Metaflora x West Elm faux anthurium

The Interiors Trend With More Staying Power Than Millennial Pink — And How to Incorporate It Into Your Own Home

A few weeks ago, our friends at Fort Standard posted on Instagram an unstyled photo of two popular pieces from their collection, taken back in 2012. “The lack of botanical styling here really dates this photo,” we deadpanned in the comments. But looking back, there was more than a kernel of truth to our half-joking aside: In the past five years, the tropical flower–as–styling piece trend has exploded, thanks to floral artists like Taylor Patterson of Fox Fodder Farm, Brittany Asch of Brrch Floral, and — perhaps most crucially — Marisa Competello of Metaflora, who got her start making weekly arrangements for the Lower East Side eatery Dimes and who now creates work for brands like Rachel Comey, Apparatus, and Creatures of the Wind.

At this point, you’d be hard-pressed to find a downtown showroom, editorial photoshoot, or next-level trade-show booth without a dramatic floral arrangement. (Remember this moment from Sight Unseen OFFSITE?) But of all the current practitioners, Competello is perhaps the one who most pushes floral art into the design space, taking care as she does to select vases with sculptural impact and manipulating her botanicals in ways both natural (snipping the leaves to create a more geometric shape) and artificial (spray-painting them black or gold for maximum drama).  We’re pretty much constantly scrolling through her Instagram, wishing we could have something as remotely cool as one of her arrangements in our home.

Starting this summer, we can: Metaflora recently teamed up with West Elm to create a series of faux botanical bouquets — orchids mixed with fan palms, proteas mixed with banana leafs or feathers, and the ubiquitous anthurium opening its waxy shell against a huge, graphic palm frond. The bouquets look shockingly real — the ends of the palm leaves are even browned and frayed a bit to mimic decay — and are also a shockingly affordable way to bring that sense of drama into anyone’s home. The notion of accessibility is what drew Competello to the collaboration with West Elm in the first place. “Customers can arrange them in their own way or in a Meta-like way, keeping them anywhere they need a touch of color or beauty,” she says. Sign us up (and shop the collection here!)

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