Hey there! Maddie, Karen, and Marianne here to talk Fauxliage 101! If you’re an avid Instagram user or regularly prowl Pinterest for home decor inspiration, you’re no stranger to the plant phenomenon. Plants instantly brighten and liven up any space, but making sure live plants thrive (let alone stay alive!) can be pretty intense, especially for a novice horticulturalist.
We’ve pulled together some of our favorite tricks and tips to bring the outside in with our Fauxliage 101 guide. In this guide you’ll find cheat sheets for our favorite faux plants, low-maintenance live plants, and decor tips, and we’ll show you how to use these tools to decorate key rooms in your home.
We’ve rounded up our favorite faux plants, with options that will fill any decorating needs.
1. Aloe Plants: Real aloe plants actually look fake sometimes, lending them to be pretty easily replicated in plastic. Try to purchase smaller fake aloe plants. The larger they get, the more phony-looking they become!
2. Kentia Palm Tree: Chances are, most Kentia palm trees that you’ve seen are actually fake! Abundant leaves that flare out make this plant the best bang for your buck.
3. Monstera Leaves: Monstera leaves are usually sold as individual stems, making them great to pop solo into a vase or clustered into a woven basket.
4. Air Plants: These little guys win the versatility award. They look good almost anywhere you drop them and require almost no styling. Look for air plants that are flocked, meaning they’re coated with a velvety texture. These mimic the surface of real air plants.
5. Snake Plant: Snake plants are another great filler plant. They add height without splaying out in all directions and keep arrangements tight.
6. Fiddle Leaf Fig: The ultimate indoor plants, fiddle leaf figs look great in any space, but the pressure to keep them alive can be daunting. This is definitely an area to splurge in. Fuller faux fiddle leaf figs (try saying that five times fast) are more breathtaking and worth the investment.
7. Jade Plant: Faux jade plants win our award for best value. Take a quick trip to IKEA and stock up on these gems. They’re perfect plopped into any space.
If you’re missing the charm of real plants among your plastic imposters but still have yet to graduate from that brown thumb, check out these low-maintenance plants.
1. Philodendrons: Pinterest is littered with split leaf philodendrons, and for good reason. They bring serious jungle vibes to any room, and are so easy to care for. Keep your philodendrons out of direct sunlight and only water them when the top quarter layer of soil is dry.
2. Snake Plants: Like philodendrons, snake plants do best in indirect sunlight. Water them when you notice that the soil is dry, but don’t sweat it if you forget to water them regularly; snake plants are hardy and won’t hold any grudges against you. Plus, they’re proven to help filter the air inside your home, so keep a bunch of these helpful fellas around!
3. Cacti: It’s no secret that cacti are pretty difficult to kill. While cacti may certainly survive even the harshest conditions (read: survive at the mercy of space cadets and brown-thumbs around the world), they do need some extra love during growing season (spring-fall). During this time, water your cacti once a week and keep it in bright sunlight. “Cacti” is a general term though, so be sure to research care for your specific varietal.
4. Pothos Plant: AKA Devil’s Ivy, it’s a photogenic plant that’s sure to grace your Instagram feed. As with snake plants and philodendrons, pothos plants don’t like direct sunlight or overwatering. If your pothos plant begins to lose its signature striations, it’s a good indication that it needs a bit more sunlight.
For the ultimate lazy girl’s guide to home decor, follow the Golden Ratio, or rule of thirds. A simple way to employ the Golden Ratio is to start with three items. Your largest piece will ground your decor moment, the next largest should be ⅔ the height of your largest piece, and the last piece should be ⅓ the size of the largest. Pepper in other objects and curiosities to personalize your decor moment.
If you’re all about attaining full-on jungalow vibes in your apartment, consider DIYing a faux plant gallery wall to optimize greenery coverage.
We created this gallery wall by upcycling some inexpensive IKEA frames and purchasing a few faux plants from our local plant store (see our handy guide above for sourcing the best-looking faux plants).
Cover the frame backings with decorative paper (ours are from Paper Source), trim and arrange your leaves, and then hot glue them in place. We spray painted a few leaves gold to really make them pop.
