Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Goth's Guide to Decorating with Fake Flowers

Nothing adds vintage elegance to a room quite like flowers, but living plants are a lot of work (more than many people are willing to put into their home decor) and cut flowers don't last very long. Besides, while there are a variety of dark-petaled flowers, they're usually quite expensive and have to be specially ordered. So, what's a stylish Goth home decorator to do? Well, if you're like me, decorating with false flowers is the way to do, and here's my guide to how to do so.

First, you have to pick your flowers. The best place I can think of to buy fake flowers is at craft stores, Michael's being my persona favorite with Hobby Lobby coming in close second. Online, I've heard good things about Afloral, but have yet to check them out. Flowers tend to come in a variety of materials (and prices), from hyper-realistic silk to obviously fake plastic. You can still make a very pretty flower arrangement with fake-looking flowers, so just buy what you can afford.

When choosing flowers try to keep in mind your rooms personal style and don't just go running for the first black blooms you see. My favorite fake flowers for home decor are roses, dahlias, peonies, baby's breath, and ivy, but there are flowers for any aesthetic. Daisies (painted red, black, and white, maybe?) would go cute with a retro-aesthetic and lilies (especially white) are great for a romantic look. Around Halloween time you can always find a variety of dark false flowers, especially black ones and white roses with "blood" splatters. If you can't find flowers in a color you like, it's not particularly difficult to spray paint them your preferred shades.

Next, you have to find a container. Vases are traditionally used but I love seeing flowers arranged in larger bowls, in jars, in perfume bottles, in dinnerware, even in tea pots (such as the above display, which is in my house's entrance way.) For your Goth sensibilities, try miniature coffins, absinthe bottles, candle holders, or other such containers. When choosing your container, it's worth remembering that having a display where the flowers and vase are the same color makes for a very drab arrangement. Vary it up with texture or color to make a more interesting display.

After you have selected your flowers and your display, you have to arrange your flowers pleasingly. Generally speaking, it's advised that taller flowers go in the center of the display and smaller flowers around the outside so that the smaller flowers don't get overwhelmed. If you have trouble getting your flowers to stay put, fill the container with pebbles or foam to stick the flowers in.

Lastly, you're not just limited in putting flowers into your arrangement. Other decorating elements, accessories to the arrangement, can be used to add more Goth style and to help the flowers match the rest of your decor. Accessories like ribbon, feathers, fake spider webs, jewelry, and anything else sparkly will really bring the arrangement to a whole new level of spook.

Wait, did I say lastly? Well, that's not entirely true. Once you've found a spot to put your lovely little floral piece, you need to upkeep it. Fake flowers are dust magnets and while this can add a certain spooky charm to it, it'll be a nightmare for someone with dust allergies (ahem, me, ahem.) Fake flowers can also bleach if left in sunlight for too long, so respraying them or moving them out of sunlight would be helpful. It seems like an awful lot of work for fake flowers, but it's worth it to keep your display looking good as new, and so that you aren't stuck with a sneeze-inducing, bland decor accessory.

Here's the floral arrangement I made just for this post:

The container is a small black cauldron, which I filled with pebbles to keep the flowers standing up. Inside are two black roses, one red rose, and a few sprigs of some plant I don't know the name of. The accessories are a few beaded "berry" sprigs, black fake feathers, a ribbon with a fleur-de-lis charm on it that used to be a necklace, and a tiny little fake bird from Halloween time. I think I'll name him Norbert.

Not bad, huh?

Do any of you decorate with fake flowers? What flowers did you use, and where are they? Or do you keep live plants?


  1. I prefer to keep live plants myself. When I was younger, my mother kept a huge garden so our house was always filled with fresh blooms. It was strange to move to the other side of the country where fake flower bouquets are common in even the nicest houses. But they've never been able to replace my love of fresh flowers except as hair ornaments.

    Still, a life filled with flowers- real or cloth- is better than one without! I'd love to see other bouquets you create.

  2. LOL, my husband has to look after the live plants in the house because I kill them! Not intentionally, mind - I just don't have the knack.

    I am in charge of the fake arrangements and we have quite a few. I have a large urn I found at the thrift store with purple and white flowers and also some black ostrich feathers. An old brass ewer (eBay) filled with black plastic creepy looking twigs (real would look equally nice though). A small thrifted crystal vase with dried baby's breath and all the black feathers the magpies and crows have lost around the house. Black plastic twigs with purple crystals hanging from them that I have scattered throughout the house. Oh, and some fake black ivy I found one Hallowe'en I've wrapped around a picture frame.

    I like fake stuff better - I just don't like dusting it much. :o)

  3. I don't because I'm terrible about dusting, and silk flowers look awful if you don't keep them clean. I have a small bouquet of duct-tape roses in my office, though.

  4. Great post. And I love your cauldron arrangement! Very pretty, and the right size for just about any space.

    I'm able to keep live plants in my office at work, but we can only have artificial plants at home due to 1) having no place by any window to keep them, and 2) having nine cats. I've found Michael's to be the perfect place to buy artificial flowers, and they always have plenty, so I can easily replace any tattered ones that the cats have 'tasted'! ;-)

  5. Ahh, I love your arrangement! I believe the sprigs are eucalyptus, looking at them.

    Whilst I do enjoy keeping plants, I can see the appeal of fake flowers - I might try it for when I go back to university, though I don't know if I could be bothered keeping them dust free.

  6. I have two fake lavender plants on my window sill(symmetry is everything to me in a display), and then I have a tall potted palm-like fake plant near my armchair for an Victorian/Edwardian-look. I hope to get some more, but I'm happy with these so far.

  7. Ooooh as a plant (& dark aesthetic) enthusiast I looove this post!!! :) Such a wonderful idea! I have a few coleus plants out in the garden but I could really spruce up the interior with this idea, thanks so much!!!! :D Wicked good thinking!

  8. I have a green thumb, so I prefer real plants and flowers. My favorite for goth decorating have to be Petunias. Lately they've been cropping up in really dark purple to almost black around here.

    Looks like crushed velvet petals, lovely!

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  10. I have ivy at home as well as bamboo, a fern, and a Sentry Palm. The only fake flowers I have are some black roses in a vase I painted myself. It's pretty small, not much room for other flowers or bits. I love your arrangement!

  11. I almost never use fake flowers. I have amaryllis that looks real that I use for christmas though. I have real pot flowers on my windowsill to take care of. Sometimes they look horrible and sometimes they are full of flowers.

  12. I've never decorated with fake flowers, but seeing this post is definitely inspiring :3 An arrangement of some purple and black flowers would go really well with the blue colour of my walls ^^

  13. very helpful post! i've wound some fake roses around my bedpost, but i've always liked flower arrangments and i've been thinking of doing some fake flower arrangements, so thanks. :)

  14. We had the real stuff in our apartment -- especially when my ex-room mate had the ashes for Rozz Williams in the place. That made me nervous -- I lived across the street from a cemetery so when you write horror fiction and publish the stuff; it gives it another dimension.

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