Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fake Flowers Anyone?

While out and about running errands, picking up supplies for various projects, what do I keep seeing at every turn? Fake flowers...in abundance! Now I've never been a fan, too many years dusting my mother's floral arrangements perhaps. But what about you?


Here's a low version: after taking advantage of the 40% off sale that is running at Michael's, these beauties would run you a mere $3.99 a stem.




A high version: at Pottery Barn (where this trend first caught my eye), these stems will set you back $12.00 a piece. Counting the number needed for an effective display and doing the math, the $$$ adds up quickly!

Though when you consider they will last endlessly longer than the real versions, these could be a bargain. 


Apparently hydrangeas are a popular choice by the flower people when creating "reproductions", is this because they end up looking so real?


Pottery Barn has a whole "Garden Shop" set up. Given I'm pining for Spring, I'd say I'm about to buy into the whole concept.


And you? Would any of these find a way into your home?

80 comments :

  1. I'm iffy on it. They do look quite "real"...and with this weather, maybe I would try it!

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  2. I go back and forth. If I did do them I prefer just the greenery. Its a little more realistic. I do like the idea of spring in the house in this dreary weather!

    Jennifer

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  3. they do look gorgeous on the photos, but not a fan for sure! i do agree however that they are not like the ones our mom had!
    lovely photos!
    Rosa

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  4. absolutely!!! My house would be drab with out them!

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  5. i can't ever decide....sometimes, i see them (in places like pottery barn) and think they look great. but i think if they were in my own house, i might feel differently...just because i put them there. weird? yes. but true.

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  6. Hmmm...they look pretty good in pictures..I think I've got to drop by and take a look in person. I know the orchids that Michael's sell are very realistic and have used those around the house before because I can never keep orchids alive.

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  7. The only fake flowers I would consider are Diane James. They look so real even the bees are convinced!

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  8. I've weeded out the fake flowers in my home but I do still keep artificial orchids bec. the real ones are so hard to keep alive. . . It's hard to find other varieties that look real.

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  9. I have a hard time keeping real plants and flowers alive for very long so I'd be tempted to use them (in small doses).

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  10. Usually I'd say no, but I've got some pieces on my mantle that I just looooove. They were on the expensive side- I think I spent over $50 for four stems- but look SO real and add the most beautiful pop of color! Makes me pine for spring too!

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  11. I think the hydrangeas are a good fake. I would use them if I needed a filler in a spot where adding fresh flowers each week was not an option. I also have some fake paperwhites because I love them but hate their smell. I think it is just the mixed "bunches" of fakes that are out of style.

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  12. I think that they are great, as long as you get good ones. It is hard to find the right look for the right price though.

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  13. Tempting but I'll pass...I am not a fan even though they are getting more realistic by the day...Our Delhi summers are so harsh that fresh flowers , if you can find them, barely last a couple of days..still I've never considered getting fake ones.

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  14. When it comes to faux florals, I think the only way to go is to invest in the best you can afford...the better they will look...tricking even the most discerning eye. Diane James Home has the most amazing florals, dare I mention that they are faux?!

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  15. hmm...Ive always said no to fake flowers (especially the prearranged kind that come in a basket)...Im kind of liking the hydrangeas in a vintage bottle though.

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  16. Yes please! Fake flowers all the way! I even "water" mine with floral scented spray. Tacky?.....maybe, but I don't care. I can't afford real ones and I don't have a green thumb. I love the color they provide for a room. As long as I don't turn into one of those crazy old ladies who stick them in the front yard, it's all good!

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  17. I used to be an emphatic no but I found some fake peonies that are so real looking.....I love them.

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  18. I am firmly in the "no fake flowers or plants" camp. I have LOTS of lovely (real) plants all around my house and if I need some color I'll go buy a bunch of (real) flowers.

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  19. I was always DEAD set against fake flowers, but I was throwing a Valentine's party (in December for a photo shoot) and I needed pretty bright spring flowers and I found the best silk hydrangeas at Hobby Lobby for $3.99 a stem. You can't beat that! I love them and still am using them around my house.

