08/18/2011 01:24 pm ET | Updated Oct 18, 2011

Plastic Fantastic: Fake Plants Are the Latest Design Trend

The following is a post by Lauren Sherman, a regular contributor to The Inside Source, eBay's digital style magazine. Read the full story here.

The Rag & Bone store in SoHo has fake plants alongside the usual antique accoutrements (images courtesy of Rag & Bone).

If you pop into the Rag & Bone store on Mercer Street in New York's SoHo neighborhood, you'll find the requisite old time-y accents—vintage clocks and turn-of-the-century mannequins—that are now staples in Americana clothing boutiques. But amongst those traditional and authentic accoutrements, you'll spy some tiny green plants. And if you look close enough, you'll see that they're plastic.

The Rag & Bone design team isn't the first to adopt artificial greenery as a hip form of decor. Boutiques across Europe—particularly in Spain and France—are selling tiny pots of fake lavender and a variety of green herbs to discerning customers. More locally, we've also spotted walls covered in faux greenery (and hung with the tylish outdoor mirrors) at Restoration Hardware. For those of us who struggle with keeping plants alive—whether because of lack of sunlight, time, or money—a not-so-real bloom might just do the trick.

Rag & Bone store

Donna Williams, the blogger behind Funky Junk Interiors, a Canadian decor site, discovered beauty of fake plants a few years ago. And she says that while she adores using this tactic, there are some hard and fast rules that everyone should follow. "First of all, choose plants that fool you. If they can fool you, they can fool someone else too," she says. "Quality really does pay."

Erica Domesek, founder of DIY company PS I Made This, also loves the idea. "I am fan of this trend. I encourage everyone to enhance their space by incorporating beautiful flowers or plants. Even faux florals will do the trick," says Domesek, who believes any sort of greenery is bound to liven the mood. "It's a proven study that bringing in any sort of botanical into your space has a positive effect on your mood and overall happiness. It's cheaper than a therapy session!"

Domesek believes in keeping things simple. "Choose one type of faux plant/flower that you're drawn to," she says. "Be sure to steer clear of any faux plants that have the rain drops or high gloss finishes. Those tend to err toward the tacky side." The crafter and set stylist also suggests setting your plants up in a neat and orderly pattern. "Displaying in a space using a repetition design always makes for a more striking and sophisticated look, rather than placing sporadically," she explains. "Paying attention to container type is also important. Keeping the same color for pots will always result in a nice, clean look."

Deco Boutique in Tarifa, Spain sells faux foliage. (photo by Dan Frommer)

Donna Wiliams, the blogger behind Funky Junk Interiors, features fake plants and flowers on her site (images courtesy of Donna Williams).

Inspired by the latest and greatest in faux florals and fake greens? Check out these gorgeous options on eBay, where sales for "artificial plants" are up 30 percent in the past month compared to approximately one year ago.

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