Faux olive trees are a rage these days for office and workspace decor. Naturally so.
Their bright, Mediterranean warmth lights up almost any space they are placed in. And their light colors and branching patterns don’t overwhelm the formal, clean aesthetic of most workspaces.
But in spite of their immense popularity and versatility, when used wrongly, they are just as capable of ruining the aesthetic of a room.
Be sure to watch out for these 5 common dos and don’ts while using faux olive trees in an office space. (And learn what to do instead for a flawless workspace.)
1. Don’t: Compromise on quality
Often indoor tree selections are the last things to be done while decorating an office space. So you are left to work with what little money remains in the interior decoration budget!
In such cases, it’s easy to fall into the trap of choosing the cheaper “plastic-esque” options, to maximize every last dollar. After all, a faux tree is a faux tree, right?
Nothing looks tackier than an obviously fake olive tree. Olive trees tend to have a gnarled, twisted trunk, an irregular crown of branches, and oblong leaves. So a fake tree without these nuances would stand out like a sore thumb.
And though you may not realize it now, it’s the smaller elements like the trees, carpets, and lights that make the biggest difference in sprucing up an office space. They make all the difference between an office space that feels warm and welcoming, and one that feels fake and clinical.
Cheap-quality faux olive trees can ruin all the effort that has been put into decorating a workspace and leave your employers disappointed with the final result.
So while choosing an artificial olive tree, pay close attention to the quality and finish of the tree. Invest in the textures and details.
The best quality products will have:
minute details and realistic textures carved on the branches
unsymmetrical foliage, with leaves that are multiple shades of natural-looking greens. (Avoid bright green faux trees, with leaves that are all the same color.)
branching patterns that seem “organic” and slightly imperfect, just like a real tree.
All in all, ask yourself this one crucial question while selecting a faux olive tree: Does it look real, or does it make me take a second glance to check?
2. Don’t: Use them haphazardly
It’s not solely about the quality of the tree. It’s also about where the tree is placed.
Olive trees are, in general, associated with growing in warm, well-lit spaces.
And while faux trees can brave colder, darker climates, the human brain will pick up on the awkward placement and immediately realize it’s a fake tree. No matter how real it looks.
So avoid placing your artificial olive tree in unnatural places, like the inside of a dark, dingy, badly-ventilated hallway.
Contrary to what you might think, it will NOT make the place brighter and more alive. It will instead make the dull room or hallway seem more fake and clinical than before.
Use them in bright, open spaces where it feels natural for a tree to grow and thrive.
Some great places where a faux olive tree can thrive are:
large entrance lobbies
next to windows in meeting rooms
well-lit workspaces (or even private cabins) with lots of natural light
3. Don’t: Buy the wrong size
Scale and proportions are two of the most important aspects of any space. It is why you can not use the same dainty figurines that you would for a living room cabinet while decorating a large open-plan workplace.
The same extends to the faux plants you use. Especially when it comes to fake olive trees.
The secret is to ensure the size of the tree is proportionate to the size and ceiling height of the room it is to be placed in.
A room with an 8′ ceiling and large open-plan space would need a tree that is at least 5′-6′ in height. A smaller private cabin with the same height might do fine with a tree that is only 4′ in height.
But remember, a “too large” olive tree can ruin a space as easily as a “too small” one. Ensure that the tree is at least 18″ shorter than the ceiling, no matter how large the space may be.
4. Don’t: Overuse faux olive trees
The next, more common mistake people make while using faux potted olive trees in offices is their quantity. Once you’ve found the perfect quality olive tree, and the right spaces to use it, it’s easy to go overboard with them.
But there is such a thing as “too many fake trees”, especially in a professional setting.
A space filled with 4-5 real trees or plants next to each other might not be weird at a large home garden. But when it comes to faux trees in a workspace, it’s important to be careful.
Most faux potted olive trees are made in preset shapes and branching patterns. So when you place them too close to each other, the similarity can be jarring to the human eye.
Ensure they keep their “natural” aesthetic, and fit right into an office environment by spacing them out.
If you want to fill out a space or accentuate a corner, then layer the space by adding other, smaller potted plants instead. Or use a painting, or a sculpture to compliment the tree.
5. Don’t: Ignore the accessories
After everything is done and dusted (high-quality plant selected, height perfected and space set), if you still feel like something is off with the space, then it’s probably the size of the pot.
It’s the one final thing that most people miss out on, in the excitement of wrapping the interior decor up.
Most faux olive trees come in very small pots that make the plant seem disproportionate. And not to mention obviously fake, since there’s no way a large faux olive tree could grow out of a pot that size.
Select a larger, and appropriately sized pot for the faux tree before placing it in the actual space. Depending on the overall aesthetic of the workspace, you could go with classic wooden plant boxes, minimal cement planters, or even the more informal basket planters.
For the final details (and to hide the original mini-pot totally), be sure to add a layer of dirt, pebbles, or even moss on top for a natural look.
Keep these simple pointers in mind, and you’ll be sure to have a fabulous-looking office space, with lush, green olive trees.