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  20. I used to be against fake flowers and then I had a designer friend come over. The first thing she did was put a hydrangea arrangement in my dining room.

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  21. I normally go with "real" flowers and foliage, but could easily be tempted by these. They look pretty good to me.

    -Rene

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  22. I do buy fake, Janell! Some of them look pretty good, although, I tend to go with the faux greenery a bit more nowadays.

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  23. a small bouquet of hydrangeas are perfect!

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  24. It's always nice to be a purist when you can, but it's not often realistic to have fresh flowers all the time. If you think they look lovely, don't worry about real or fake...just use them! Nothing softens a space or brings color in more beautifully than flowers...real or fake!!

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  25. I buy 3 bunches of fresh flowers every week and need them to be happy in my home. Having said that, I also have one vase of orange and pink flowers that I have in my main closet- they are vibrant and pretty and in a closet, provide just the right hit of colour without any fuss. I also have a lovely fake orchid that I've had for years and happily display that in my bathroom- I think if they're done well, they can definitely work.

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  26. I love Hydrangeas and I do have some of the fake variety in my home. I also have some dried from my garden. Most of my fake flowers are gone now. I love the ones from Pottery Barn, but like you said, once you do the math...it's ridiculous. I am hosting another party this week. I hope you will stop by and link up. Thanks.

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  27. I do like silk flowers and Pottery Barn definately has the nicest ones (and like you mentioned the most expensive so I only buy them on sale). I bought some hydrangeas at Michaels in the fall that were $1.00 per stem and they look really good. Seasonally, I make large mixed arrangements out of mine and put them in crystal vases, urns etc. They do get dusty so you have to shake them outside weekly.

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  28. I think fake flowers can look beautiful used sparingly. You have to find the best you can afford. I don't think PBs flowers are any better than some of the good stems that they sell at Michaels.It's funny to see this topic popping up all over,I wrote the 2nd blog post that I'd ever written on this subject. I just think that famous designers declaring them tacky have made people insecure about using them.Especially when they are trying to have a stylish home.

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  29. Oh yes, I have tons of fakes around. In the desert there aren't many things that grow that are real. So fakes are the answer. Love them. Instead of dusting, did you know you can take them out in the yard and use a very find mist from the hose and just wash them off. They look brand new again. Easy as pie. Hugs, Marty

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  30. I did a post on this very subject. I am in the camp that prefers real vs. faux. I actually use to do floral designs and sale them, but that was in the early 90s. I would rather have one single bud in a vase than a huge basket of faux.
    I think I just have seen sooooo many bad versions that I am a bit opposed. AS mentioned before Diane James is an exception to this thought process.
    I say go real!!!! Kathysue

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  31. I use silk flowers for pomander balls and centerpieces for brides in my etsy shop. I am really particular on the realism of the silk flower, honestly you really can't tell they are fake unless you touch them. It is a more affordable alternative for brides and they last forever. I love real plants and flowers in decorating, but I hate how they only last a couple of days. Plus I am not one to remember to water... I think today's quality of silks are 100% more realistic looking compared to years ago when our mom's had them.

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  32. I don't know if I'm buying in. I think you could find some very real looking stems, but after collecting dust I'm not sure. I've never been able to dust them to the point they look like they did when I bought them!

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  33. Hmm. I used to be vehemently against all fake greenery and flowers... (fake ivy above cabinets probably had a big role in my intense hatred.)

    But fake flowers HAVE been getting more and more realistic, and I think (in my non-expert opinion) that if you use them sparingly, and they're arranged casually, more like bundles you'd buy or pick yourself vs. elaborate floral arrangements a la 1995 formal living room, they're much more appropriate and believable and that way you avoid the tacky factor.

    I hope that last sentence was long enough for you. Ha! :) Just my two cents!

