Compelling Evidence that Faux Wall Finishes Can Be Cool

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Winkie Visser)

Somewhere along the way, fooling people into thinking you have a brick or stone wall — where a mere plain, plaster wall stands — became a very “uncool” thing to do. I’m here to tell you, however, that it’s not always a bad idea. It can look good — and it’s easier to pull off than ever before.

We’re not all lucky enough to live in a house or apartment that has its own built-in architectural charm. Elements like brick walls (the crumblier the better, in my opinion), stone walls, crown molding and more enhance the look of a home by adding rich character.

(Image credit: Winkie Visser)

Uneven surfaces and materials create texture, and it’s this texture that makes a room feel sophisticated and cozy. Rather than breaking out the bricks and trying to figure out masonry yourself, consider the easier option: These incredibly realistic looking wallpapers…

(Image credit: Winkie Visser)

This “old stone” wallpaper can be found from Pixers, and it’s one of two rooms made more lovely thanks to “faux” wallpaper in this Dutch house. It’s not surprising that Hetty Webbink‘s home is beautiful; after all she’s a design store owner and stylist. But I was genuinely delighted to discover that there wasn’t an actual stone wall in her dining room or an actual brick wall in her living room.

Would both of her rooms look beautiful without the faux wallpaper? Sure. But these rooms have a strong, layered look thanks to the addition of something other than just a paint color on the wall.

(Image credit: Winkie Visser)

The same brick wallpaper — from Karwei — can be seen in another Dutch home, this time in the bedroom of macrame artist Aysu Sener‘s bedroom. Honestly, I probably looked at images of this room three or four times before I realized the brick wall isn’t real! Set behind a simple bed and aided by some accessories, it looks like it’s always been there.

(Image credit: Winkie Visser)

How to pull off the faux look:

The trick is choosing the right quality of “faux” pattern
The rooms above are successful because these fake architectural elements are more like photographic murals. Installed on just one wall — and in rooms that feature a lot of natural light — these faux features pass as genuine texture. And they enhance the decor of each of the rooms. They don’t look like someone covered an entire room’s walls with really unconvincing fake brick pattern.

Choose an architectural feature that might actually be something you’d find in the home you’re living in
So like, not choosing crumbling adobe photograph wallpaper for an old Victorian house, etc.

Accessorize like you would with any wall
All three of the rooms above have things hanging on the wallpaper, as well as accessories layered in front. This makes the faux texture feel a part of the room’s decor, and not stick out like something that doesn’t belong.

Make sure you ace the installation
Since brick walls aren’t known to have bubbles in them, making sure that your wallpaper accent wall is installed smoothly will make the look easier to pull off.