Designers are embracing faux flowers
has written two how-to books on paper flowers and sells her wares at high-end shops such as John Derian in New York and on her website, the Green Vase (www.thegreenvase.com). Her blooms start at $35 each.
“People like the fact that paper flowers stay around for a while,” Cetti says. “My objective isn’t to be as realistic as possible; it’s to find the character and feeling of each flower and interpret that.”
Design bloggers, who are always photographing their own spaces and looking for ways to add color and interest, have hastened the flowering of faux.
“I don’t have the money for fresh flowers in every corner,” says blogger Emily A. Clark. “This gives the look and feel of it. I have five kids to water and feed. I don’t need anything with more maintenance right now.”
Incorporating faux flowers hasn’t stirred her readers. “I hardly have anyone call me out on it,” she says. “Some people are still against it, but I’m over it.”
“People want to have the fresh-flower look in their home,” says Donna Garlough, style director for Joss & Main. “These let them get the look without the expense or the maintenance.”
Garlough says that although single branches and sprigs are still popular, Joss & Main is seeing increased interest in prearranged centerpieces, which can cost from $50 to $150.
“There’s a lot of cool stuff out there, from faux tulips in Mason jars to faux succulents in sculptural organic vessels,” she says. Garlough says arrangements are popular for second homes: “Who wants to arrive at a vacation home and be greeted by dead flowers?”
Designer Erin Paige Pitts of Gibson Island, Md., and Delray Beach, Fla., can relate. “The quality of faux flowers has come a long way,” Pitts says. “The flowers on my dining table in Delray are faux, but no one thinks they are, they look so good. It’s nice to get to my house there and have the feeling of flowers even when I haven’t been there in weeks.”
Although there’s no watering, artificial flowers need care. Garlough says that when you unwrap them, “they need a bit of ‘zhuzhing,’ but so do real flowers.”
So move them around a bit and fluff out the branches if needed. To keep silk or synthetic arrangements dust-free, you can clean gently with a soft, dry cloth or use the small brush attachment of your vacuum. Cetti advises keeping paper flowers out of direct sun and high-humidity areas. A blow-dryer can be used to get the dust off.
Pottery Barn’s botanicals include such faux plants as hydrangeas, tulips, succulents, topiaries and small trees (potterybarn.com).