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Spring has sprung at Pottery Barn! I was just in Toronto’s Bloor Street store looking for props for an upcoming story and had to stop and smell the (fake) flowers. Every year I’m really impressed by how well they do the artificial branches and flower stems. Have a look below — so lovely. (I shot the fakes using an app on my iPhone called Hipstamatic — it gives all your shots a bit of pretty.)

They had white and pink cherry blossoms, as well as pear blossoms. Branches can create such a statement and are very simple to decorate with.

As an example of how to use branches in decor, here’s a shot from the April 2009 food shoot I worked on with Stacey Smithers. This quince branch almost killed us — we patiently waited for it to bloom in the heart of winter, and eventually it did. (It also took up half my car getting it to the photo shoot location.) And what an important piece to the final image.

Here’s another example — not of flowering branches but with the same impact. Michael Penney styled this shoot for our April 2010 issue.

These hydrangeas and tulips were also at Pottery Barn, shown in some pieces from the new recycled glass collection. You could easily mix the faux with real flowers for impact out of season. I find hydrangeas add great bulk to floral arrangements but can wilt quickly — having good fakes on hand can stretch out the life of your arrangements and will save you money in the long run.

I was also really taken by the clean, crisp, cotton slipcovered furniture mixed with classic ticking stripes in store at the moment — you can’t go wrong with this combo. Add a few embroidered pillows and one or two faux flower arrangements and who says it’s -14°C outside? New products have just rolled in, and they are worth a look. If you can’t get into a store, check them out online.

For more tips on flower arranging, view our Easy Flower Arrangements photo gallery.

Photo credits:
1. Morgan Michener
2. House & Home April 2009 issue, photography by Michael Graydon
3. House & Home April 2010 issue, photography by Donna Griffith
4. Morgan Michener

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