Faux Finish Trend Update for Interior Designers

We were recently asked by our artist friend and gallery owner, Ron York to do a short presentation at theĀ  ASID Tennessee (American Society of Interior Designers) monthly meeting. I jumped at the opportunity to address this influential group of designers and I actually already had my speech prepared in my head. I’d been writing it for years. I have been dreaming of having just this kind of opportunity where I could address some of the bad press that faux finishes have received over the last several years and also showcase some of the fresh, innovative faux finish applications being utilized in today’s current room designs.

My passion for this topic began about six years ago when we were launching our faux finish painting business. This just seemed like a logical next step. Brooks is a true artist, he just sees things differently. I am a born marketer and business person who has built a very successful career in advertising. I thought that launching our faux finishing business would be a piece of cake. I started by calling interior designers to try to arrange meetings to show them our portfolio. On the rare occasions when I could get a designer on the phone, their typical response was, “I don’t use faux finishes in my designs. They are out dated”. My initial thoughts were, “Oh crap! We are in the wrong business”. Then I started to realize that what really needed to happen was that the design community needed to be educated on the innovative new use of products and modern finish applications by the professionals in our industry. The faux finish industry had become tainted by the do it yourself painters and all the straight painting companies who claimed to also be faux finishers. There is a definite separation between the professional faux finishers and the rest. I just needed to craft the right message and deliver it to the right audience and this was my chance. I was taking it.

So here are the highlights of my presentation, I also used a ton of pictures to illustrate my key points.

“Style Trends in decorative painting”

One of my strategies was to use the term “decorative painting” in place of “faux finish” to subliminally move the designers away from the negative implications of the term “faux finish”. If this picture is what you think of when you think about a “faux finish” you are going to be pleasantly surprised by what I am going to show you.

DIY 80's faux finish gone terribly wrong

DIY 80′s faux finish gone terribly wrong

This is an actual photo of a DIY faux finish that was in the basement of our new house six months ago. And these walls were our very first re-painting project. :)

Some of the reasons for a bad faux finish are:

  • diy gone terribly wrong
  • lack of training
  • wrong products used
  • improper use of color and texture
  • no artistic vision

Some of the things that distinguish us as professional finishers:

  • studied under some of the leaders in the industry
  • actively practicing our craft every day
  • long list of references of satisfied clients and designers
  • award winning finishes and designs
  • always on top of trends in the industry

One of the reasons some designers don’t use faux finishes in their designs is because they are working with a neutral palette. So, I wanted to show some examples of faux finishes that were successfully incorporated into neutral design projects. One way to do that is to use faux finishes to highlight architectural features like moldings, stove hoods, and fireplaces. Here are some examples:

Highlight architectural features like moldings. We did not do the finish below, but it illustrates my point about how you can use glazed moldings in a neutral palette to add depth and character.

faux painted moldings

Design by Dana Goodman from the Southern Living Show House, Nashville, TN

You could also faux a stove hood to look like metal.

faux finised pewter stove hood by Bella Tucker Decorative Artisans

faux finised pewter stove hood by Bella Tucker Decorative Artisans

Add texture to an existing fireplace by adding a faux limestone finish.

Faux finish limestone by Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes

Faux finish limestone by Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes

Add a tone on tone pattern or texture.

Ikat stenciled patio by Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes

Ikat stenciled patio by Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes

Make the powder bath a jewel box. Most people are willing to be a little more adventurous in the powder bath. Make it something special.

Powder Bath finish by Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes.

Powder Bath finish by Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes.

Painting on canvas. It’s a natural progression for faux artists to take their art off the walls and onto canvas. And of course, every neutral palette needs a pop of color. This is one of my favorites by Mindy Harrell of Faux Assured Studio.

Canvas Art by Mindy Harrell of Faux Assured Studio

Canvas Art by Mindy Harrell of Faux Assured Studio

Some of the current trends in professional faux finishing include:

stenciling

Custom Stencil by Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes

Custom Stencil by Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes

cabinets (don’t replace your out of date cabinets, paint them, even melamine and thermofoil can be painted)

Island painted in Annie Sloan Paint Graphite by Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes

Island painted in Annie Sloan Paint Graphite by Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes

painted floors (big trend on decor blogs and at the Design Blogger’s Conference last year)

Painted Floor by Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes

Painted Floor by Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes

the fifth wall (don’t forget the ceiling)

Stenciled Ceiling by Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes

Stenciled Ceiling by Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes

painted furniture (the blogoshpere has exploded with painted furniture)

Painted buffet by Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes

This piece is going with me to the nursing home.

metallic paints and foils

Aluminum Metallic Painted Wall by Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes

Aluminum Metallic Painted Wall by Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes

reactive paint (metal paints that rust when an activator is applied)

Rusted Metal Wall Finish by Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes

Rusted Metal Wall Finish by Bella Tucker Decorative Finishes

The presentation concluded with me asking the designer for questions. We had a few. I also had several designers thank me for the presentation and I’ve had a handful of calls for projects and expect more in the future. I am extremely grateful to Ron York for the chance to get in front of this group and showcase the current trends in faux finishing. If you would like to talk to us about incorporating a modern faux finish into your interior design plan. Please contact us at 615-500-1517 or fill out the form HERE.

 

About Dana Tucker

By Dana Tucker | dana@bella-tucker.com | Google

Comments

  1. Love your article!!
    Wanted to show you another approach to rooms with nuetral walls that my clients just go crazy for.
    Examples on http://www.transformingwalls.com.
    We do this work all over the country.
    Thank you!
    Bonnie Norling Wakeman

  2. Thanks Bonnie, I’ve seen your work and it is incredible. Thanks for the comment. :)

    dana

  3. Bonnie, These walls are stellar, thanks for sharing trends and colors with us. Seems like lots of bluesilvers, golden glows over warm colors & metallic plasters over pearls, etc are really in now with my clients.

  4. In the powerderbath….what paint do you use for your gold base….it is gorgeous and I’m about to start a new project and that color is perfect!

  5. Sara, thanks for the comment. That is actually Sherwin Williams Amazing Grey with Royal Design Studios stencil creme in Pearl Oyster. Good luck on your project :)

  6. Thank you for your quick response I am buying paint samples this week. Was the Sherman Williams paint finish matte? The contrast is so rich looking and I love how the light reflects off the wall.

  7. Yes, the paint was flat. Because of the relief size of that stencil and the allover design, the predominant color you are seeing is the pearl Oyster stencil creme. Good luck on your project.

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