Succulents and hanging ivy have had their moment. Now, artificial trees are sprouting up in living rooms, nurseries and gardens across the country.
By now you know that potted plants and succulents, both real and artificial, have taken over our living room shelves, bathroom windows sills and kitchen counters. They bring a bit of life to a home, make you feel instantly rooted and the pops of colour they offer are an instant mood lifter.
But they’re about to usurped by something, well, bigger. You’ve probably seen artificial trees and vines adorning shopfronts, creating an atmosphere in a restaurant or making a statement above a bar, and now they’re coming into our homes and gardens. We caught up with John Crean of Outdoor Living, a supplier of all outdoor items from furniture to heaters, and one of Ireland’s leading purveyors of luxury artificial trees and plants, to find out why they're branching out, so to speak.
“Most of our market would be commercial clients such as hotels, bars, even beauty salons,” John explains. Outdoor Living has installed artificial plant life into places like the new garden room in Mario's Sandymount restaurant that includes trailing ivy, potted palms and cherry blossom trees, and an entirely green wall in the outdoor space of The Camden with their Anthurium wall panels.
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Now, Outdoor Living is starting to see interest in trees and large-scale plants for the home begin to pique. This is in part due to innovations in materials and textures that lend a luxurious, life-like quality of their creations. Now, the magic of the forest can look as realistic in up-close living room settings as they do in lavish hotel lobbies.
If you’re considering bringing a tree or plant life into your home but don’t want the hassle of watering and pruning, John recommends a few things. First, ensure you pick the right size plant for your room. Too big and it can take over a space, too small and it can look puny. These plants won’t grow any further so take the time to plan it out.
“Our trees come in all types of sizes, from two-foot potted ficus trees to four-metre Birch trees.” A double-height ceiling might be the perfect spot for trailing greenery, while a cosy corner can be amplified with overhanging branches. All hand-painted down to the finest detail, Outdoor Living’s plants are realistic right down to the texture of the leaves. If you’re just not sure what you want, potted artificial trees and plants can be quickly swapped in and out so you can keep a variety of options on hand throughout the year.
They’re also ideal for a garden, especially for those who aren’t particularly green-fingered. If you’re trying to frame a view or want to ensure there’s always greenery outside a window that won’t grow and obstruct light, an artificial plant or tree is ideal – no gardening necessary.
“We have three types of trees, fire-certified, UV-treated, or both,” explains John. “For outdoor trees, wind and rain aren’t what does the damage, it’s the harmful rays from the sun that cause the vibrant green to turn blue or brown.” Outdoor Living offers a UVSilx range that is designed specifically for the outdoors with UV protection, ensuring the colours will stay vibrant for years to come.
When it comes to projects that they’ve tackled, for John it’s all about how their designs are experienced. “We recently did a lovely install into an autism unit, where children can sit beneath our cherry blossom tree and read stories. We love when our trees are used in unique ways.”
See Outdoor Living's expansive tree selection for yourself at their Dunboyne, Co Meath showroom, or online at outdoorliving.ie. John and the Outdoor Living team are also on-hand for site visits and consultations and would be happy to recommend the best greenery to fit your home or business.
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