Artzenflowers’s Blog

Friend or Faux?

Posted on: May 15, 2011

Friend or ‘Faux’?
Color washing, sponge painting, rag rolling— Whatever you may know them as, ‘Faux’ finishes (pronounced ‘foe’ which rhymes with toe) are quite literally the act of applying a specific technique to any surface which gives the impression of another surface or simply put; making one thing look altogether like something other.

Examples such as faux marble or wood, know as ‘Faux bois’, are found not only in painted surfaces, but also in sculptured pieces and elsewhere as designers continue to embrace the idea of bringing nature indoors.

The art of sculpting faux wood creations out of concrete, such as this bench, date back as far as the 19th Century.

A more contemporary form is found in this ‘faux bois’ rug by Martha Stewart. Often in a grand architectural setting we will see ‘marble’ pillars or tile done by faux artists and are ‘none the wiser’.

A well done faux will truly trick the eye, but a faux gone wrong can become a foe indeed!

Painted walls in recent decades became the recipient of many a novice’s attempt at a faux finish, prompted no doubt by the many television shows touting the DYI option, some decidedly more successful then others.  Memories of these can conjure up enchanting images or cause sudden recoil in reminiscing about that visit to a dear friend’s home proudly displaying his/her efforts at sponge painting that would be better spent on a sheet of paper, even a small canvas better yet; not at all?

Too many of us have ‘been there’ and what does one say when it’s really, really bad? Most friends just smile and say ‘You are so creative!’ rather then being brutally honest and risk hurting a friend. However these moments are all too common, when a Faux turned Foe!

So is it any wonder that the question often arises regarding faux finishes as accent walls or even the simple solid color accent wall, do they still have a viable use in interior décor?

The answer I am, reservedly, happy to tell you is a resounding; Yes!

Light, bright, animated, subdued, aged— whatever mood you want for a room, you can use paint color as well as decorative techniques to help create it. These effects can be subtle, with translucent color layered over a similar shade of opaque paint, or bold and brassy, thanks to new metallic paints.

When in doubt, seek professional guidance to beautifully integrate a fabulous faux into your home or office decor; whether it’s a wall surface or a furniture detail, given the right color & place you can display with confidence!


3 Responses to "Friend or Faux?"

Right on Sista!

Thanks Kathryn!

Sometimes faux is just the way to go! Good post!


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  • artzenflowers: Hi Loribeth, Thank you for taking the time to view my post and the feed back noted!
  • Loribeth: Interesting info about red. I think it takes a lot of daring to use it in decor...something I don't have a lot of. But I might consider adding little
  • Emmakins: This is so helpful, THANK YOU! I think I will do pashmina in bedroom since it is a cooler color and may not work as well in the main area. Hush throu
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