tips for styling faux flowers greenery stems and sprays

How to Shop & Style Realistic Faux Flower Arrangements & Houseplants Christian homemaking country living fashion blog


The faux floral department is really a beautiful flower shop. The buckets of flowers and stems sing to my heart when they look so realistic. This spring I found some lovely faux stems at one of my favorite places to shop for them, Hobby Lobby, which you can see styled in my home here!

Now days, our faux arrangements are not ivy draped out of a basket over kitchen cabinets collecting grease and dust. Not that there is even something “wrong” with that, but there are updated ways to decorate with faux items that make them look more natural, as well as the items looking more realistic now days too. The way we style faux plants has changed down to the type of plants and flowers that we used decades ago. So maybe some people have a bad taste in their mouths about faux flowers and plants, but our faux flowers and plants of today are better than decades past, however we have to be artistically discerning because there are still a lot of bad ones out there!

As interior design perspective and advice shifts, it is important to note that it is not always as simple as something like faux plants being “in” or “out”. Certain ways of styling are in or out. If you want realistic arrangements but need some guidance, here are some solid tips to get the faux flowers singing to your heart.

tips for styling faux flowers greenery stems and sprays

Decorate with Flowers & Plants in the Natural Landscape

If lavender is grown where you live, then decorating with it makes sense. It looks like you have brought what is in the natural world outside inside your home. This automatically sets a tone of realistic appearance in your faux flowers and plants because it could be that you grew it or bought it locally. When I lived in a tropical climate, I purchased tropical palms and flowers that naturally paired with the environment. Look up where plants and flowers are grown. Lavender grows in the Mediterranean, but it is also farmed in a variety of states in the US. It can look quite natural indoors, as long as your particular area does not clash with it. The more you know about your local flowers and plants the better you can pair your indoor faux varieties in harmony.

for to decorate with faux flowers greenery stems and sprays

Certain Flowers & Plants Look More Realistic as Faux Version than Others

It must be difficult to produce a fake but realistic version of certain plants because I have noticed that certain varieties look consistently more realistic than others. A good example of this is the “Lamb’s Ear” plant. This faux version looks so realistic that it has become quite popular. Just be aware that how something looks “dated” is often because it gets popular and then it looks like a certain period of time when that thing was heavily used. Perhaps Lamb’s Ear has simply become a strong player in indoor arrangements because it lends such realistic plant beauty to our interiors, and it will not necessarily look dated in years. If your decor is not heavily trendy, the trendy look of Lamb’s Ear will probably not look as obviously dated years from now. I think that is a good way to approach design in general, you do not want every layer in a room to be from the same time period or trend palette. You want a mix of old and new of anything. Most importantly, I encourage you to decorate with what you love, not by the trends. You want your decor to look like your personal style preferences so if you just love a particular plant that has a good faux version, use it because that’s true to your style no matter how much or how little everyone else is decorating with it.

hobby lobby faux greenery stems and sprays

Look for Rubbery Leaves and Petals over Papery Fabric Material

This is consistently a feature that I notice differentiates the realistic looking plants and flowers from the fake looking ones. You are never going to find something that looks 100% real. At least, I have never found that. But I do find replicas that come very close and perhaps they have a very realistic flower, but less realistic leaves. This does happen, but you want to make sure that the focal point of the stem or spray you need is the most realistic version of that focal point. So, for a spray of leaves, I want the leaves to be a rubber material, not a papery fabric. Same with a flower when the flower is the focal point. The rubbery textured leaves and flowers are consistently more realistic looking than the papery fabric ones. Having said that, when you cannot find a rubbery version of something there are fabric versions of flowers that are still better iterations than other fabric flowers. Many fabric flowers look straight up fake while others trick the eye unless you are inspecting closely. Those are the better fabric ones. They won’t look 100% real, but they won’t look fake from across the table either.

realistic faux flowers
This faux pink rose from Hobby Lobby looks nearly identical to the real thing

Look for Variation of Color in Petals & Leaves

Real petals and leaves are never just a flat color or texture. They have veins and slight color variations within the same leaf or bloom. The more intricate detail in the coloring of the leaves and petals, the more realistic it will look. One thing I notice about the coloration of greenery in particular is how it looks most realistic when there are some blueish hues mixed into the green. When it is just green with little dynamic of another hue, it can sometimes look more fake. I am often drawn to the greenery that has some blueish in the green that creates some variation to the depth of the green color. Another way for greenery to look more realistic is if there are just different tones of green. A light green smattering of color with dark green will often times lend the same realistic variation. Variation of color can mean the leaves are lighter on the edges than the center, so even the placement of the color variation can make it look more realistic. The more monotone the green, the faker it looks. But there can also be variation done without subtly and that can look garish. The best greenery has hue and tonal variation done subtly.

for to decorate with faux flowers greenery stems and sprays

Create Arrangements in the Store

I go shopping for my faux items with an idea in mind for the type of arrangement I want to do, or at least the type of items that I want to collect. The key to making good purchases with faux items is to take your time in the store to be creative, pair things together, and even get vases or pots to arrange items into to see if you like something. I will go to Hobby Lobby’s floral department with the intention of shopping for faux items that day, nothing else. I go early in the morning when there are less shoppers and take my time. I pull out different branches and hold them up away from the distraction of the foliage as a backdrop. I will take them over to vases and pots and see what they look like paired with different vase and pot colors and textures. I will create arrangements as I stand there and then dismantle it to refine the look I am aiming to create. I will put stems and flowers into my cart and walk around the floral department looking for things that pair with them or just to look at them long enough to decide if I do like them enough to purchase. This is an artistic endeavor and should not be rushed. Do not feel embarrassed to stand there and create, to put things into your cart then take things back out and put them away. You need time and artistic freedom to change your mind and try different things out and just have fun with it.

Here are Ten Reasons to Buy Faux Flowers & Plants:

  1. You don’t have a garden to grow your own flowers.
  2. You want flowers and greenery in the house year-round not just during growing season.
  3. Buying fresh flowers gets expensive.
  4. You don’t want to maintain a live plant.
  5. You don’t want toxic plants where your pets can chew and eat them.
  6. You or someone in the household is allergic to the real thing.
  7. You want to avoid bringing pests into the house which is worse in certain areas.
  8. You don’t want the crumbly mess of dried out real leaves/needles/berries/petals indoors.
  9. You want to invest once into flowers and plants for them to last in your interior decor.
  10. You found realistic looking faux flowers and plants so why not decorate with them!?

Now you are on your way to decorating with faux flowers and plants with style.

Lest I sound like an ad, I want to convey how I love Hobby Lobby’s large and extensive faux floral department. Coupled with instrumental hymns that softly play in the background, it is a relaxing shopping experience that allows me to linger and be creative without stress. A serene shopping experience is such a lost art now days.

Happy decorating & happy home!

"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise think about these things." Philippians 4:8 Blogging about country living, homemaking, fashion and decor tips with a penchant for all things princessy, Barbie

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