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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Design by the Details: Faux Bois

1. Kevin O'Brien Woodgrain Jacquard 2. Global Views Faux Bois Dining Table 3. Martha Stewart Layered Faux Bois Area Rug 4. Duralee Chun in Charcoal 5. Ross Sveback Dinnerware 6. Oly Studio Faux Bois Floor Lamp PRONOUNCE: foe bwah WHAT: In French, faux bois, literally mean false wood.  Items can be made to look like wood as in the lamp and table above or could be printed with a wood grain pattern. HISTORY:  Not too long ago, a French gardener by the name of Joseph Monier created something called ferrocement or reinforced concrete.  Using concrete, sand and metal rods Monier could construct a relatively strong structure with layers of concrete that were much thinner than the usual at the time.  In 1875 Monier made the first bridge out of reinforced concrete and sculpted that concrete to look like…you guessed it: wood!  But it wouldn't be proper to mention faux bois without also mentioning trompe l'oeil, which is the art of creating a optical illusion and making a two-dimensional object appear that it has three and is real.  Trompe l'oeil means "to fool the eye" in French and has been around for centuries.  I would speculate at some point someone decided to paint an object so that it appeared to be wood, but was in fact, not wood, long before Monier crafted his concrete.  So while the term faux bois can refer to both the printing and sculpting of something to make it look like wood the techniques have different origins. USES:  Faux bois is widely used now for textiles and wallpaper -- things that can be printed, rather than the sculpted materials from which it originated.  Faux bois can be used to give depth to a two dimensional surface and can act in place of a animal print.  Its a hint at nature and not as trendy as say, chevron.
Floor in William Diamond's Hampton House in Coastal Living July/Aug 2010
Rug in Dining Room by Ashley Golforth in Luxe
Don't miss the previous installments of this series: Chintz & Cloisonné. How would you most likely use faux bois?  Wallpaper, furniture, an entire sofa?


Triple Crème Decadence said...

I love the hint of nature it brings to a space. And, thank you for telling me the name. I've been calling it "the wood-patterned detail." :)

The Peak of Tres Chic said...

Faux bois is such a warm element, and definitely unexpected! Loved this breakdown.

Rachel Follett said...

Loving these finds! I like how they don't look tacky. Still very chic.