In the fashion industry, imitation duds are nothing new. But imitation home decor? Believe it.
Apparently, faux decor isn't just a thing; it's a trend homeowners are embracing, according to a recent report by . The paper interviewed builders and homeowners who have opted for faux barn wood, marble, and foliage over the actual materials – and it's fascinating.
Given the rise of the rustic farmhouse kitchen on Pinterest, it's unsurprising that the prices of barn wood and recycled timber have recently increased. The result: A surge in demand for budget-friendly faux ceiling beams and trusses, according to The Wall Street Journal. The alternative is easier to install and and longer lasting than the actual wood – after all, as points out, faux wood beams can't rot or bow.
Another Pinterest trend that's taking shape in the faux market? Gray floors, which have increased by 20 percent since last year on the social media site. Designer Lindsey Coral Harper, of , says she's seeing clients install manufactured floors over replacing hardwood ones in order to recreate the trend in their homes.
According to designer Lindsey Coral Harper, gray finishes are difficult to achieve with hardwoods.
To designer , electing to use faux materials isn't so much a trend as a practical alternative for clients' lifestyles. "People aren't coming to me for faux. Faux becomes an alternative to something that's impractical for them."
Take, for instance, marble. According to Gibbons, clients love the timeless look of Carrara marble, but may not be able to maintain the countertops, which can't get acidic foods on them, in their own homes. "People aren't coming to me and saying, 'I want fake marble,'" Gibbons says. "They're saying, 'I really like the look of marble, but it's too high maintenance,' or, 'I cook too much for that to be able to hold up. What do you recommend as an alternative?'"
At left, a slab of Carrara marble. At right, a slab of engineered quartz in Calacatta Nuvo from Caeserstone.
One suitable option, according to Gibbons, is engineered quartz, which comes in a variety of patterns and colorways, but can withstand heat and acidic foods.
Then there's the case for customization. The Wall Street Journal spoke with homeowner Susan Pizzi, a New Jersey resident who elected to use scagliola – a technique in which plaster and silk are cast to look like marble over actual limestone – in her Princeton home. It's not exactly a cost-effective option, but it allowed her to choose the color and carved design she wanted for her fireplace. According to , it's the ideal option for a client who wants a bespoke piece, because scagliola specialists can make scagliola any dimension, as the material doesn't come in slabs, and can even match Pantone shades to their commissions.
Every plant from New Growth Designs has been crafted by floral designer Ed Glenn, who has previously designed arrangements for State Dinners and Congressional occasions.
Fake materials, like faux foliage, can provide homeowners with a sense of instant gratification, too. Interior designer Cindy Newlin told The Wall Street Journal that "hundreds of different real plants" had died in her backyard as a result of lack of sunlight. So she turned to a hedge display from New Growth Designs.
Considering that a 5-foot-long boxwood from New Growth Designs costs $450 to $500, this faux material isn't designed with the budget-conscious in mind, either. What makes New Growth's plastic so expensive, you ask? Artisans in North Carolina craft the vein of every leaf and turn of every stem – resulting in a product that's incredibly lifelike. And since celebrated designers like and have owned up to keeping faux foliage around their homes and offices in recent years, it's safe to say these aren't your grandmother's fake plants.
To Gibbons, there are two reasons to renovate your home: To create the most aesthetically pleasing space possible,and to drive up your . "From a re-sell value, the real thing is always more covetable," she says. But electing to use the material you can afford in order to make your home more beautiful? Well, that's something we can get behind.