Fake it till you make it with Abigail Ahern's top tips on faux flower styling.
I love flowers. And I've actually done pretty well on the bouquet front recently due to an ill-advised early hours wake-up call from hubby after a night out with the boys, followed swiftly by Mothers Day (they were late but they were also the most beautiful flowers I've ever seen so I forgave him, fickle as I am).
Fortunately hubby doesn't muck up that often, which means extravagant "apology" bouquets are not a regular occurrence in this household. And keeping your house brimming with beautiful fresh seasonal blooms all year round doesn't come cheap...especially if, like me, you like to have them scattered all over the house. I put them in the hallway, in various spots around the living room, the kitchen, landing and bedrooms. I'll often buy a big bunch of eucalyptus, cut it to different lengths and display it in lots of different vessels. It's wallet friendly and always looks stylish. But much as I love that fragrant foliage, it can't replace beautiful, bold, romantic flowers. Which is where Abigail Ahern's stunning faux flowers and botanicals come in.
Abigail has been kind enough to share with me her top five tips for styling faux flowers (see below) The interior designer, first made a name for herself as the queen of dark interiors (check out her darkly dramatic pad in Hackney via her Insta) and now she's blazing a trail with her faux flowers and botanicals. She has just upgraded her dedicated flower cabin in the entrance of Heals to a much bigger space within the shop itself and if you pop in the lovely ladies there will help you put together an arrangement to suit your taste.
These blooms are next level gorgeous. They had been on my radar for a while but I have to admit that while I was fully onboard with faux plants and cactuses (I'm not very green fingered and have lost two ferns in the last six months) I was yet to be totally sold on faux flowers. It wasn't until I actually saw these stunners with my own eyes that I was convinced. Forget those silky, shiny, synthetic looking creations of the past. These are uber natural-looking blooms from plump peonies to my new personal fave, trailing lilac.
I originally bought a peach peony, a white allium and a sprig of evergreen berries to start with and have since added to my collection with a mix of foliage and blooms. One of the best things about them is that you have the freedom to mix them up and move them around. The longer stemmed pieces can either be cut, or simply bent, to fit into different height vessels. So, sometimes I will bunch the peonies in a vase on their own, and other times I'll create a wilder looking bouquet with a mix of faux foliage and flowers.
I think we can all agree they are fab. But here are Abigail's five fail-safe tips on how to make them even more faux-bulous.
1) Go large or go home
Abi says: "I rarely have bouquets in my pad, I just cluster together the same bloom on masse for maximum impact."
2) Don't be transparent
"I think the really good faux flowers look as good as the real ones so you don't need to approach them any differently when it comes to how you arrange them. But one thing to think about is putting them in opaque or patterned glass vessels, so you don't see that there isn't any water in there."
"Tall cylinder vessels look super stylish for anything branchy like our foliages, and round vessels are perfect for all our garden flowers like hydrangeas, roses and peonies."
3) Change it up
"To keep my floral displays looking fresh, I just swap them in and out according to the seasons. So any of my wintery foliage or blooms have now been wrapped in tissue, put away in the cupboard and replaced with lots of summer blooms."
4) Go green
"The best way to create something show-stopping without breaking the bank is to incorporate faux foliage. You get more bang for your buck. Plus they add the wow factor. So I would usually combine foliages with some garden blooms. I'm currently obsessed with our trailing fronds, like Meadow Horsetail."
"I think foliage brings real impact, so add as much as you can. Plus a lot of ours aren't seasonal so you can have them out all year round, as I do at mine."
5) Use liberally
More is more according to Abigail: "I have flower arrangements everywhere and anywhere. I often have real flower posies on my desk and dining table but I never mix real and faux in the same vase. Pretty much any surface going in my house has foliages or flowers on it, they add such vitality to a room."
So there you have it from the high priestess of all things faux and fabulous. What do you think? Are you tempted to give faux a go?
Abigail's team will be hosting a late night botanical bar offering advice for all your faux flower needs as part of Heal’s London’s Craft Market. Check out the website for more info.