Finishes Do More Than Just Look Pretty

Faux finishing. Decorative painting. Mention this wall and surface treatment and you'll hear everything from "Oh, that's new," to "Faux is so out." So, how far has faux really come - or faded - in the central New Jersey area?

Finishes aren't just pretty, they should have a function in a room. After all, the walls of a room comprise 60% of its surface area and play an integral part in setting the tone for that space. They can set a mood, define or alter architecture, and introduce or balance pattern. If you're considering a faux finish, Artisan Interiors suggests you consider these few tips for getting the most out of your decorating effort:

-A 3x6' powder room is a small space and no amount of white paint will make it large. Instead of trying to make it grand, choose finishes which will make it feel opulent and enveloping.

-Large, voluminous rooms can be made to feel more cozy. A richer color on a ceiling can visually lower it, as can a graded - darker towards the top and lighter towards the bottom - finish on the walls.

-Work with the architecture of a large, high room to make it grand instead of cavernous. Treat crown molding and other architectural elements in order to visually enhance them and give them greater elegance , try deep or rich color on the walls to add drama, or large scale finishes to add movement and bring the eye upward.

-Authentic Venetian plasters contain specified percentages of lime and marble dust. Walls with this treatment will be slightly cool to the touch. To achieve a sense of warmth in a space where the walls will be touched or brushed against, this is not the finish of choice.

-A simple glaze texture may look great in a small space, but will get lost on a wall with 20' ceilings.

Every finish will translate into a pattern on a wall. Pick the right one for the size and setting of your particular surface.