This “Faux” Decor Trend Is Definitely Real — and Will Add a Bit of Whimsy to Your Space

published Mar 30, 2021
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Alex Bass' apartment

It’s official: The little white cart toting fake desserts that has been in the corner of my grandmother’s dining room for as long as I can remember (and updated with corresponding desserts for different holidays, of course) is now trendy. Currently, there are 129.6 million views for #fakefood on TikTok, so consider it a full-blown decorating movement.

I’ve always been fascinated by fake food — not as decor, per se, but just as a phenomenon in general. In Japan, fake food, or sampuru, is not only a meticulous craft but also a $90 million industry, according to Business Insider. Hyper-realistic renderings of food in restaurant windows serve as visual menus that have transcended language barriers for decades. At furniture stores, fake food is a visual advertisement: This credenza is dropped-ice-cream cone-proof, tipped-iced-latte-proof, spilled-wine-proof, etc. In magazine photos, fake food is also, well, a visual advertisement: This vignette looks realistic and attainable and lived-in. See the bowl of lemons? In fancy restaurants from my childhood, fake cakes and custards are wheeled out on a dessert cart, and my family will probably pick the chocolate one and split it.

To me, fake food is so small, so cute, and so darn realistic that it makes me smile, and now, it’s bona fide decor that makes me smile. If you’re looking to try out this trend at home, let writer/comedian, podcaster, and all-around creative person Julie Klausner and her Manhattan apartment serve as your inspiration.

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“I think ‘fake-real’ is a big thing for me,” Klausner says. “I love fake plants and fake cakes and fake wood finish. It’s a way of including the organic elements of the movies I love that took place in Manhattan in the 1970s — hanging spider plants and macramé and hardwood floors and silver lighting fixtures and bra-less women — with the artificiality of surface pleasures, like glitter and mirrors and other kinds of New Wave talismans of ‘80s glamour, which I grew up thinking were the epitome of feminine adulthood.” Her entryway, styled out with a mannequin head and hand as well as an assortment of faux desserts, is certainly an homage to department store displays from decades and cinema past.

Klausner’s “fake-real” is definitely real and definitely trending, as evidenced by faux ivy, once a staple of ’90s kitchens and now on many, many TikTok bedroom walls. If you’d like to join in on the fake-real trend, these fake food picks will make some pretty sweet accessories — on end tables, bar carts, entryway consoles — wherever! What’s nice is that other than dusting them occasionally, you never have to worry about them spoiling or making a mess.

Faux real desserts

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Etsy
$59.99

The fruit on top of this fake cake looks SO real. It'll add a splash of color anywher you put it.

2 / 4
Etsy
$54.95

I love the ombre of this (faux) triple-layer treat. Pair it with a footed serving tray for a tablop vignette you never have to worry about changing.

3 / 4
Etsy
$15.80

This faux little pastry is too cute. The best part? It's actually cinnamon-scented.

4 / 4
Etsy
$59.99

This duo would look super cute on a bar cart. No need to worry about these drinks leaving a ring on your furniture either!

Can’t get on board with adding fake food to a room just because? Well, then, you are not my grandma, and that’s okay. You might be more apt, however, to add one of these faux food items that’ll pull double duty in your home.

Faux real dual purpose decor

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Kohl's
$5.95
was $7.00

The colorful erasers would look super cute on a tray in your home office — and they're also vanilla-scented. You can pull them apart to customize the colors of the macarons.

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East Fork
$88.00

I, for one, cannot believe this lamp is made of actual bread, but sometimes things aren't too good to be true. These lamps, which also come in roll and baguette form, are handmade by Yukiko Morita in Kobe, Japan, and coated in resin.

3 / 6
Fake Food Japan
$9.16
was $12.36

This tiny maki magnet would look great on any kitchen fridge.

4 / 6
Ban.do
$25.95

Pop a colorful stem in this vase from band.ō, and it's perfect spring or summer decor for a nightstand, side table, or console.

5 / 6
Fake Food Japan
$182.27
was $246.06

This statement-making, made-to-order wall clock is truly all that and dim sum! It makes me hungry just looking at it.

6 / 6
Etsy
$8.00

Made of 100 percent soy wax, this cupcake candle smells like birthday cake when you burn it. YUM.

These pieces are sure to add a bit of whimsy and fantasy to any space. Anyway, that’s all for my celebration of fake food. I have to go because I’m craving cake, dumplings, and orange juice now!