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The Not-So-Living Room: artificial plants bring the outdoors in – no green thumb required

Faux plants put a fresh spin on adding greenery to any on-trend interior 

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, well it’s fast becoming the highest form of greenery too, with artificial plants the new go-to decorating trick in good-looking homes everywhere.

Artificial hanging lemon vine

For a fresh fuss-free burst of colour and a lush, laidback vibe, forget real plants and go faux instead. With the ability to go anywhere and last for eons, the new breed of natural-looking artificial greenery is gorgeous, versatile and your new quick fix for bringing the outdoors in and injecting cool colour into any contemporary space.

From bedrooms and bathrooms to studies, guest rooms, kitchens and lounge spaces – even laundries – there’s a fake plant option for every room, and we’re loving the lot.

Artificial Banana Tree

Not a fan of faux plants? 

So you love the real deal? No bother. Just add fresh blooms or real foliage when and where you fancy. There’s no reason fresh and faux can’t sit side by side – especially with the latest lifelike species on show.

Why faking it is fab

What’s so fab about faking it? Where do we start? It’s simple really, artificial plants are a decorator’s best friend. They add instant colour and interest, they’re affordable, they’re low – actually NO – maintenance, and they can be easily moved about as the mood takes you.

You can pop them anywhere (not just in the sunlight), they won’t shed, wilt or drip, there are no seasonal restrictions and they make unreal gifts. A kind of green godsend for business travellers, busy families and those short on time and space, fake plants have long been a sneaky secret with savvy stylists – and now the rest of us are in on the secret.

To get you started, we’ve pulled together a few top tips for achieving evergreen elegance by incorporating artificial plants at your place….

Play with size and scale

Whether you opt for an oversized fiddle leaf fig for an empty corner by the couch, or a row of petite pots on the bathroom window sill or laundry shelf, there’s a fresh fake solution for any size space. A carefully chosen replica equals potted perfection on a roomy kitchen island, and a collection of succulents makes for a terrific tabletop talking point.

Potted gold

It’s not just the plants you get to play with when you decide to fake it, there’s also plenty of scope to experiment with cute pots and vases without having to worry about weight, where the water will go, or the capacity for roots to grow.

Zircon concrete planter

Most fake plants come in a standard black plastic pot, but you can do better than that. By popping them into something much more stylish – whether on a stand or on the ground – you’ll transform ordinary into a stunning style statement, and have an opportunity to choose the colour and material of the pots to tie your bold botanicals into your existing décor scheme.

Include them in the cleaning roster

Whether it’s a quick do-over with the duster or a speedy wipe with a damp cloth, nothing will give away your new faux faves faster than a coating of dust and grime.

Look for lifelike

A perfectly symmetrical plant rarely occurs in real life, so it’ll probably also look out of place in your living room. Lifelike is best, and lifelike isn’t perfect. For those seeking a realistic replica, succulents will do the trick, probably because the real deal looks somewhat plastic to being with. Having said that, if an imitation boxwood topiary trimmed to exacting standards is what you lust after, then own it. Otherwise look for imperfect leaves, off-centre arrangements and realistic-looking trunks. Add real dirt when you pop your new plant into its own pot to up the authenticity.

Pretend or plausible?

If you don’t want your lack of green thumb to be known, keep your artificial lovelies in realistic locations, such as near natural light, or put organic material – pebbles, soil etc – at the base of a clear vase of faux stems. If you’re not fussed, then put them anywhere you please. Green (even if it is fake) is the new black after all.

(as always) Quality is key

It’s one thing to buy fake, it’s another to buy poor-quality fake. Premium artificial plants add to the ambience, trashy imitations take away – and give the game away. Quality faux plants – unlike their pricey real counterparts – are an investment. They’ll be with you forever, you can rearrange and re-purpose them anytime and they’ll never let you down.

Faux plants as art

Up the lush factor and revamp your wall with artificial greenery. Whether you build a vertical garden or hang faux foliage from ceiling hooks in front of a wall – it’s a fab way to breathe life (or the illusion of it) onto a blank canvas, especially during winter

Nursery time: let’s go shopping…

When you’re ready to liven up your living (or sleeping, bathing, eating, studying) space and invest in the new breed of horticultural hottie – check out the fresh drop of faux plants from Matt Blatt – now available in-store and online: