We don’t sell flowers at INSIDE, but we use them in our photo shoots or for in-store display.   Mary used to be a strict fresh-flowers-only person, but this got a big thumbs down from the sales staff, because apparently, real flowers bring insects into the shops.  Obviously, we can’t have insects at INSIDE, so she had to give in, and to everyone’s surprise, she’s become a convert.  

fake Christmas flowers in a basket

fake flowers in a vase outdoors

So, this week, we take a quick look at the pros and cons of real or fake, particularly for city dwellers. 


The artificial flower industry has come a long way over the past couple of decades.  Sometimes, fake still looks very fake…

fake flowers market

But it’s now sometimes very hard to tell the difference. If you’ve found yourself surreptitiously attempting to tear a leaf or sniff a flower in a restaurant or bar (or a friend’s house 😔) to check, you’ll know what we mean.   

We put Nhi and Malu to a quick test. Yes, sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference, and this completely destroys our main objection to fake flowers: it’s when they look it.  

View reel

fake flowers in a vase
 Real or fake? 

Environmental impact

Now, obviously in our dreams we’d love to have a ‘cut flower garden’ – common to the grander country houses of England, for example, but not realistic if you live in a flat in Hong Kong or Singapore.   

In fact, for most of us – and sorry to be depressing - the ‘fresh’ flower alternative has got the same sort of environmental credentials as a battery farm chicken or a cheap plastic toy.   Raised in hot houses or under artificial light, using large amounts of fertiliser to force the blooms, and then flown, chilled, long distances by air.  And don’t kid yourself.   Just because it’s ‘natural’, stuffing the rotting remains of real flowers into a bin liner and sending it off to landfill is not good for the environment either.   

So, it’s not obviously the ‘green’ choice, especially when you consider that artificial flowers can last for years. 


Unless you’re growing your own - and even then, there is a cost involved – there’s no question that investing in some very good quality artificial flowers is the economic choice, leaving you more money to blow out on fresh flowers for a very special occasion - or perhaps investing in some beautiful vases from INSIDE.


They don’t die.  They don’t need their water changed.  Guilt-free flowers to suit the season – YES we can have a winter look at home when it’s 32 degrees outside.   And no insects!

TOP TIPS for artificial flowers

- Buy individual flowers, rather than pre-prepared bunches

- Change the arrangement occasionally, to give your flowers a fresh new look

- Pay up for better quality.  In the world of artificial flowers, cheap looks unrealistic.  The best flowers can be made of silk. 

- Treat them like real flowers – cut the stems to the right length, remove unwanted foliage

- There’s no reason not to mix fresh with fake. Confuse the eye!  Guess what’s real in this picture:

fake holly flowers in vase

- With wire in the stems, you can bend the flowers to get a more natural shape for your bouquet. 

- Real flowers don’t last long enough to get dusty, so dusty flowers are a real give away.  Rinse the dust off!

View all our vases here. 

fake flowers in vases in our Singapore store
Buy here

fake flowers in vase
Buy here

fake tulips in a vintage vase
Buy here (Now at 50% off!)

vintage vases

Buy here (Now at 50% off!)

November 03, 2023 — Mary McBain