You big faker!

I have an instant dislike of all things fake – fake people, fake tans, fake boobs. And while I agree that most things sound better in the beautiful French language, I’ll continue the list with faux finishes, faux leather and yes, even the “fauxmance”.

I will choose, 99.9% of the time, real plants over fake ones. Plants add life to a space both literally (they add oxygen to the air and act as a natural air purifier) and figuratively in the context of staging and design. But I will acknowledge that once in a while, a real plant just won’t work in a space that is practically screaming for some life.

So, for today, let’s consider the fake plant.

If you must explore this direction, look carefully and be creative before buying. There are lots of options that don’t make me shudder – natural wood sticks, palm leaves, life-like flowers, and even plastic grasses can add life to a room and work well within a design. But beware: there are many, many more options that look truly terrible (where you’d be better off having nothing at all)…and you’ll have to search for the right solution.

Like real plants, there are a number of things to consider to help ensure you make a good decision. Here are a few tips:

1. location – where will it be located? At eye level? On the floor? Consider how far from eye level this plant will be in your space. Be sure you look at it that closely with a discerning eye…and if you think it looks too fake, or if you can’t decide, then it is probably not a good choice.

2. lighting – what will the lighting be like in this location? Bright lights will only highlight the plastic or unreal look of it. Darker and dimmer areas are much more forgiving. Remember: adding beautiful little white lights to a fake plant is ALWAYS a bad idea.

3. potting – most fake plant options seem to come in horrible looking pots (why is this??). If you see an option where you like the plant part, but don’t like the pot, make sure you can take it apart when you get home. If not, give it a pass. There are lots of fake plant options that come without containers. I like these better because you can make them look much appropriate for your space. Plan to put your faker in a nice pot or container. One that fits your existing décor. Be creative, but keep it simple.

4. rocks and soil – I recommend “planting” your fake plant in something more natural to balance it out and increase the style quotient. Choose natural colored sand (white, tan, light grey-ish), rocks or real soil.

5. dusting – just as your real plants should never be dusty, neither should your fake plants! Take a minute to do this very small task and keep your fakers looking as “fresh” as you possible can.

6. price – don’t be fooled. More expensive is NOT always better or more real-looking. I have found some lovely options and have paid anywhere from $1 upwards, but am always happiest with the ones I’ve pulled together myself.

If you keep these tips in mind, you’ll be able to create a one-of-a-kind solution that fits within your décor and your style. Used sparingly, the fake plant option can effectively add life to your troubled space.

Just don’t hold your breath waiting for oxygen…

{Editor’s note: I realize I am writing about fake plants on the heels of Earth Day. Understand that I’m not advocating the consumption of more plastic products here. Please know that I try to treat every day like Earth Day…and know there is always more each and every one of us need to be doing to be kinder to the great Mother Earth.}

Photo credit: s.yume from Flickr

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