This Gorgeous, Dark and Romantic UK Home Will Convince You That Faux Flowers Are Cool

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Name: Jade Oliver
Location: Bristol, UK
Size: 1000 square feet
Years Lived In: 3 years, owned

Welcome to “The World at Home: 31 Real House Tours Around the Globe.” Check out where else we’ve visited this month here.

Faux flowers seems to be having a comeback in the last year or two. Once seen as something of the ’90s, faux flowers these days have got much better and are now so realistic looking, that sometimes it’s hard even for human eyes to tell if they’re real or not. When Jade Oliver first started selling them on eBay on the side of her furniture restoration business (all while having a full-time job as a lawyer), she had little idea how they would eventually take over the business and become the main focus of her online shop, Heavenly Homes and Gardens.

Just like her flowers, Jade’s home is feminine and romantic. “Flowers play a huge part in my decorating—I use our own fauxs and swap them every season,” Jade tells me. Peonies are out at the moment but as soon as the season is over they will be replaced by something more autumnal. 

Jade’s customers include luxury hotels, high end cake shops and film production sets including HBO’s “Games of Thrones” and Netflix’s “The Crown.” And perhaps to ordinary folk like me, someone who simply struggles to keep flowers alive. While faux flowers may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I’m definitely getting on board with this trend, are you?

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: My style is very feminine and quite romantic. I try and create a cozy glamour in every room using golds, dusky pinks, and dark tones. Flowers also play a huge part in my decorating—I use our own fauxs and swap them every season. For furniture, mirrors and art, I love classic antique pieces. Pretty much everything in the house is either vintage/antique and anything new is generally “borrowed” from my shop.

Inspiration: I take inspiration from so many places —hotels, restaurants, magazines, bars, shops, and Instagram. I also visit a lot of interior trade shows for work and some of the stands created by the designers are works of art!

Favorite Element: The bathroom is one of my favorite spaces. It was the grottiest room in the house when we bought it and it took us two years to get around to renovating it—I can’t believe we lived with it for so long! It’s now my sanctuary—the combination of the pink herringbone tiles, brass sinks, and gold swan taps bring me so much joy.

Biggest Challenge: We bought a heavy plaster cornice for the living spaces (the original had sadly been removed before we bought the house) but our budget didn’t stretch to paying someone to install it. Putting it up was so much harder that we could have ever expected. We spent days crouched over a mitre saw trying to get the correct angles, it was awful! But we did it and I’m so proud of it. It’s now one of my favourite features.

What Friends Say: When we told our friends we were going to paint the living room dark, they thought we had lost our minds and were worried it would look like a dodgy nightclub! Fortunately we have won them over with the finished room.

Biggest Embarrassment: Our garage! I had visions of a home gym and utility room but it has become an embarrassing junk store.

Proudest DIY: The hanging canopies in the dressing room, which were made from the frames of antique bed coronets. I had upholstered the velvet top but was struggling to find the right fabric for the curtain part when I saw a crib canopy from Oskoe Living on Alex from The Frugality’s Instagram. I knew the color and texture would be perfect so ordered two and proceeded to cut them up (a risky strategy I know!) Certainly not the cheapest way to buy fabric but it works perfectly in the room. I finished them off with a trim from a sari company and my husband suspended them from the ceiling with chandelier hooks. 

Biggest Indulgence: Lighting! I have a bit of an obsession with chandeliers and have to have a statement light in every room.

Best Advice: Abigail Ahern’s advice to paint the ceiling and skirting the same color as the walls was instrumental in making the dark walls work in our living space. It was terrifying to do but she was absolutely right—it creates instant glamour and cosiness. 

Dream Sources: Gracie Studio for wallpaper, House of Hackney for prints, Belgium for  chandeliers, and Moroccan souks for rugs and brassware.

Viv Yapp

Photographer

Freelance photographer based in the South West & London, travelling worldwide.
Specialised in interiors, food & travel.

Follow Viv

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