to launch the very first Faux Flower Shop in London within their Tottenham Court Road Store.
Abigail actually started out using faux blooms as a prop in her Islington interiors store which eventually grew into a thriving global business – the blooms above are completely fake – can you believe it?!! They are from her SS17 Faux Flower Collection – and the image below is of her Heals store filled with artificial Cacti – another hugely unapologetically and brilliant trend (but that’s another story). Read on for some game-changing artificial floral designs…
Can we just take a minute and gaze at these achingly beautiful cerise pink Ranunculi? Each realistic stem includes two buds – one large one small. They are like a watercolour work of art. £6.95 a stem from Rose and Grey
The Artificial Florist creates sublime ready-made bridal bouquets. This sweet summery ‘Helen’ bouquet is £65 and made with pale pink and ivory peonies, pale pink and pale blue cornflowers, eucalyptus and lavender. You really have to know what you are doing to make this colour combination work – especially with tricksy faux florals.
This elegant faux Potted Magnolia Tree is pure elegance… I’d be on tenterhooks waiting for one one of the perfect blooms to drop as someone brushes by but hooray they never will! With beautifully realistic, bright white flowers and posable wire branches the tree comes in a concrete effect pot with moss covered soil. £260 Cox and Cox.
These sculptural Protea stems are so painstakingly recreated they look like they have been hand-painted to get the incredible aged effect on the edge of the leaves. £16.50 per stem at Lime Tree London
This bunch of Helliboris from OKA walks the line between deliberately faux and realistic – i love the vintage colours of the bouquet, papery texture of the flowers and downy surfaces of the leaves. Total bargain at £55.
New English Arrangement £4-£20, John Lewis / Citrus Meadow Flower and Daisy Wreath £39, Ella James / Pink Floral Window Box £24, Next Home / Delphinium & Rose in Marble Urn £45, M&S
Author: Rohini Wahi
Rohini is a London based freelance journalist and trend forecaster for the design industries. She has worked for Elle Decoration, Living Etc, Houzz and Design Sponge amongst others.
She loves a period drama and keeps a tidy home. Launched in 2007 The Beat That My Heart Skipped focuses on home inspirations, design trends, lifestyle and food – coupled with an insight into Rohini’s work and home life – from key picks at trade shows to styled weekend soirees. To contact Rohini for queries, work for hire or just to say hi drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org