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Design Recipes: The allure of faux fur

Cathy Hobbs
Tribune News Service

Look in virtually any magazine or walk into nearly any home furnishings store and you are bound to find one of the hottest trends in home furnishings today: faux fur.

Faux fur, similar to design elements such as mirror on mirror, ties into the Hollywood glamour resurgence in home decor. These days consumers and designers are not only looking for ways to spice up their environments, but are also very conscious of bringing in interesting materials and texture.

One of the more interesting ways to bring in an element of texture — and in many cases warmth — is through faux fur.

What is faux fur? Faux fur is made of fibers such as acrylic, cotton or polyester to create a product that mimics fur. Faux fur items in many cases are washable and will return to their original shape and appearance through line drying.

What to look for: In general, you are going to want to feel and touch what you are buying. Higher quality faux fur pieces are extra soft and thick to the touch. Look for pieces that are well-lined. A velvet or heavy cotton lining is preferred.

In general, also pay attention to basic elements, such as the construction quality. You are going to want the item to last and keep its appearance over time.

Types of faux fur: From chinchilla to mink, sable, raccoon and others, there are a number of gorgeous choices. When sourcing a faux fur, pay attention to elements such as color. Brown, gray, white and black are some of the most common colors available in faux fur items, and in some cases you will find a combination of several colors in a single piece.

Where to use faux fur: The beauty of faux fur is it comes in all shapes and sizes. And these days, given its popularity, you are bound to find it used on everything from furniture to throws.

If you’re looking to make a bold statement in a space, I would suggest going for it by incorporating a piece of faux fur furniture such as a bench, ottoman or even a chair.

If you are looking for ways to add accents to a space, then I would suggest items such as pillows or throws.

In general, faux fur will add a luxurious look and feel to your decor while also incorporating color, texture and an element of glam.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at or visit her website at