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Real or Fake - What is best - Interior Decorating

A problematic decision for home-developers is, do I choose the “real-deal” material or go for something fake, a replica, in a more inexpensive material?

In the past, going back ten years, the real material was always the best. Replicas looked fake, felt cheap and did not hold any correlation to the desired material. Nowadays however, replicas of certain materials are so good a copy of the real deal that spotting the difference in some cases is close to impossible.

Photo: Domus

This article will try and make you decide what to choose when developing your home. When going fake, the benefits begin with the cost. Going fake, the price can be a fraction of what you decide to pay if you were to buy the real deal. Taking wood flooring as the example, laminate and vinyl is so good these days, it is hard to know the difference between that and authentic wood.

Photo: Flooring Centre Ltd.

Porcelain timber-looking floor tiles can be bought and used in wet rooms for example. They have become very popular due to their effectiveness with underfloor heating and low maintenance.

Photo: Domus

A very similar situation is shown when looking at marble work surfaces. Porcelain worktops have become so popular because they look just like marble, especially the darker stones. The image printed onto the porcelain holds such varying shades of veining , and the clarity is so clear that it looks like the real deal.

Photo: Vintage Industrial Style

Authentic wood flooring can cost up to thousands of pounds, whereas laminate and vinyl will cost a fraction of the price. The exact same goes for stone. For home developers, a lot of the decision comes down to your living situation. If you have young children or excitable dogs, and the floor is going to get covered in scrapes and receive a lot of wear and tear, a material like vinyl is really good until you want to fully invest in wood. If however, you are looking to add value to your property, for selling purposes, then investing in beautiful hard wood is going to be preferred by the generic buyer.

Photo: Decorum Este

Another ‘fakey’ that is becoming big is fake leather. Becoming so much more realistic and in no way plasticky like it was, trying to know the difference between real-leather and fake is becoming impossible. Not only is it more ethical, it is cheaper too, as well as being able to be produced in multiple sizes. Hides are size restricted due to the size of the animal, but with fake leather, there are no size boundaries. This means that with big pieces of leather, wall panels for example, seams are not an issue.

Photo: Rocket St George

Fake plants is another element that is becoming big in the industry. They look so real now and for someone like me, who is a sucker for plants, but not good at keeping them alive, artificial is the way to go. Looking so realistic now from many suppliers, they truly are a good purchase if you want to bring the outside in. They unfortunately however do not hold any of the health benefits that natural plants do.


In addition, fake grass is being bought by many of our clients instead of real grass. If people have dogs then fake grass is great because they cannot rip it up. In addition, for many London homeowners, there is not enough room from a lawn mower, so it is great to have a very low maintenance lawn that does not require any cutting.

If choosing the real deal, it is true that you cannot purchase the authenticity and feeling that you receive from the true material. There is another element that you get from the real, that is just not replicable from a fake.

If on a budget, or not wanting to add value to your property at that specific time, fake very possibly, is the way forward.

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