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Faux Marbre: A Revival on the Horizon?
By the 1990's, faux-marbre, the decorative paint technique, was passing well out of style. The mere mention of it brought groans and the purchase of gallons of white paint to cover them up. I think it was the robust appreciation of a style of painting meant to resemble marble during the post-modern period that is more to blame than the technique itself. Its widespread and often inept use turned off many and reminded them of the decorative excesses of the 80's. Now, I think it is having a slow but active renaissance--it looks, at least to my traditional eye, almost ok again--not that I have dared mention it to any clients recently...
I was inspired to write this when I pulled down from my bookshelf this fantastic portfolio of plates, "Boutiques Parisiennes du Premier Empire" by Hector Lefeul from 1925. It reveals a fantastic series of watercolors of early 19th-century Parisian store fronts, all painted in faux marbre. These all have a pleasing effect and sense of balance. I would be very happy to have a house that looks like this any day.