Design Inspiration
08/12/2021

Using Stems as a Finishing Touch

By: Anna Popov

Design Inspiration
08/12/2021

Using Stems as a Finishing Touch

By: Anna Popov

We love to bring a little greenery into a finished space. Natural elements bring a design together, enhancing the space’s ambiance with softness, movement, and color. When it comes to interior plant life many automatically think of soft flowers or full, leafy potted plants. Yes, certain spaces can benefit from a flower arrangement or a few whole plants, but for a more modern, versatile take on decorative foliage, we often choose stems.

The wide variety of available stems can span from rustic, subdued, and minimal to complex, dynamic, and sophisticated, making stems ideal for everything from enhancing new spaces to updating a tired design. Stems can suggest movement and structure, giving your space a sense of dynamic energy, geometric complexity, architectural stability, or anything in between.

 

So with all the options for stems to choose from, how do we select just the right stem for a space? That depends on the project, but often it helps to start by deciding between fresh, dried, and faux.

1. FRESH

Gorgeous Fresh stems can be found anywhere. We often just take clippers and head outside, and it’s amazing the great options we find just going on a walk or even in our clients’ back yard. Selecting native ferns, bamboo stems, fruit tree blossoms, reeds, and tall grasses or even budding branches adds a local touch to a space.

 

However, limiting decor to only include fresh stems narrows the available stem options to what happens to be native, seasonal cuttings. And while some of our clients love periodically replacing older, dried-out stems with seasonal favorites, others prefer a more long-lasting option for bringing plant life into their space.

 

2. DRIED

Dried stems solve both the limited variety and limited shelf-life of fresh stems, while still giving rooms a natural look and feel. While we still love to source locally grown options for dried stems, the longer lifespan of dried stems allows us to include plant varieties that are not native to the area. Some of our favorite dried stems include luxurious palms, soft pampas grass, striking eucalyptus fronds, leafy fig cuttings, or classic olive branches.

Dried stems keep for several months when properly cared for. We instruct our clients to water dried stems just like fresh ones, and research care for each type of plant cutting used. With dried stems, we can choose cuttings to specifically suit our client’s design preferences. While dried stems still need occasional upkeep, they offer a more low-maintenance, natural alternative to fresh stems.

3. FAUX

In the past faux branches had a reputation for looking artificial, but these days faux stems have come a long way from your grandmother’s plastic turf grass. By choosing the right premium brands, we can find beautiful, realistic options that still bring freshness and life to our designs. True, faux isn’t our first choice, but often their benefits make them a better fit for clients who prefer not to water or replace their greenery. Besides being ultra low-maintenance, faux stems come in all varieties, every season of the year. Some of the most popular and lifelike options include lavender, larkspur, willow, reeds, and monstera, so our designers often choose among those when choosing faux stems.

4. Choosing the Perfect Finishing Touch

When it comes to selecting decorative stems, fresh, dried, and faux each has unique pros and cons. Not sure what greenery is best for your space? We can help! We love guiding folks to discover their best design choices, from the first paint swatch to the final touches.

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