Fab­u­lous fakes

Even this brick wall is not as it seems

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - FRONT PAGE -

The cyclic na­ture of fash­ion and home­wares can spin so quickly that by the time you em­brace one trend, it’s mak­ing an exit. That by no means sug­gests you have to play it safe and live drab.

Fak­ing it is one way to in­dulge in style with­out break­ing the bank.

Wall­pa­per has be­come the choice prod­uct for stylists look­ing to set their mark. Not only does it of­fer great scope in terms of colour and ar­range­ment, but it can de­ceive the naked eye.

The trend for a brick wall roughly stripped back of paint has tran­scended the New York loft and is mak­ing a come­back into the homes of fash­ion con­scious mums and dads.

You could arm yourself with ma­sonry paint strip­per and a stiff bris­tle brush to re­move paint that seeped into the por­ous brick, or you could take a cheaper and far more ef­fi­cient op­tion and wall­pa­per it with a brick print.

Henry Laker, who runs Wow Wall­pa­per Hang­ing, says the de­mand for brick wall­pa­per is very real, with tim­ber, stone and con­crete wall­pa­per also mak­ing in­roads into the main­stream.

Work­ing with wall­pa­per de­signed by Brit Andrew Martin, clients are of­ten hard-pressed to dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween what’s real and what’s wall­pa­per un­til they get up close. That’s the real art of fak­ing it, he says.

Andrew, who has worked with the likes of the Queen, for­mer Bri­tish prime min­is­ter Tony Blair, Madonna and the Beck­hams, has cre­ated wall­pa­per that gives max­i­mum ef­fect with­out spend­ing big bucks on the real brick, tim­ber or steel.

Henry says brick wall­pa­per, in par­tic­u­lar, is be­ing used by home­own­ers want­ing to steer clear of the tried and true flo­ral and stripe prints. “Brick is be­com­ing more and more pop­u­lar, es­pe­cially with a vinyl fin­ish. People have taken in­spi­ra­tion from shops or they are just bored with the look of a wall and want to try some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent.

“It’s a world away from the flo­ral or damask prints that we’re used to see­ing.”

Choco­late In­te­ri­ors’ Chris­tine Coul­ton says there will al­ways be a place in the de­sign world for fab­u­lous fakes such as faux tin and ex­posed brick wall­pa­per.

“Faux wall­pa­per is an ideal ap­pli­ca­tion in both res­i­den­tial and commercial mar­kets. It cre­ates in­stant tex­ture and his­tory with min­i­mum mess and money,” she says.

“They are real to look at and a fab­u­lous way to cre­ate your own beach house, in­dus­trial ware­house or Hamp­tons look with­out need­ing to en­gage a team of tradies.”

Chris­tine’s stand­out picks are Scan­di­na­vian Wall­pa­per & Decor, the Scrap­wood wall­pa­per range by Piet Hein Eek and Con­crete Wall, At­tic and Wood Wall by Tom Haga.

Aged Brick Mu­ral from Scan­di­na­vian Wall­pa­per & Decor, $121sq m, cus­tom printed to size; far right CON 03 faux ce­ment, $359.95 a 9m roll.

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