In the boutiques of Brooklyn or NoLiTa where Le Futiloscope New York goes to fill up on new trends, we think that decorating has severely stalled. Always the same “usual suspects”: pancake plants in pots, ferns in macramé hangers, and regiments of cactus plants. If we get close and actually touch them: more and more often, they’re false! That superb yucca? It’s plastic. This collection of succulents in the coffee shop that swears by bio? The wall of green plants in the restaurant? Idem.
The millennials have a lot of chutzpah. They carry on about the joys of #plantparenting. They inundate Instagram with clichés about their personal #urbanjungle. And then they rush into “false plants” suddenly omnipresent not only at Urban Outfitters but at all kinds of decorator shops. Same thing at Ikea.com: in the novelty items a synthetic #tropicool forest! In Paris we get fooled as well. Nifty this new wall…uh vegefake? Just like the décor #jungalow at the Brebant Café.
Confined to waiting rooms in times gone by, artificial plants are back and with major hype. The argument n° 1 of the newly converted? Techniques and materials have progressed so far that it’s no longer possible to distinguish the original from the copy. We can now perfectly reproduce the curve of an Aloe Vera leaf, the form of our cherished Monstera plant, the soft feel of certain succulents or the arty marks of the Begonia Maculata. And all that without having to water them or engage in the boring #plantroutine? Tempting.
But you have to admit, it’s slightly troubling. It’s weird that this wave of foliage “made in China” from various polymers doesn’t bother anyone. What happened to the anti-stress virtues of #homegardening? Or the pollution abating properties of houseplants? Today it’s a new kind of storytelling : long live the artificial plants, non-allergic and non-toxic as “pets”! Are we going to have to get used to not being able to tell the real from the artificial? In a concept store no less, we recently ran across an imposing false potted palm, its lower fronds all yellow and curling. A very high-class forgery! Almost a clone! In the home as well, according to Apartment Therapy, you can throw yourself into forgery and fraud. “Repot your artificial plant in an artisan ceramic pot. Cover with some earth or moss”…
Frankly, do we really need to add – voluntarily at that – more virtual in our reality? Fake plants, fake news, even fake people in our telephones or computers…what’s the next step, non-allergic robo-cats? In the short term, it’s without a doubt the generalization of a process largely used in hotel lobbies and shopping malls: plants that have been “stabilized”. Real trees, plants or bushes in their prime, whose sap has been removed. They are then injected with a mysterious substance that preserves them intact, eternally perfect, or almost. It may not be very “green” but its most certainly “Soylent Green”.
Faux succulent : Crate & Barrel