Walking around my home you would think that I have a huge weekly delivery from my local florist. I love a splash of greenery and at least one vase of flowers in every room, but constantly replenishing an entire house with fresh flowers can be a costly and time-consuming business.
Instead I mix real flowers with gorgeous artificial ones. There was a time when ‘fake’ flowers looked just that – fake. But my, how times have changed. ‘Faux’ flowers, as they have come to be known are now so incredibly well made that it’s often almost impossible to spot the difference between them and the real thing unless you are studying the petals up close.
Faux flowers and plants are somewhat of an obsession of mine. I’ve spent a long time researching and tracking down the most realistic versions. Here are some of my top tips on how to use faux flowers and where to source the very best ones.
What works as faux?
My favourite ‘faux’ is the orchid. Of all the artificial flowers and plants you can get, it is one of the most realistic. Beautiful silk petals would fool even the most discerning eye. I also think roses and hydrangeas work particularly well and provide a splash of colour.
Large stems of faux eucalyptus look great on their own in a ceramic pot or sometimes few stems in with real flowers to pad out a vase.
These are my top choices but the selection available is so vast now that whatever your favourite flower is, you’ll easily be able find a faux version.
How to best display faux flowers
The trick to using faux flowers most effectively is not to put them in places were you can see the leaves and petals up close. An orchid up on a windowsill or a little posy of roses on a high shelf or mantelpiece works perfectly. The hint of greenery is there but it’s not possible to see that it’s not fresh from the florist. Never use faux flowers as a centrepiece on your table at a dinner party for example. They will look obviously fake to your guests. If you can see it closely, then only real will do.
Another tip is to place faux stems in a vase that disguise the fact that there is no water in it. So no completely clear glass – often the stems can be a real give away and look a little ‘plasticy’. Opt for glass that is opaque or has detail on it or try a ceramic vase.
Where to buy
I recently discovered a fantastic supplier of faux flowers. Funky Bunch is wonderful company based in Surrey who source the very best faux flowers from all over the world. It’s run by Fiona Lowe and Mary Jane Palmer, trained florists who met and studied at Merrist Wood Horticultural College and taken courses with prominent London Florists, Jane Packer and Simon Lycett. They have been in partnership for 10 years.
They noticed the huge increases in demand for quality faux blooms and now have an extensive website selling gorgeous stems, bouquets and plants – some of the best I have ever seen. Their roses, hydrangeas and orchids are all over my home.
Everything can be bought online but if you would like to browse the collection then you can make an appointment at their Leatherhead showroom and let the pair create the prefect faux floral scheme for your home.
Don’t completely forgo the real thing
Much as love my faux blooms I still buy a couple of bunches of real roses and tulips every week. Of course nothing beats the real thing and I put them in the most visible areas such my kitchen, hallway and living room. I could not be with out flowers all over my home and combining real with faux is the perfect way to do it.
All flowers and plants featured are available from Funky Bunch.