RTfact in Claygate - Surrey's best interiors shops
PUBLISHED: 17:54 20 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:03 20 February 2013
When it comes to buying flowers, we don't often think of artificial ones. But at one very special shop in Claygate, JANET DONIN finds some of the most inspirational and original silk blooms imaginable
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine March 2010
When it comes to buying flowers, we dont often think of artificial ones. But at one very special shop in Claygate, JANET DONIN finds some of the most inspirational and original silk blooms imaginable
Name of store: RTfact
Address: 22 The Parade, Claygate KT10 ONU
Tel: 01372 470580
When Dawn Smith opened RTfact seven years ago, artificial flowers were considered a bit of a nonentity among interior designers and homeowners alike. But, with her background in retail and floristry, she had a keen eye for style and design and identified a gap in the market for beautiful silk flowers.
When I opened the RTfact shop, I wanted to bring a fresh approach to the world of artificial flowers, she says. Innovative, stunning design coupled with exceptional quality.
Most of the faux flowers, gorgeous vases and sculptures come from Europe, but Dawn also finds inspiration for her arrangements at the Maison Objet fair in Paris.
This gem of a store really has the wow factor from the tantalising topiary trees and baskets of hydrangeas at the entrance to the stunning arrangements crowding the interior.
Beautiful flowers spill out of baskets or wide-necked chrome vases and exotic arrangements are displayed on tall pedestals for more impact, while on the shelves youll find pretty containers, candleholders and even sculptures, among other things.
Roses, lilies and orchids are the favourite flowers for most customers, especially in white. But, for corporate clients, such as interior designers, restaurants and offices, tropical blooms including medinilla, birds of paradise and anthurium are in demand.
Spring flowers in baskets. You can choose a large arrangement containing narcissus, viola and muscari mingled with organic leaves and bark, or just a few stems of creamy pink tulips with bare grass to arrange yourself. Lavender in moss-encrusted pots, cabbages in a zinc trough and elegant arched phalaenopsis orchids could all find a place in your home.
I just love tulips, so the large glass vase filled with gently drooping white tulips is a real winner for me. On a smaller scale, the little mirrored container with tight pale pink rosebuds is just lovely. And, to give the flowers a lingering fragrance, just add a few drops of the flower essence.
Worth a visit
Because from lilacs to lilies, hydrangeas to hellebores, theres a flower or arrangement to suit your home. And because all the blooms are so beautifully natural, its impossible to believe that they are artificial until you touch them.