One Cheap and Easy Interior Design Fix


I forgot to tell you two things yesterday about Vicente Wolf and the first thing is about one cheap and easy interior design fix. If you go and look at all of the images of Vicente’s rooms, they all have one thing in common. (except for one.)

Can you figure it out? :]

They all have at least one gorgeous bouquet of fresh flowers, of a SINGLE color and type. Put your finger over the flowers and look at the room. It’s just not the same is it? In fact, in a few of the cases, it’s the flowers which give the room that much-needed added zing that takes it into the superstar category. Can’t we do the same thing?

one cheap and easy interior design fix

Bunny Williams

“So, Laurel… You’re saying that we need to go out and buy fresh flowers every week?” That doesn’t sound like a cheap fix to me.”

Well… “relatively” cheap. :]

However… I hear ya and agree. So, here are some alternatives to get the look for less.

One, instead of a bouquet of cut flowers, get a flowering plant. At the very least, you should probably be able to keep it nice looking for several weeks and maybe even a lot longer if you are good with plants and/or lucky.

And then there is another solution.

Fake flowers.

Guys, stop looking at me like I have three heads!!! :]

I know… I know… your mind is conjuring up these kinds of images.


Or this…


[yes, I know… I’m going straight to hell]

I’m going to ask you something though? Have you ever gone up to a bouquet of flowers and wondered if they were real or not? Well, I have and sometimes I’m shocked to find that what looks a bit artificial because they are so perfect are actually real and vice-versa. Point being, today’s silk flowers are amazingly lifelike. Exquisite even. And there are some other compelling reasons to use artificial flowers:

  • They require little care. (they do need to be cleaned every so often, however)
  • Your pet won’t start chewing on them (unless they just chew on everything anyway)
  • They won’t attract insects
  • You won’t wreck your furniture when you over water them and the water leaks out everywhere
  • They won’t get moldy
  • And of course, you’ll save a lot of money in the long run

Still don’t believe me? You can find wonderful silk flowers in all sorts of places and one of my fave silk arrangements is an orchid. They are so difficult to keep in bloom and the silk ones are completely believable.

Pound Ridge Living Room

Laurel Bern Interiors

My wonderful client, K found this silk orchid at Home Goods! I think it actually makes the room!

Here are some do’s and don’ts for adding flowers to your room whether they are real or really good fakes

  • Do choose one single color or close in color to each other and possibly only one type  of flower
  • Do realize that the flowers are a part of the color scheme of the entire room
  • Don’t be afraid to go big and luxurious
  • Do put the flowers in pretty containers. ie: porcelain, antique/vintage silver, crystal
  • DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES get the silk flowers all ready to go with FAUX WATER. (eww)
  • Do change them and/or clean them when they get dirty and/or faded tired looking.

Nothing worse than dirty, faded fake flowers.

Here are some rooms that I think have used flowers most effectively to enhance the design. And, just to be clear. I’m not saying never to use real flowers. There is nothing better than real flowers, however, filling in with a realistic beautifully done silk arrangement is a very viable option.

DC Design House 2012

 Marika Meyer

Above and below by Marika Meyer for the 2012 DC Design House. Fabulous rooms and exquisite styling all the way around! She did an amazing job!

DC Design House 2012

BTW, the window fabric is one of my favorite patterns from Quadrille Fabrics called Veneto. We did it for the Bronxville dining room. We recovered chairs from Aidan Gray in the Apple Green colorway.



Anne Hepfer

She has a gorgeous website with lots of gorgeous rooms!

Below is another design guru,Charles Spada.  who I’ve admired since my early interior design days in the 80’s, Charles undoubtedly invented the word eclectic and yet that word, IMO, doesn’t adequately describe his exquisite interiors. Eclectic is a word like transitional; kind of meaningless in the context of interior design. He is the Neo-Traditionalist designer’s “Papa Haydn.” [for all you classical musical fiends out there!]




I just noticed that in all of these rooms, there is no rug and either bare or simple shutters on the windows. I adore his mix of antique French pieces with pieces like the Lucite coffee table or this cool coffee table base. And I love the slip-cover on the chaise in the image above this one. It’s those details which keep the traditional design, historically accurate and yet fresh and evolving, at the same time.


Honey Collins

I discovered this interior designer yesterday and my jaw kinda hit the floor when I saw this dining room. (and the next two images as well) I would like to move in with that A-mazing Oushak rug and maybe make a couple of babies with it– and ALL the rest of it too! The Grisaille wallpaper, neo-classical French cherry table— those CHAIRS! I’m in heaven. This dining room is a feast for the eyes of Roman Empire proportions! Please check out her website. (link above) The colors are insanely gorgeous!



And a Greek Key border? Really now…

The next three images are by Meredith Heron who’s a super-star in the making. I only discovered her recently as well, as she was a style spotter at the recent High Point Market. I “stole” some of her photos for my High Point Market 2014 post. (don’t worry. I asked her permission and she was as nice as could be.) Meredith is actually the one who told me that she uses the term “neo-traditional” for this style of design. Her blog is one of my very faves. She’s very honest with just a dash of sauce which of course, I love! And then… she has a killer eye and exquisite taste! (and as I said, she’s super nice!)




