James Treble on the latest faux finishes and how to use them.
Faux finishes… no-one will ever know!
FAKE IT CONCRETE
The concrete look has been popular for a while now and continues to get the Aussie homeowner’s vote. Faux concrete products are predominantly easier to make and much lighter than the real thing. I often choose faux concrete tiles for my clients, as they allow us to create a concrete-look floor that is non-porous and quick and easy to install. The same goes for using tiles on walls and stairs. Laminates that look like concrete also have a very convincing appearance, texture and feel, offering endless applications.
FAKE IT PAINT EFFECTS
Possibly the oldest form of faux finish was used by the Romans in their homes to create luxuriously painted scenes and decoration. They also used it to replicate the visual beauty of marble and other semi-precious stones. These were often mixed with real marble finishes, making them almost unrecognisable from the real thing, due to the amazing workmanship.
There’s been a resurgence of faux paint finishes in our homes, from faux suede and marble effects on feature walls to decorative fireplaces, ceilings and cabinetry. An obvious benefit is price point, as a painted version of some finishes is far cheaper than the real thing. But it’s also about practicality: covering a wall in real suede? Hmm...
Dulux Design Copper Effect paint, $79.90 per 500ml, and Copper Patina Effect solution, $34.80 per 500ml, from Dulux.
FAKE IT LEATHER
Leather is one of the most common faux finishes – one that you may sit on every day in your car! Synthetic leather was developed in the 1940s to provide a very cost-effective copy, allowing it to be sold to a far larger market.
Faux leather offers a very durable finish that lasts a long time and can withstand scratches and fading, often more successfully than real leather, so it’s obvious why it has so much appeal.
These days it’s common for us to prefer real leather as a sign of quality and value, but advances in manufacturing have meant some faux leathers are hard to separate from the real thing. And our endless desire for innovation has resulted in products such as leather-look light switches.
FAKE IT MARBLE
Extremely popular, marble is used for flooring and cladding walls and fireplace surrounds. Its appeal has grown so much that we accept seeing it in ways that couldn’t be realised by the real thing: in fabric, homewares and wallpaper.
Real marble is quite porous and relatively soft, so the explosion of products that replicate the look and feel with a more durable finish makes sense. Think kitchen benchtops and marble-look porcelain tiles.
Apart from an obvious cost benefit, another attractive quality is faux marble’s consistency in colour and vein. Real marble can vary greatly in appearance and as the vein is one of its most sought-after features this is a big issue for stone importers.
FAKE IT FUR
There are endless uses for faux fur in our homes. It’s a huge trend this year and is available in so many great colours: soft pinks, greens and greys, and stronger blue and teal tones. Not only do they make winter living cosy and comfortable, faux fur cushions, throws and rugs add instant texture and pattern to an otherwise plain colour scheme. On a practical note they are hard wearing and easy to clean.
On the wall Concrete wallpaper, $117 per lineal metre (1.27m wide roll), from Emily Ziz Style Studio.
Home Republic concrete table lamp in Grey/ Natural Phoenix, $149.99, from Adairs. Cement pot with faux plant, $15, from Kmart.
Pelage beanbag cover, $159, from Pillow Talk.
Plaited faux fur throw, $79.99, from Ezibuy.
Dulux Design Stone Effect paint in Dreamstone White, $49.80 per 1L, from Dulux.
Casa Uno cross-stitch bedhead, $399, from Temple & Webster.
Leather print throw pillow in Brown, $45.30, from Zazzle.
Zoe pendant light in Marble, $65, from Esther.
Marble coffee mug, $7.95, from Salt & Pepper.