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  34. Hi Janell-

    I have used fake hydrangeas in my home for years. The ones at Michael's do look real and I only buy them when they are 50% off. I think using them never went out of style - just need to use restraint, mix them up, and move them into fresh looking arrangements from time to time. I put water into glass vases for a more realistic look. Crate and Barrel had bunches of pink peonies a few years ago and I had to have them - they were pricey, but worth every cent as they still look good. Last week I brought them up from storage to brighten my gloomy Winter family room.
    My best- Diane

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  35. Some silk flowers look so much like the real ones, others not so much. I have one vase of silk hydrangeas in my home--of course I would *prefer* fresh flowers every week, but that's not happening. So a few selective silks will do!

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  36. I love them, have for years, but they are getting better and better. Some look really fake (on purpose I think) but most don't. I love fresh flowers, but they are a luxury I can't afford every week, so why not something just as lovely...

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  37. As lovely as they look, I think I'd always be wishing for the real thing. Oh...And the mere thought of dusting those petal-laden hydrangeas makes me itch. Yuck!

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  38. I am having a very hard time even thinking about the faux flowers. When my hubs and I first got married, fake flower arrangements and greenery were all the rage, and we had them all over our apartment, and then our first house. Yuck. I am having flashbacks as I type this!! It's going to take a while to warm back up to the idea that faux is fine again.

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  39. I can see why they have appeal, especially during the bleak and dull late winter days when we are aching for spring. They might be fun to use in a wreath or other door decorations.

    As an arrangement in the house, I am not a fan. I much prefer to pick up fresh fleurs from Whole Foods or other local grocery stores. I also grow lots of African Violets and fresh herbs indoors to get the burst of green and color :)

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  40. I typically only go for the tall fake stems and branches, they look most real to me. But those PB versions are pretty tempting!

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  41. Love them! I have an arrangement in our bedroom side table and in the living room. They add so much height to a space that needs it and just generally do look great. These aren't our mother's fake flowers anymore!

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  42. I use to not think much of artificial/silk flowers until I photographed a bride whose mom made a silk arrangement for her bridal shoot instead of getting a "practice bouquet" from their florist.

    I personally find that the true touch roses found at Michael's and Hobby Lobby (as well as an upscale import business in Houston's Harwin District) are pretty amazing. I first saw them as a random gig as a wedding coordinator and was so impressed not a single flower at my own wedding (we did not have floral arrangements on the tables) was real. It saved me from allergies on my wedding day and I get to keep my bouquet forever as it was on the day of my wedding.

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  43. I'm back after being a little irritated about my long coment not going through...

    Okay, I love both. I think real flowers in the kitchen or living room is so pretty! But I also like fake flowers. And in my last comment, I mentioned my flowers from my wedding that were all fake! Like Tiffany said above, they have some flowers that feel and look real and I really like them! I need a litle sprig now. I may go and buy me some fake flowers today!

    Great post!

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  44. I love the "real" looking fake flowers. These are beautiful! I have to have fake because I have a naughty kitty who likes to eat all my plants!! I do prefer the real thing but I would take anything!

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  45. I like fake branches like the willow branches that don't have any flowers on them. I agree that with hydrangeas and some tulips it's really hard to tell the difference so the fake ones are probably a better bang for the buck. For the most part though there's nothing better than fresh flowers!

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  46. I do have some in a basket under a table and it just looks pretty. They make them so real these days it's sometimes hard to tell. We have come a long way since the 80's!
    XO

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  47. I think if you use them they have to be monochromatic with large bunches of them and not multi-colored with various types of flowers. I like white silk flowers and think they are the most appealing but the purple/blue with the green is nice too.

    The trick is...don't tell anyone and they will never know! and change them frequently so they don't get dusty. that's my two cents.

