Take it or Leave it: Faux Flowers

I’ll admit it upfront: the very thought of fake flowers has always brought me out in a bit of a rash, conjuring up images of lurid, plasticky pound-shop displays or dusty, frayed polyester lilies in the corner of dentists’ waiting rooms.

But like it or not, faux blooms are having a bit of a moment. The new breed of silk flowers is more convincing than ever, not to mention low maintenance (and God knows, I’d be happy if I never had to change another vase of stinky flower water). OK, you don’t get the fragrance of the real thing, nor the tiny variations and transience that make real flowers so special, but then you’ll never waste another hour trying to get pollen stains out of your favourite top either.

So is it time to start faking it or should we keep it real?

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Gaudy colours? Check. Crumpled petals? Check. These are the bogus blooms I know and hate, and they aren’t fooling anyone.

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A bridal bouquet that looks as good on your ruby anniversary as it did on your wedding day is an idea I can get behind. Although once you’ve forked out for decent silk flowers, there’s no way you’d want to lob them into a gaggle of your single girlfriends.

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Bloom is a good place to find impressively realistic arrangements. I can’t help thinking it might get a bit boring having the same flowers on display the whole time, but when they look as good as these, would you really mind?

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You can always trust Abigail Ahern to come up with the goods – her website is full of gorgeous displays that could definitely pass for the real deal. Plus Ms Ahern has supplied flowers for Robbie Williams, Emma Thompson and the Vatican, and if they’re good enough for the Pope…

What do you think? Are faux flowers blooming lovely or a shabby substitute for the real thing?

- Susie

August 29, 2014 - 12:27 pm

Suzzy - I think faux flowers can look amazing – if you’re willing to spend the money and get decent-quality ones!

It always brings me memories of sitting at family friends’ houses and seeing plastic-y so-called plants. Same as you’d get in a takeaway shop, really.

Thankfully technology has moved on since then!

Decorum Loves: Beautility

We’ve already written a post on Beautility, the design ethos adopted by Sebastian Conran, but we thought it might be a good idea to share some more information about the background to the campaign, as well as giving you some ideas of products that deserve the beautility label!

What you might not already know is that Beautility was originally a furniture brand in the 1930s, creating functional yet attractive midcentury designs. This is where Sebastian first came across the term. A trawl through vintage sites and Pinterest reveal that the majority of the designs that have survived are dining furniture pieces, especially sideboards and cocktail cabinets.

These beautiful pieces combine the best of aesthetics and practicality and really live up to their name…

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Beautility in the modern day is not limited to furniture. It can be applied to everything that’s ‘designed’, from architecture to fashion to transport. We’ve compiled a few of our favourite items for you, that we really believe deserve the Beautility label…some may be surprising!

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The main purpose of the Universal Expert‘s Beautility campaign is to start ensuring that we design things that work well as well as look good – it’s a mission to prove that the two are not mutually exclusive.

We’re gearing up for a Twitter chat on 4 September with Sebastian himself, where we hope the design community, and design enthusiasts, will come together to discuss why it’s so important that products are designed to last, and manufactured using the most appropriate materials for the job. It’s also a chance to hear Sebastian’s passionate thoughts on this matter, so don’t miss out!

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If you haven’t already, the best way to ensure you are included in the chat is to support it on Thunderclap.

Supporting is easy, costs nothing and takes only two seconds – simply click on the button of the social media network you’d like to support with, and follow the instructions!

We’re nearly at 100 supporters, so don’t miss your chance to be part of this design movement!

 

Decorum Explores: Disused metro stations

As you can imagine, working in the design industry comes with its perks. We have early access to the ‘next big fashions,’ meaning we are always on trend (we knew pineapples were going to be a thing before they were a thing,) we have the opportunity to meet many wonderful, creative people and, of course, we are exposed to quirky new ideas. disused metro station plans. daily decorum decorum media

These concept designs, by OXO architects and Laisné Architecte, are the latest thing to capture our attention. Proposed by Parisian mayoral candidate, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, the images depict a plan to convert ghost stations along the metro into something of use, and of beauty.

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According to Morizet’s campaign website: “Paris has 11 underground ghost stations. Some of them have never been opened, others have been closed since 1940 and the occupation of Paris. These stations contain authentic places of history, which have remained in tact since their closure. Today, these stations are sleeping under our feet.”

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Morizet goes on to promise to“restore these special places for Parisians, opening them to the public and redeveloping them to give birth to alternative uses: sporting, cultural and festive” and “allow Parisians to choose the use they want to give these abandoned places, while enhancing the historic heritage of the Paris metro.”

The proposed uses include swimming pools, bars, nightclubs and even an underground garden centre.

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Personally, we love the idea of transforming one of the vacant spaces into a theatre. A ballet staged underneath Paris would be an unforgettable experience – and is an idea we can’t help but think London should be paying attention to. (Come on Boris, where are your plans to recreate our disused stations?)

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Manal Rachdi, one of the architects working on the project, said: “This project aims to bring back to life these ghost stations by giving them a new purpose. To swim in the metro seems like a crazy dream, but it could soon come true!

“Why can’t Paris take advantage of its underground potential and invent new functions for these abandoned places?”

Would you visit a converted metro? Can we join you?

Decorum Loves: Ptolemy Mann Itten rug

This distinctly autumnal weather has got me wearing slippers again at home. Why? Because my flat has only painted floorboards throughout, and therefore can be remarkably chilly underfoot when the temperatures drop. And although I love the simple sophistication that comes from hard flooring, really, honestly, there’s just nothing like a cosy rug underfoot to make you feel like you’re truly ‘home’.

However, over the years, I have struggled with rugs. Finding the perfect designs that are not a) garish nor  b) boring has been a real challenge. So this delicious colour-blocking beauty by Ptolemy Mann has really got my heart fluttering…

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Designed in the UK by textile artist Ptolemy, the Itten rug is made from full wool pile, just perfect for sinking your toes into at the end of a long day. The abstract piece is hand-knitted by experienced rug makers in Nepal.

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If pile rugs are a bit too much like carpet for your tastes, there’s also a stylish flatweave version which combines wonderful hues of purple and yellow to create a design that’s like art for your floor…

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Ptolemy Mann has been creating colourful work from her studio since 1997, using hand-dyed and woven techniques, starting out – unsurprisingly – producing architectural, geometric and sophisticated wall-based art. Her foray into commercial homewares is recent and includes fabrics, rugs, cushions, bed linen and throws. The rugs, however, are my definite favourites. Available now from Heal’s in three sizes – check out the rest of her designs too.

- Charlotte D

 

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August 20, 2014 - 11:21 am

Stephanie - Love Ptolemy’s rugs. Her use of colour is so vibrant, and instantly recognisable.

We’ll be collaborating with her on something special for our Decorex stand (K40) in September, so do drop by and have a look!

August 20, 2014 - 11:37 am

dailyd - Oh we definitely will do! Sounds intriguing.