What you need to know if you go for faux

DESIGN LINE

June 04, 1995|By Rita St. Clair | Rita St. Clair,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

The revival of interest in faux and decoratively painted furniture has gone on too long for it to be considered merely a fad. It's time, therefore, to offer some thoughts on how such pieces should -- and should not -- be used in the home.

This is one of those instances in which it's best to be bold. Painted furniture can certainly serve as the focal point for an entire room.

I'm not suggesting, however, that pieces of this sort should simply be plunked down in the living room with no concern as to whether they mesh with the overall design. Like any focal point, painted furniture has to relate rationally to its context. The shape, size and color can be quite exotic, but the item must still be properly situated and be in scale with its environment.

Recently the Baker Furniture Company introduced a piece that's likely to have broad appeal. Besides being an obvious candidate for any room's focal point, the generously sized cabinet shown in the photo has enough functional attractions to interest even the more conservative buyers. A large amount of books or china, as well as an array of electronic equipment, can be comfortably stored behind the cabinet's combination of glass and wooden doors.

This Ohio painted cupboard is a reproduction of an outstanding piece of 18th-century Americana. Because of its simple lines and muted coloration, this piece would be quite compatible with most of the styles and color schemes found in today's eclectically furnished interiors. The room in which it is to be placed must have a tall ceiling, however, as well as a few other relatively large-scale pieces.

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