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  48. I think fake flowers have come a long way since the time of our grandmother's blue plastic roses. I used to keep a huge vintage picnic basket filled with season appropriate, good quality fakes on the porch of my Queen Anne Bungalow. They were fantastic, and created a focal point at the top of the steps. They did get dusty, so we periodically took them out into the yard and hosed them off -- easy peazy :)
    ~Amanda

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  49. Fake Flowers are a no go in my apartment because they collect too much dust, but we have one really nice looking arrangement at home. I'm definitely a fresh flower girl. They always brighten my day! (:

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  50. Although nothing looks like the real thing, there are so great replicas out there now. I love to mix the fake with the real...not in one arrangement, but all over the house. Flowers bring such life to a room!

    www.23designcompany.blogspot.com

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  51. I know what you meant about fake flowers from years ago! But so many have come a long way and look so real, it's hard to tell they're not. I've got the odd one here and there where fresh isn't practical but always prefer fresh on my dining table :)

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  52. A few years ago I would have said NEVER to fake flowers but I've been tossing the idea around in my head lately. My cats attack and destroy any house plant or vase of flowers that I bring into the house. It's a battle I'm not going to win. I'm through with cleaning up water or waking up to dirt and vermiculite spread all over my house but I'm really missing the look of flowers so I just might go for it.

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  53. I have two sets of fake flower arraingments in places too cold or not sunny enough for real ones to last. Nothing beats the real deal but in windowless bathroom a nice fake arraigment brings sunshine to my morning routine. :)

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  54. Never. The only thing worse is dried (dead) flowers.

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  55. I'm not a huge fan of the fakies, but when my daughter was little I used two very large faux hydrangeas as tie backs for the curtains in her bedroom. She loved them and everyone who visited would remark how much they liked the idea.

    I suppose if it's more acceptable if you aren't trying to fool anyone into thinking they are real.

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  56. i'm usually not so much a fan of silk flowers, but i do have a beautiful wreath of silk hydrangeas that i hang on my back door

    http://alittlepeaceofhome.blogspot.com/2010/11/our-home-before-and-after-breakfast.html

    ... i am with you, i think hydrangeas are the best in silk form because they do look real! although, for a nice amount of cash you can get almost any silk flower that looks real. love all the differing opinions!

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  57. i think fakes have come a long way -- especially those at PotteryBarn, they are lovely!

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  58. I don't have any fake flowers in the house. My grandmother had lots and I never cared for them but It looks like fake flowers have come a long way. Those hydrangeas look close to the real thing!

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  59. My mother still has fake flowers arrangements on all her tables, and maybe thats why I'm so opposed. I definately prefer real to fake, but I can't always afford real flowers on my tables. The only fake flower I have in my home is a fake orchid and i'm still on the fence about it and am considering pitching it. It upsets me when I have to dust it because it feels so silly.

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  60. I really don't like fake anything especially flowers. That being said, my clients often feel differently and so after I give my 'don't like fake flower spiel' I have learned to work with them and my feeling is as long as they look real and are 'possible' (meaning, not a cherry blossom branch out of season) then I can accept it. I have seen where they have been very effective and just like I do with fresh flowers, I prefer a bunch of the same flower - not a mixed bouquet.

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  61. Nope. I hate the dusting and I don't like clutter. My house is too small and I have 4 kids running around it. Nothing ever stays where I put it. Also why I don't have pillows on my chairs and couches anymore. I do like the look though!

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  62. Oh, yeah, I bought in about a year ago. I've always been a sucker for Hydrangeas and organic "stick" like arrangements. What is so hard about dusing them off when you dust the rest of your house? For a little eye candy, I say dust away! =)

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  63. I have to say grass and hydrangeas are about the only thing I'll do fake. I have some huge hydrangeas that look pretty good from the Lobster and I get many compliments. Hey if PB can do it then so can we!

    Megan

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  64. I used to have a few fake flowers and plants...really good and expensive ones...but when I sold my house I had an estate sale and sold all of them. No more fake for me...I'm going to visit the farmer's market and buy real flowers often!! :)

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  65. I don't mind a few "reproductions" here and there, but never in each room. So funny, but I'm willing to bet people would buy the ones from PB before they would purchase them from Michaels. Sometimes it's all about perception and who is introducing the "trend."

    Just a food for thought.

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  66. The only artificals I use are hyderangeas. If they get dusty, I swish in warm water with a drop of baby shampoo.