Pro tip: When it comes to decorating, working in odd numbers is key. It’s much easier to achieve an effortless balance with an odd number of items, unless you’d like to play with mirroring and symmetry.
The key to nailing this look is taking a curated, maximalist approach to decor. Once we finalized the position of our gallery, we peppered in a few hanging curiosities to draw the eye around the wall. A pop of color from our Make a Macrame Planter Kit ($20) adds a welcome surprise among the lush green tones.
This mini macrame wall hanging fills in an awkward blank space between frames and softens the gallery wall.
Often overlooked when it comes to decorating, coffee tables are the perfect surface to decorate with faux air plants and potted plants. Layer in books for an easy decorating moment.
Air plants are a no-fuss option for coffee tables. Since they don’t need pots, you can literally drop them anywhere on a surface and they’ll look great. Arrange them on a tray with a few potted plants and other curiosities for a collected look.
We all have book shelves in our houses, and some of us are not as lucky to have as awesome bookshelves as others. Marianne inherited this ubiquitous IKEA bookshelf from her brother and struggled to make it look good.
Take advantage of the empty spaces in bookshelves, especially those with modular compartments. Stuff potted plants into the cubbies to fill it out, and place a potted plant on top of a perfectly imperfect pile of books to bring some greenery to your reading nook.
Layer plant-themed prints into your decor, and hang up photos of plants to add even more plant power to your space.
Use the Golden Ratio to select decor pieces for the top of your bookshelf. You can’t always choose the pot your fake plant comes in, but you can find some amazing vessels to hide them in. This woven basket was purchased for SO cheap at IKEA, and adds some earthy color and texture to this bookshelf. This IKEA FLADIS Basket ($20) from IKEA’s current assortment is similar.
As always, layering in curiosities and fun objects adds a bit of personality to your jungle refuge. We popped in a few of our favorite treasures: a brass bottle opener, copper cocktail shaker, and of course, our Instax camera.
Fun fact: San Francisco homes have some seriously beautiful mantels. Even if you don’t live in San Francisco and don’t have a particularly gorgeous mantel, they always look better dressed up.
We started decorating at the center of the mantel and tapered outward, using a gorgeous faux monstera leaf in a milk glass vase as our focal point. Use the Golden Ratio to help you arrange clusters of decor, then group them together to create a super arrangement.
We pulled in some handmade ceramics and a colorful garland to help punctuate the space with color. Mixing colors and materials only adds to the charm of a boho haven, so go nuts!
Can we all agree that corners are super pesky to decorate? Unless you have special fixtures, it can be challenging to figure out the right decor solution for an empty corner.
Place a cubby or an end table in the corner of a room to create the perfect base for decor. We used a small rug to add a bit of texture and pattern, and worked in a punny statement using our Letterfolk letterboard. Tuck smaller fake potted plants into cubbies to sneak in a little more greenery.
One or two stems tucked into a great vase makes for an easy statement piece.
Marianne speaking, here to tell you that bathrooms are my least favorite spaces. So how do you decorate a space that you want to spend as little time in as possible? Keep things simple and utilitarian.
For decorating the toilet tank, I select three items. Candles are great in bathrooms for obvious reasons, and a giant faux air plant is perfect for this kind of space. It’s lightweight and can withstand being accidentally knocked over. Plus, light is a non-issue, so if your bathroom is dark like mine, you’re in fine shape. Prop up a small frame to add some height to your decor moment.
The bathroom vanity is an unexpected place to plant some fauxliage. Depending on the size of your vanity, set up one or two moments on either side of the sink. We propped up a framed vintage print of birds and peppered in some tropical potted plants for a tropical twist. Colorful pom-poms add a bit of texture and color.
Introducing some color can help breathe new life into an otherwise overlooked area of the house. And for the record, disco balls even look good in bathrooms ;).
Those are the basic tips and tricks to decorating with faux plants!
What spaces are you decorating with fauxliage? Show us your project by tagging us on Instagram + using hashtag #iamcreative!
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DIY Production and Styling: Maddie Bachelder, Karen Pham, Marianne Koo
Photography: Brittany Griffin