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Using Artificial Plants to Brighten your Shelves and Cabinets

Updated on March 22, 2012

Artificial plants are ideal for decorating your shelves and cabinet tops - even the tops of the cabinets in your kitchen. There are several reasons for this, and while discussing these, it is also appropriate to discuss the types of shelves and cabinet tops that would you want to decorate with faux plants.

In addition to the reasons and the types of shelves, the following discussion will also include the types of artificial plants best suited for this type of decoration, since it is not possible to comment on each of these various aspects of this discussion separately with excessive repetition.

Why Decorate Shelves and Cabinet Tops

In most homes and business premises there are shelves that are unused. They have nothing on them or only part of the shelf is being used, the other part bare. Such empty or only partially used shelves look wrong in a home, and give the impression of redundancy in an office or even an open plan reception/office area. The latter does not give a good impression to visitors and clients and artificial plants could certainly help.

Cabinet tops always look bare, and even if they are filing cabinets in somebody's office, they would look better, and give a better impression, if they looked a bit less bleak. In the home, shelves and cabinet tops always look bare if they have nothing standing on them, and kitchen cabinets are a prime example.

Others include wall units in a lounge, where most of the shelves are used for something, but there are many bare areas, and while this argument should not be extended to an industrial environment within a manufacturing or distribution facility, it certainly applies to offices. Every firm should try to impress clients with their office furnishings and d├ęcor, and artificial plants offer one way of doing this at relatively low cost.

The Benefits of Artificial Plants over Nature

It is not often that nature comes second best, but for shelves and cabinet tops artificial plants offer more advantages than real plants. That is because many of these locations may be hard to reach, and so maintenance is liable to be neglected. It can also be dangerous or inconvenient to water plants sitting beside sensitive files or IT equipment.

Artificial plants have no need for watering or feeding, and nor do they attract bugs or contract viral diseases. They do not wither, fade or drop leaves, petals or seeds, and so are non-contaminant in an office or IT environment. That means they are safer to use, and involve a lot less cost in maintaining them. All they need is an occasional clean with a damp cloth, but no water is involved other than what is needed to dampen the cloth.

Although the initial capital cost of artificial plants is greater than their natural counterparts, that cost is soon recovered in their lack of maintenance and feeding costs, and in the extra cleaning involved with genuine plants on shelves and high cabinet tops. They are also more enduring with an unlimited lifetime, and hence involve negligible replacement costs. Fundamentally, once the purchase price has been paid, that is it.

What Artificial Plants are Suitable

The false plants most suitable for cabinet tops are those that can easily be displayed in planters, and generally low-lying. Tall plants not only do not look right when standing on top of a cabinet, but might also be too tall for the ceiling height. Artificial plants for shelves and cabinet tops should decorate without dominating, and should look good and fill the space without being imposing.

Good examples are a selection of grasses and ferns, such as Kenwood and Bermuda grass. These are low artificial grasses that look great in rectangular planters on top of an armoire or even a kitchen cabinet. Grasses and ferns can be used in a variety of yellow, green, copper and red shades.

Ivies always look good, particularly when mixed with some Wandering Jew to give a touch of color. An artificial mixed grasses planter looks beautiful when used as an end display on a top shelf where there are other items to the side. On any shelf below the top, you can use any type of artificial plant that suits the dimension. For example, if you have a display shelf, with an empty space at the end, why not move the items around so that the space is in the center and fill that with a magnificent display of artificial orchids and grasses.

If that is too tall for your shelf (it may look great for a cabinet top) try a silk water lily and lily pad display, in a 4 inch glass cube filled with solid acrylic water - very lifelike and an ideal size for a bookcase or display cabinet. There are many more options available to you that would fit any of these scenarios.

Using artificial plants to brighten your shelves and cabinets will give your home or office a lovely ambient look that also makes it seem like you have no vacant space, and this displays an impression of efficiency and capability that will impress visitors and prospective clients.


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    • HowToLoveOne profile image

      Joshua Pine 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      This totally reminds me of the Lorax! Interesting hub and very useful


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