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  67. I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with fake flowers or plants. Don't expect to buy realistic looking stems at a dollar a piece though. I think the key to pulling off the effect is using them in like bunches and integrating them with real plants in the room. I do not have the money or time to maintain real flower arrangements in my home. So, if they are high quality and done right, why not save some money and get the same effect?

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  68. They're a funny thing. My sister and I bought some at Ikea last fall...and giggled becuase we used to make fun of our Mom's fake flowers as kids (teens). I think there are some really pretty ones out there. We bring in wild flowers from our yard in the summer, but this time of year there's nothing. I agree that hydrangeas seem to be well done. I'm actually looking for some right now! Lol. Thanks for posting Janell.
    Shannon {aka}|design

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  69. It's amazing how much better looking the fake stems have gotten. I've used the hydrangeas before as well as Forsythia but I pull off any of the leaves if they look too fake. I say paired with some dried naturals they could look very nice. I love PB for ideas but I love that there's so many places that can replicate their things for better prices.

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  70. For a more philosophical approach, I think it's not so much about whether flowers look real or fake--but about the effect of having real flowers around you at home. Alexandra Stoddard reminds us that having real blossoms--even if only a few in a bud vase--reminds us that life is precious and is to be cherished each day.
    Jan Jessup, Calico Corners - Calico Home

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  71. Prefer fresh, but do have fresh that lasts forever. :) Have a lovely day ~ xox Alexandra

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  72. I do love fresh flowers, but when you add up the cost to replenish. I may be persuaded to try the 'faux' flowers for a bit.

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  73. Not a fan - it's depressing somehow to me. But I must say with almost 2 feet of snow outside and no weather to produce anything so pretty for quite some time - it is tempting!

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  74. I didn't know there were so many people against fake flowers!! I'm against them for weddings (I bought mine through Sam's and put them together with an AMAZING bridesmaid - we had over 450 stems of calla lilies & hydrangeas!) but in the home I'm ok in moderation. I can't keep ANYTHING alive so if I want flowers more that 2 weeks, it has to be fake. But not the cheap ones that are obviously fake from 20 feet away. :)

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  75. I think you just have to pick the right ones. I recently spent A LOT of money on stems from an online craft company and they looked horrible. Such a waste! Lesson learned. When I buy, I know that I'm going to spend $100-$200 on an arrangement, but I know it will last a long time and, for me, it's such a big focal point in a room (I tend to buy 2-3 foot vases so the whole thing measures 4-5 feet when I'm done). Lisa on Housewives of Beverly Hills is my hero!!!

    Check out Pottery Barn catalog pictures. You will start to notice that practically every room has branches or something of that nature (Makes me mad!! I don't know where they get their branches - they are so lovely). I just love the look. It makes the room for me.

    These are my cardinal rules on the matter (after dropping now A LOT of money on them in the past):
    -Never buy online no matter how tempted you are (or just buy one branch first knowing it could be a waste).
    -I rarely find any at Hobby Lobby, Michael's, or Jo Ann's that are good.
    -Pottery Barn's seem to be the best I've found (most realistic).
    -Pier 1's are also pretty good (surprisingly).
    -I haven't found any fake flowers that are look good although I love the PB hydrangeas (I had seen them a week ago).
    -I mostly stick with cherry blossom branches, bare branches, other flowing branches, branches with just leaves, SOME things from Pier 1 or anything from Pottery Barn.
    -Pier 1's will fool you because they have them in GIANT arrangements in the store and of course they look good when there's that many stems. Be sure to pull out just the ones you want and look at them in a bunch.

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  76. I admit it! We have a few fake hydrangas from Joann's that look great and an orchid from Crate & Barrel that I also love. The real ones are so expensive and always die! And just today, I bought 4 branches with blue flowers from PB! I also buy real flowers from the grocery store about every other week for the kitchen.

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  77. I think that they are great, as long as you get good ones. It is hard to find the right look for the right price though.

    silk orchid flowers

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