Okay, I realize that this post is suppose to be about flowers. :] But in this context the flowers in and of themselves don’t have any meaning without the room itself. So, I’m also posting some of my favorite designers and/or rooms. And when I do that, I can’t help but talk about other elements of the designers I love and wish to hi-light.

I often post work from Windsor Smith and I know that I’ve posted this room before, but I’m not sure if I’ve posted it from this perspective. What I absolutely love about this room is that the color scheme/pattern combo is absolutely INSANE! Hot pink. Gold. Turquoise. Deep Rose. Doesn’t that sound like Pepto Bismol on acid? And yet… it is one of the most insanely gorgeous rooms I’ve ever seen. She’s another genius. We can all learn a lot from her because her palettes and juxtaposition of elements is extraordinary and unusual. But she never crosses the line into yuck. Oh, I have seen a lot of yuck and published in big magazines too. Ya know… the rooms that make you go… Did somebody really pay all that money to make their home look like a schizophrenic three-ring circus with hyper-active elephants? But Windsor, is a girlfriend after my heart of unerring classicism with just enough bedazzling quirk to be original and fresh! What keeps this room grounded is the phenomenal architectural elements And…she’s also cooled it down with a good amount of white and neutrals like the wonderful sea grass rug. It’s kinda like a mango lassie to slurp along with your yummy vegetarian vindaloo dish. :]



Here is a shot of her dining room. Quite frankly, I don’t think I could eat here. I wouldn’t want to touch a thing. It’s so beautiful, it’s almost making me sick. :] It’s befriggin’ amazing!


Here’s another shot of her kitchen that I featured the other day in my post about being black and blue all over. I love you Windsor, and I love the IDEA of that wonderful WHITE slipcover in the kitchen… but… mine would look like a Jackson Pollock masterpiece in about two days. [Minus the cigarette ash]


And this astonishing bathroom. Alright, apparently Windsor doesn’t need privacy. [or she just walks on her knees when she’s in here] Notice the little fretwork on the bench? The little nosegay of pink flowers? It’s those seemingly tiny details which make this room so incredible. And that window! The tub! Perfect bathroom! Insanely perfect!


I half expect Rita Hayworth to come sashaying in any moment. Glamour city! The small bouquet of peachy-orangey roses gives a note a refreshing bright note. (my clients would be all-over me like maple syrup on buttermilk pancakes if I gave them a wrinkled bedskirt, however… just sayin’.)


This is a vignette from one of my rooms. (the leopard rug was already there as was the bookcase, but I did everything else including the mirrored box on the mirrored table.) :] That’s a fake (alright. silk orchid) from the John Richard collection. It’s one of the more expensive ones, but at least it won’t die!


source unknown

Love the colors in this one even though it’s not strictly a flower.


Anne Hepfer


Sorry, source unknown but the colors!!! There is something so enigmatic about deep blue on blue. Wish I had seen this for the black and blue post.


Another phenomenal vignette from Loi Thai of Tone on Tone. I think I mentioned this before, but in case you don’t already know… Loi and I were separated a birth. Love you dear twin! I’ll set up the lunch date for us with Vicente. ;]


Sorry source unknown here too. I do try to find the ORIGINAL source— (and spend considerable time doing so). The original source, meaning the person who put this all together. However… Flikr is not a source and neither is someone else’s blog who found this on someone else’s blog or flikr— or pinterest or google… It’s like finding it here and then giving me the credit. I’m flattered, but this is not one of my rooms.  What I love here is that the flowers are a supporting player… not the star.

And that’s okay. What would Swan Lake be without all those little swans sucking up to their swan queen?

Oh Good God! I almost forgot the other thing I wanted to say. Vicente Wolf is having a Taste Maker Tag Sale on One King’s Lane. However, please take a look… oh… and if you’re planning on buying something like this stunning [it’s the real thing] Louis XVI Mirror


Marked down from  $38,462.00  to ONLY(!) $19,499.00, please move on over to my sidebar and click onto the site from there.  His sale is on through May 22nd.

You can see it in situ here. He did it at a showhouse recently. It is also featured on my Vicente Wolf Pinterest board.


Oh, and haha! This is funny and I swear on a stack of paint chips that I had no idea, but One King’s Lane is also having a wonderful faux (fake) :] flowers sale which you can see here.

Just don’t get the ones with the fake water.

It makes me a bit nauseous when I see that. (and not the good kinda Windsor-Smith-incredible-beautykinda-nauseous)

And please stay tuned for some exciting news!



One Response

  1. I have been using fake/ artificial flowers and I guess it is an easy escape from timely maintenance routine. Might sound like a careless freak but that is true; that amount of elegance is missing in my activities. Well thanks for sharing such a cheerful post, Glad reading 🙂

Comments are closed.

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Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

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