From solo stems to bountiful bouquets, there’s nothing like a bunch of flowers to lift the look and feel of a room. Whether you’re decorating a table, prepping a guest bedroom or simply want to inject some colour into your home, florals and foliage bring a touch of natural beauty to any space. If you’re not blessed with green thumbs, faux alternatives are perfect for getting that fresh-flower look all year round. “I think it’s great how they can be refreshed seasonally by simply swapping different flowers in,” says Natalie Howard, the assistant manager at OKA Guildford, who has more than 10 years’ experience working with both fresh and faux flowers. As part of our Bunched by OKA service, Howard lends her expertise to customers on a daily basis, helping them to create a display that perfectly complements their home. If you’re looking for ideas on how to make a faux flower arrangement, read on for her expert tips on choosing, arranging and making the most of your everlasting bouquet.

A bouquet of white flowers in OKA'S green sea urchin jug, which is sitting on a gold side table with a mirrored top.A bouquet of white flowers in OKA'S green sea urchin jug, which is sitting on a gold side table with a mirrored top.
A white floral vase and a small green pot sit on a wooden desk, both holding faux flowers.A white floral vase and a small green pot sit on a wooden desk, both holding faux flowers.

Start with a Vase and Consider Where Your Display Will Live

Selecting a vase may seem like the last step in the flower-arranging process, but Howard recommends making it your first port of call. “I always start with the vase, as not all flowers work with all styles,” she explains. “Obviously, this is down to personal taste, but most often we use a medium-sized vase that has a fluted shape at the top. This gives the arrangement a better shape than a vase with straight sides.” Once you’ve settled on the silhouette, you can think about design – decide whether you want to go for something bright and bold, like a print or statement colour, or something simpler, such as a glass vase. If you already have your faux flowers in mind, be sure to choose a vase that will complement your display.

It’s also crucial to determine where your arrangement is going to live before you begin creating it. “If it’s on a sideboard or console without a mirror behind it, you could make half an arrangement as you don’t need flowers at the back and that works out a lot cheaper.” For a dining table, you don’t want too tall a vase or it will obstruct the view across the table. “Hallways are popular locations for faux bouquets, as well as kitchen islands,” Howard adds.

Choose Your Flowers and Foliage

Once you’ve settled on your vase and location, it’s time to turn your attention to the main event: the flowers. If you’re seeking help from our Bunched by OKA service or an in-store florist elsewhere, Howard recommends bringing in photos of your space, so that they can get an understanding of your style. The final result will be personal to you, but as a general rule she likes to begin “with artificial leaves or green foliage – usually two styles – and then two types of flowers”. If you’re creating a mixed bouquet, it’s best to go for contrasting shapes, for example peonies with hydrangeas for a mix of textures (as opposed to peonies with roses, which are both round). The key to styling lies in odd numbers: “This keeps the arrangement symmetrical,” says Howard, “so choose stems in quantities of threes or fives.”

A large white vase holds a green plant. It is sitting on a wooden sideboard next to a blue potA large white vase holds a green plant. It is sitting on a wooden sideboard next to a blue pot
Two large white vases, one of which is holding foliage, sit on a round stone table surrounded by yellow velvet chairs.Two large white vases, one of which is holding foliage, sit on a round stone table surrounded by yellow velvet chairs.

Make Your Faux Flowers Come to Life

If you have ordered your faux flowers from OKA’s online store, they will arrive carefully wrapped but straight and closed. A few tweaks will get them looking fresh. “Always bend the flower head so it’s facing you, so it’s not sticking up but facing forwards,” explains Howard on the manipulation involved. “All of our faux flowers and foliage have wire stems, so open them out to put shape into them. I use my thumb and forefinger to put a very slight curve in the stem, which gives movement and makes it appear more natural.”

Howard advises to avoid cutting stems where possible (for which you’d need a pair of wire cutters – secateurs just won’t cut it) and bending them to create the right height. “The bend gives more hold and the arrangement will sit better overall.”

Create an Arrangement

If you’re wondering how to arrange faux flowers in a vase, follow Howard’s tried-and-tested method: she likes to layer her stems to create “triangles”. “In the bottom layer I would put one type of foliage in and a flower to the right of each stem, using all three of the same foliage stems. I’d repeat that all the way around and that would be my first layer. I’d then take my stems slightly higher for the second layer, so they look like elongated stems; this is when the idea of a triangle comes in. I keep doing this process within the vase, adding several layers.” You could also use floral tape to keep your display in place; tie stems together to create a spray or use it to support flower heads.

A popular arrangement size involves around 25 stems, but a small bouquet could feature one foliage and two types of flowers, composed of just two layers.

A white vase, holding a green plant, sits on a round outdoor dining table next to a white bowl of artichokes and two glass candle holders.A white vase, holding a green plant, sits on a round outdoor dining table next to a white bowl of artichokes and two glass candle holders.
A green pot holding a stem of white flowers sits on a dining table, which is decorated with a blue-and-white striped tablecloth and floral crockery.A green pot holding a stem of white flowers sits on a dining table, which is decorated with a blue-and-white striped tablecloth and floral crockery.

Update Your Arrangement to Keep it Looking Fresh

You needn’t overhaul your floral arrangements at every turn of the season, but Howard does recommend swapping in flowers on rotation “because it makes the bouquet look even more realistic and fresh as it is different to look at”. You could keep the foliage consistent but opt for peonies in spring and berries in winter. You can also add that fresh flower scent by placing a saturated diffuser stick in the vase where it can’t be seen, or lightly spraying the display with room spray.

How to Care for your Faux Flowers

The best part about faux flowers is that you get to enjoy a lifelike bouquet without the upkeep that comes with real blooms. However, if you want to keep your display looking super fresh at all times, there are a few cleaning tips Howard has up her sleeve. “We always recommend blowing any dust off with a hairdryer on a cool setting,” she says, “and don’t use water or a damp cloth as that could mark the surface.” Beyond this, your faux flower arrangement should be hassle free – you can just sit back and admire your handiwork, all year long.