A metallic plaster by artist Cynthia Davis with a Wallovers stencil. Photo courtesy of Modern Masters


Faux Trends 2017
Knowing decorative trends helps decorative artists make the best recommendations to their clientele. If artists knows that soft metallics are a trending look and create finishes in keeping with that look, then they’ll look like heroes and heroines to their homeowners.

With that in mind, we sought some comments about the trends that are currently popular among those who know decorative finishes. Soft metallic finishes are among the trends, as are Venetian plasters and luxurious textures. While neutral colors cover large expanses of the wall, artists are bringing visual interest with such strategies as feature walls, niches and accent pieces in more vibrant colors.

Widespread Use of Feature Walls

This panel by Sandra Lassley of Fe Fi Faux Studios depicts trends for 2017.

Sandra Lassley, owner of Fe Fi Faux Studios Inc. in Omaha, Ne., confirms the widespread use of feature walls as well the use of the same technique throughout a large space. Other trends Lassley cites include:

  • simpler more streamlined techniques
  • the continued popularity of glazing and Venetian plaster
  • neutral tones with yellows blues and green accents within the room
  • smooth ceilings with soft glaze on them
  • crown molding painted an accent color, and
  • techniques rendered in panels or horizontal bands for structure

Others in the industry concur with many of these trends, based on their keeping informed about what is happening in the home décor industry. One such artist is decorative artist Debbie Hayes, Modern Masters Mastermind, speaking to us on behalf of Modern Masters. Hayes is in a unique geographic position to know what is happening in the home décor industry overall.

“I have the distinct advantage of living just minutes away from High Point, N.C., home of the biannual High Point Furniture Market,” Hayes says. “International buyers for store chains and tiny boutiques plus interior designers converge at this event to purchase furniture, accessories, lighting, rugs and art.”

This impressive foyer features a metallic paint canvas by artist Allison Cosmos created with products from Modern Masters. Interior design: DESIGNWORKS BY EM LEE. Photo Credit: Jean Allsopp Photography

Patterns Abound

According to Hayes, the April 2017 market identified soft metallics in silver, gold and copper for all of these product categories. “Pattern still abounds as an accessories accent and certainly in rugs. Furniture overall is simpler and features clean lines,” she says.

“What does this mean for the decorative arts and faux finishing?” Hayes asks, then provides the answer: “All-over wall treatments, like Venetian plasters and luxurious textures, remain stunning backdrops for the super-popular whites and neutrals in cabinetry, while they enhance the most vibrant of hues for those who adore color. Focus walls, ceilings and niches continue to enchant, allowing for stunning statement finishes like overscale painted onyx and malachite and, of course, stenciled patterns.”

Hayes adds that furniture and accessories, painted in pops of color or soft metallic, continue to be a hot look this year, not to mention ornate looks like faux bois. “To pull an entire vision together, the sky is the limit for artwork,” she says. “Abstract pieces in huge scale, or in gallery-like installations are sure to wow.”

Hayes cites an Architectural Digest post that indicated faux finishes when applied in large swaths can be unexpectedly luxurious. She points specifically to a quote from designer Young Huh, who stated, “A faux wainscot made from black patent leather is more than just a provocative wall detail, it conjures up a sense of architecture in a surprisingly glamorous way.”

Rebecca Thompson of Petta Thompson Studios created this work of art with Crescent Bronze products.

A Continuing Renaissance

The current trends in the industry show the ability of decorative finishes to add a look of luxury to a home. There are such looks on walls, ceilings, furniture and even as works of art to add a complete look to the room. Crescent Bronze specifically points to a continuing Renaissance among decorative artists using metallics and micas to create original works of art.

Per Crescent Bronze’s observation, “Individual artists are working in the color palette of the urban landscape—silvers, grays, whites and blacks—to speak to today’s aesthetic. The body of work of Rebecca Thompson of Petta Thompson Studios of Oakville, Conn., comes immediately to mind as a compelling example. Rebecca creates beautiful, contemporary pieces of art that define the spaces they grace. Her canvases are large ones and her aesthetic is both bold and graceful. We are especially fond of one of her works, Midnight, a powerful study in dark and light.”

One of the latest examples of a product that brings luxury to surfaces is Faux Effects International Inc.’s newly introduced GalaxyStone™, a revolutionary luminescent architectural coating formulated for both interior and exterior use. Currently available in four designer colors and a tint base, this low-VOC product is suitable for professional designer and paint contractor applications, as well as the DIY market, and is also an excellent medium for stenciling. “It’s a very, very versatile product,” says Faux Effects President and Founder Raymond Sandor.

A luxury look provided by Faux Effects' GalaxyStone.

An Array of Colors

Decorative painters also should be aware of color trends that may impact the choices they make for homeowners. Sometimes colors vary according to the market in which the artist is located. Sandra Gonzalez, owner of A Work of Art and Design 7 Seven Acrylic Glaze, reports that 2017 is offer to a colorful start in her market of Dallas-Fort Worth. “What's selling in our area is color—vivid arrays of blues and greens are most the popular. Also, request for shades of purples, corals, yellows and pinks are on the rise.”

Gonzalez explains that all of these more vivid colors are anchored with neutrals of grays, beige and taupes. “And, of course, a black and white combo will always be eternally classic,” she says. “Metallic neutrals, such as champagne, platinum, soft gold and silver are still my No. 1 sellers. No matter what their preference, I find that my customers want to be uniquely individual in their decorative artwork while remaining true to their personal design style.”

Every client is different, and decorative artists need to have a full range of looks to meet the full range of demands. For instance, in some cases, clients want drama. In other cases, they want something more subtle and restful. That accounts for the diversity in the market.

As Gonzalez observes, “Metallic plasters and Venetian Plasters with a combination of bling and more bling are still going strong, and I don't see their sellability ending anywhere in the near future. For the more conservative client that just wants a little something special, a metallic base with a single color metallic glaze is a great choice!”