The Difference Between Fake, Faux and Fantasy - Fantasy Decorating
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The Difference Between Fake, Faux and Fantasy

At first glance, “fake,” “faux,” and “fantasy” might seem like different words for the same thing. However, they are really quite different.

It depends on the materials, and how they are used.

To us, fake means mass produced, artificial materials and may or may not look real. Fake implies a certain cheapness of production. Examples would be fake wood furniture where the surface peels off after a while, or fake stone or butcher block counter tops where the picture wears off as the surface wears away. We think even real plastic is preferable to fake wood.

Faux is the French word for false. Faux finishes imitate all kinds of natural materials such as wood, stone and semi-precious materials such as tortoise shell or malachite. There is a great deal of artistry involved in creating a faux finish. The first example that comes to mind is faux bois (Foh-Bwah) which means “false wood.” Faux bois and other faux finishes are created by a painting technique that requires looking closely and the real material and faithfully reproducing it. We have seen faux stone surfaces that were indistinguishable from the real deal. Faux finishes are used when the real thing is too expensive, impractical, or can’t be gotten at any price. Tortoise shell is an example of a material that is (thankfully) illegal to harvest and is a desirable faux finish. Such finishes have a certain cache’ because they are works of art in their own right. We demonstrate a technique for creating your own faux painting as a Project.

Fantasy means that the idea is other-worldly even if the material is natural. The props used in movies are often antique or natural – it is the way they are being used that is un-real. For example many of the props in the windows of the shops in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios look to be real antiques. They add great realism to the shops even though the Wizarding World is based on fantasy. Another example would be the use of gears and clock faces to decorate ordinary everyday objects to give them that great Steampunk style. Many of the best objects created in Steampunk and other fantasy styles still function perfectly well and do it with great style.

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