Are you familiar with the term trompe l’oeil, French for ‘fool the eye’?

At some point, you’ve probably seen a painting, or wall finish, such as the one to the right, which looks so realistic you’d swear it was the real thing.

In this case, the life-size statuary and carved moldings, appear to be the classical edifice of a building.

Except that it isn’t.

Paintings such as this can be especially deceiving. You think you are looking at statuary, or a still-life arrangement of books that are so convincingly 3-dimensional you feel you could reach into the painting and pick them up.

It literally fools the eye.

When it comes to countertop finishes, the eye can also be fooled, especially in the presence of a highly qualified artisan who specializes in faux.

I met such an artisan last week, from www.sienafaux.com and was intrigued by the possibilities. I browsed through his samples, realizing there wasn’t an ounce of actual stone in the entire lot, even though it appeared to be granite or marble.

That’s right. Everything I saw was a painted finish, yet it looked and even felt like the real thing.

Now, you might be wondering, why would you choose to go faux?

Is it less expensive than natural stone? Not necessarily. You wouldn’t choose a faux finish in the hopes of reducing costs, because anytime you hire an artist who excels at his craft, you are paying for his expertise and creativity.

That is the lure. As it says on Siena Fauxs’ business card:  “…distinctive finishes for the discriminating client”.

That said, the cost of a faux finish might be comparable to natural stone, depending on your selection. Plus, there may be savings in other areas.

As with anything in the world of interior design, custom work means custom pricing.

The benefit to you? You get exactly what you want.

Listed below are 6 reasons for ‘Going Faux’, instead of choosing something more traditional.

You’ll Save on Demolition

When it comes to countertops, a faux finish can typically be applied directly over the existing surface. How great is that?

While you might not realize a savings on the cost of the installation, you WILL save the expense of having to demo the existing countertop.

Going faux is one more way to go Green.

You’ll Protect the Landfills

When there is zero demolition, you will, by default, be protecting the landfills. It’s a win/win situation.

You’ll be Eco-Friendly

Not every faux finisher offers a green product. I recommend seeking out a company that prides themselves on offering a green, sustainable product. After all, if you’ve chosen a faux finish in the hopes of eliminating demolition work and protecting the landfills, then it makes sense that the paints and sealers are also non-toxic.

Being kind to the environment equals being kind to yourself.

You’ll Be Weightless

Because a faux finish is little more than a creative use of paint, it doesn’t weigh a whole lot. If you live, or work, in a building with any kind of weight restrictions, this option might be a dream come true.

You’ll Save on Shipping

That’s right, the cost of having your new countertop shipped to your home would be exactly $.00. Precisely because there is nothing to ship.

This is an excellent example of how Going Green can work in your favor. A faux finish, such as what I’m describing here, is truly a work of art in and of itself, and could be more costly as a result.

Yet you would be saving in so many other ways that you’d still be ahead of the game.

You’ll Be Different From the Joneses

Let’s face it, sometimes we just want to be different, and make a personal statement that says “This is me”!

Any time you opt for custom work – be it furnishings, artwork, or specially commissioned finishes, you’re doing exactly that. Putting your unique stamp on your home increases your comfort and satisfaction.

One more thing. A faux finish is in no way limited to your countertops. Be sure to consider what you put on the walls, both indoors and out! The sky’s the limit on what you can do.