We were recently asked by our artist friend and gallery owner, Ron York to do a short presentation at the 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.
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.
You could also faux a stove hood to look like metal.
Add texture to an existing fireplace by adding a faux limestone finish.
Add a tone on tone pattern or texture.
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.
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.
Some of the current trends in professional faux finishing include:
cabinets (don’t replace your out of date cabinets, paint them, even melamine and thermofoil can be painted)
painted floors (big trend on decor blogs and at the Design Blogger’s Conference last year)
the fifth wall (don’t forget the ceiling)
painted furniture (the blogoshpere has exploded with painted furniture)
metallic paints and foils
reactive paint (metal paints that rust when an activator is applied)
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.