Get Inspired by These Trompe l’Oeil Rooms

Making a case for a bit of deception.

March 10, 2022

After reaching its peak in the 1980s, decorative trompe l’oeil painting was widely written off as a relic of the more-is-more decade. Lately, though, we’ve found ourselves drawn in by the cheeky frivolity of all things faux—and we’re ready to inspire a revival.

  • Lizzie Himmel

    Out of the Woods

    A devoted fan of painted floors, Libby Cameron designed this faux bois diamond motif for a New York State farmhouse. “It fills out spare furnishings and ties together odd spaces like the two wandering rooms here,” she told House Beautiful in 1991.

  • Richard Davies

    Collector's Eye

    In the 18th and 19th centuries, intricately painted fireboards—used to cover fireplace openings during the summer months—were all the rage. In the late 1980s, interior designer Stephanie Hoppen installed one in her London home, painted with blue-and-white jars in the style of the Chinese export porcelain she collected.

  • Francesco Lagnese

    Garden Folly

    Suzanne Rheinstein enlisted famed muralist Bob Christian to transform a client’s sitting room into a dreamy, treillage-clad oasis. More trompe l’oeil—in the form of porcelain hollyhocks by Vladimir Kanevsky—sits atop wall sconces.

  • Jonny Valiant

    Rococo Revival

    While renovating a white-box Palm Beach apartment in 2016, Amanda Lindroth gave artist and frequent collaborator Aldous Bertram trompe-l’oeil carte blanche. Faux plasterwork (inspired by Claydon House in Buckinghamshire, England) makes the doors appear taller.

  • Jacques Dirand

    Country Kitchen

    A favorite of tastemakers like Gloria Vanderbilt and Annette de la Renta, the late interior designer and decorative painter Richard Lowell Neas brought French countryside charm to his Amagansett home in the ‘80s, turning a kitchen door into an always-full pantry.

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This story originally appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of FREDERIC. Click here to subscribe!