James Tre­ble on the lat­est faux fin­ishes and how to use them.

Homes+ (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

Faux fin­ishes… no-one will ever know!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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