Flowers and foliage are a great way of adding both colour and character to your home. Leafy green plants also have proven mood-boosting properties, helping us to de-stress and unwind in our personal habitats. However, for many people, caring for real plants can be tricky.
Whether it’s due to mobility issues or a lack of time and energy, attempting to bring living plants into a space only to have them wilt and die shortly afterwards can be disheartening. As well as the disappointment of spending money on plants only to throw them away a few weeks later, any mood-boosting properties a plant might have are quickly squashed by the frustration and sadness felt when they die.
Though it’s great to invest in real plants where possible, there are many interiors that benefit most from a high-end faux substitute. If any of the following sound familiar to you, here’s a little inspiration on how to bring the feeling of nature indoors without the need for seemingly impossible maintenance.
1. North-facing and basement rooms
Aside from facing issues with cold and damp if the heating isn’t kept on for most of the year, north-facing rooms and basement rooms are also poor environments for most plants.
The lack of sunlight in these areas means that lots of popular indoor plants will quickly wither, and even plants lauded as being perfect for low-light conditions can sometimes struggle in the dark corners of a north-facing living room or bedroom. If your basement room has no natural light at all, clearly real plants are out of the question.
Using shelves and end tables to display small bursts of colour is an easy way to brighten up dark indoor spaces, and can help to combat low moods that might be brought on by the gloom. Try artificial potted foliage or cascading greenery to give the space a lift.
2. Pet-safe interiors
Aloe vera, monstera, dragon plants and emerald ferns are all very on-trend right now, and Instagram interiors shots are absolutely full of them. Sadly, while they may be highly popular with humans, these plants are all devastatingly toxic to four-legged housemates like cats and dogs.
Floral arrangements including lilies, chrysanthemums, primrose and poinsettia are just a few of the plants that can make pets sick. As a result, pet owners have to be particularly careful about what kinds of plant life they allow within reach of their wards.
For animals liable to chew on leaves, rub against pollen or simply agitate a plant that could cause them harm, artificial plants are a wise choice. Depending on the animal in question, it might be best to stick to smaller potted plants which are out of reach of the ground – though for the less curious creature, larger faux options like cheeseplants and grasses can liven up the corner of a room or an empty porch space.
3. Holiday homes and guest bedrooms
Any interiors which aren’t frequently used can quickly become graveyards for living plants, and guest bedrooms and holiday homes are prime examples of this. Rooms which you don’t often enter can be overlooked even when taking the time to water other plants around the home, and in the case of holiday homes, the chances are it doesn’t make financial sense to pay someone to look after your plants when they could simply be replaced with convincing fakes.
A single room might best suit a simple floral arrangement, while getaway spots can be a great excuse to have some fun with decorating and invest in tropical palms and faux dragon trees to really embrace the holiday vibe. If you have a balcony, you could even add pre-filled patio pots of artificial flowers and leaves.
4. Accessible interiors
Just as maintaining a living garden can be an impossible task for people with mobility issues, such as wheelchair users or the elderly, maintaining real plants inside the home can also be a tricky feat. Carrying spray bottles or watering jugs is difficult for people who have problems with their grip, or who rely on walking assistance such as sticks and frames to move around the home.
Rather than simply removing plants and flowers altogether, good accessible interior design should capitalise on the same mood-lifting details as any other design. Acknowledging the benefits that a view of leafy greenery can have, anyone helping to create a peaceful and pleasant accessible interior should consider including a few pieces of no-maintenance fauxliage among the decorations.
5. Period homes
Last, but not least, another range of interiors that sometimes benefit from fauxliage are period properties. Homes that have been given a modern revamp will often have rolling glass doors and oversized windows, but properties kept in their traditional style can suffer from the same issues with dark, cold corners that a north-facing or basement room has.
In an ideal world, the owners of period homes might prefer to invest in housekeeping and gardeners to ensure that they can boast plenty of real plant life and prize-winning blooms. But for those who are investment-savvy and keen to keep down the costs of running a period home, good-quality faux plants are often the route forward. Here you might wish to keep things traditional, featuring understated bouquets on desks and tables, or nod to modern trends by dotting spacious corridors with oriental bamboo.
Whether you’re looking to update an interior shared with a beloved pet or are simply fed up of seeing real plants die, consider whether your own indoor spaces could benefit from artificial plants. With the sight of both real and artificial foliage proven to help combat stress and anxiety, opting for a faux version over no plants at all is just the solution that many people need.