I am one of those people who believe that every room should have flowers in it. From seasonal blooms to simple greens mixed with wildflowers picked from the garden.

Real vs artificial floral arrangements in various vessels

And when your favorite fresh flowers aren’t in season or are hard to come by, what do you do? An artificial flower arrangement is the perfect solution. Faux flowers today aren’t the same as the bright-colored, flat-textured flowers of yesteryear.

For one, Balsam Hill has floral arrangements that are so realistic, I’ve had guests try to smell them.

Why Choose Faux Flowers

There are several reasons why you would choose to have faux flower arrangements in your home. But a few main things to consider are realism, the ease of using them, their durability, and the overall cost.


When talking about real vs artificial flowers, of course, you want those artificial flowers that look realistic. Today’s creations are “fabulous faux” and are more popular than ever. From velvety petals to colors that mimic real life, these flowers can fool more and more people.

Real ranunculus placed next to an artificial ranunculus

This is a real ranunculus next to a faux one. You can see how close they resemble each other, right down to their ruffly layers and warm shade of color.

Ease of Use

Maintenance and ease of use are other things to consider. Artificial flowers just need a bit of fluffing and are easy to display. You can place a vase of gorgeous flowers in your room, and leave it there as long as you want. No water or sun necessary.


One of the benefits of artificial flowers is that they don’t need a lot of upkeep to look like you just placed a beautiful fresh bouquet in the guest bedroom (when it was actually last year!). No worries about the hydrangeas wilting or the real rose petal’s color fading. With minimal care, faux flowers can look fabulous for years and years.

Real and faux white hydrangea flowers

These hydrangeas are some of my favorites. And while one is real and looking fresh for the moment, the other looks real and will last and last.


How much they cost is another consideration. A large arrangement of my favorite fresh flowers such as peonies, ranunculus, hellebore, and tulips would add up to $150-$200, depending on the size. Putting that expense into an artificial floral arrangement instead is a one-time investment because you can use it again and again.

Faux peonies vs real peonies

Take these peonies, for instance. Real peonies vs artificial peonies⁠—both ruffly and beautiful. Both a lovely shade and both wonderful to have in the house. But the fresh peonies are currently around $8 each stem, so a bouquet of 25-30 of them will cost somewhere around $200-$240. For that same investment, you can have artificial decorative flowers that will last season after season.

Comparing Real vs Artificial Flowers

Today, I’m going to show you a comparison of real and faux florals based on a couple of my favorite Balsam Hill arrangements. I sourced almost all of the same flowers that were in the artificial arrangements, with some out-of-season exceptions and color changes. I then recreated the arrangements with fresh flowers.

Let’s take a closer look at the flower arrangements I recreated and see how the faux flowers fared when compared to the real ones.

Nantucket Hydrangea Arrangement

Balsam Hill Nantucket Hydrangea Foliage in metal vessel beside its replica made with fresh flowers

I’m in love with the Nantucket Hydrangea Arrangement. A beautiful mix of white hydrangeas, thistle, and greens in a charming galvanized bucket.

Fresh thistle, lavender, white lilac, white hydrangea, olive branches, yellow berries, and pittosporum

I recreated the look with fresh white hydrangea, variegated pittosporum, thistle, and white astilbe mostly.

Fresh white hydrangea flowers beside artificial white hydrangea flowers
Which one is real and which one is faux?

In some of the photos, it is hard to tell which is faux. The artificial hydrangeas and pittosporum are incredibly realistic.

French Market Floral Arrangement

Balsam Hill French Market Floral Arrangement

The French Market Floral Arrangement feels like one that was gathered from a flower garden and is perfect all year long. This arrangement is in a little basket but comes in several styles, all full of blooms.

Fresh thistle, lavender, white lilac, white hydrangea, olive branches, yellow berries, and pittosporum

I used fresh thistle, lavender, white lilac, white hydrangea, olive branches, yellow berry, and pittosporum to recreate the arrangement.

Arrangement with fresh thistle, lavender, white lilac, white hydrangea, olive branches, yellow berries, and pittosporum
Flower arrangements in weave box baskets
Which one is real and which one is faux?

Villa Cucina Hanging Basket

Balsam Hill Villa Cucina artificial arrangement in basket beside a similar fresh arrangement by Courtney of French Country Cottage
Which one is real and which one is faux?

For many of us, spring would usually equate to decorating with lots of flowers. But the olive clippings and citrus accents of the Villa Cucina Hanging Basket make me think of the beauty of the Italian countryside in spring.

I recreated this arrangement with fresh clipped olive branches and added lemons and kumquats for warmth. I love how simple and charming this looks and how it brings so much spring and summer beauty. See how I recreated this design along with a matching wreath here.

More Comparisons of Real vs Artificial Flowers

In each of these recreations, you can see how closely the Balsam Hill artificial flower arrangements match the real ones. And why they are perfect for adding a beautiful touch to your home all year long.

To show you more comparisons, I asked my friends Kristen of Ella Claire & Co., and Becky of Becky Cunningham Home to create their own versions of Balsam Hill flower arrangements using real flowers. Take a look at their photos below.

Marseille Meadow Arrangement

Balsam Hill Marseille Meadow Arrangement beside its exact replica made with fresh flowers
Photo courtesy of Kristen of Ella Claire and Co

Inspired by the relaxed ambience of Southern France, the Marseille Meadow Arrangement features ranunculus and waxflower blooms with silver brunia on a bed of mixed leaves.

When Kristen of Ella Claire and Co recreated this flower arrangement, she mentioned how it was really hard to tell which is real and which is faux. She also admired how realistic the artificial flowers were, and how the beautiful spring colors bring cheer to this area of her home. 

Nantucket Hydrangea Arrangement

Becky of Becky Cunningham Home styled her own version of the Nantucket Hydrangea Arrangement. She shared how impressed she is with the quality and realism of these Balsam Hill artificial flowers, and that it’s hard to tell which arrangement is real and which one is not. Her followers couldn’t agree more.

Which is your favorite real vs artificial flower comparison? Let us know in the comments.

To learn more about realistic artificial flowers and arrangements, visit the Balsam Hill ultimate guide.

Courtney of French Country Cottage

As the founder of lifestyle blog French Country Cottage and editor of Romantic Homes magazine, Courtney is known for bringing chic aesthetics and vintage elegance to her designs. Courtney offers readers creative ideas and decorating tips inspired by the ongoing renovations on her 1940s cottage home.

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