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Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes
504 East St. Charles Rd,
Carol Stream, IL 60188
Toll Free: 800-797-4305
Phone: 630-653-2400
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The Millennial Generation is here; Are You Ready?

Millennial Generation Faux by KathyThrough the generations we have seen different attributes to the centuries.  Just off the crest of World War II brought us the Baby Boomers.  The sheer magnitude of their numbers took society by storm.  They have a good work ethic and dedication but as technology was introduced they looked at it with a wary eye; it was met with mistrust.  Learning something so new was foreign, and for the most part, they did not adapt well. 

Baby Boomers have a tendency to let experts in the field do the work for them.  This was wonderful for decorative painters and interior designers.  What a beautiful thing.

Generation X, or the latch key kids, tripled the divorce rate.  They are independent, value their freedom, work and life balance; they enjoy the hands off management style, reject rules, use technology and are technologically adept, multitask and are generally more educated than the Baby Boomer Generation.  They live in a computer world; therefore they enjoy decorating their homes to ground themselves in reality.  This is something very similar to the next generation, yet they do it on a grander scale.

In comes Generation Y, or the Millennial Generation.  The dates are a bit unclear but it seems to span from 1982 to approximately 2000.  This generation has grown up with computers, cell phones, and internet.  They are tech savvy and born to multitask.  Due to the many technical devices within their reach they feel it is within their right to always be connected and as such they learn differently.  They multitask fast, learn fast, re-write rules, and communicate over text which is unlike the previous generations in terms of communication.  Times are changing and we must learn how to communicate with them.

They have watched their parents and friends lose their homes, jobs, savings and retirements to the recessions.  As such they are more frugal and do not overspend like previous generations.  They tend to live within their means.  Neither money, nor designer items are as important to them as past generations.  With this we now see why stores such as Wal-Mart, Kohl’s and Target have become so successful and the higher end stores are struggling to survive. 

What does this mean on a design standpoint?  How do you target the Millennial Generation?  Faux may not be the answer.  They certainly do not want their homes to look like their parents.  They are more inclined to redecorate, refinish or add a slip cover than buy new.  So what options can you add to your business to target this generation?

Here are a few suggestions to get your ideas flowing:

Get creative with custom made stencils

  • Stencil custom designs onto dining rooms chairs and matching designs onto either framed or unframed stretched canvas or silks to strategically hang on the neutrally painted wall of your client’s home
  • Stencil pillows for couches or chairs
  • Stencil the crown molding in the room to match an intricate carving on a fireplace mantle
  • Stencil furniture
  • Use symbols that the client has designed
  • Meaningful words

Headboards and beds

  • Stencil the headboard
  • Add pillars and flowing fabric to create a haven for two; this also creates opportunity to decorate the entire room in the theme
  • Create a mural for the headboard
  • Refinish the headboard

If lacking a headboard the possibilities are limitless! 

  • Use a stained glass window
  • Hand carved screens
  • Blinds
  • Cleverly painted or stenciled pallets, shutters or a fence
  • Trellis
  • Book shelves with wood stain, decorative paint, stencils or color wash
  • Rustic barn door
  • Old windows or glass window
  • Hand carved screen

With all these options the bedroom must be made to go with the flow but with the Millennial it must fit to match their view of thrifty.  Always think reuse, refurbish, refinish.  The walls may be done in neutral further accentuating the style of eclectic they prefer with the art on the walls.  With this opportunity, the art may be something the decorative artisan happens to design. 


  • Mirror patinas
  • Gilding the frames


  • Refinishing
  • Furniture art pieces; go nuts!


  • Refinish a countertop
  • Micro topping for a new floor
  • Endless possibilities with paint, plasters and a creative mind

The color trend seems to be neutral to accentuate the pictures or bright and cheery, perfect to ground them back to reality since they are firmly encompassed in the world of technology.  Finding ways to integrate the decorative painting world with their lives is what we at Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes are here to do with the many products and classes available to you.

The Millennial Generation is here and times are changing.  Are you ready?

Change on the Horizon with Golden Proceeds

Golden Proceeds Faux by KathyIt began with a new label and did not stop there.  Golden Proceed went back to the drawing board and came up with a bold design for greater functionality; they have a new, durable, “rimless” pail for their textures.  Just how does this new pail benefit the artisan?  They have managed to create a design to increase cost savings with their “rimless” design that allows the use of all the paint with complete paint removal from the pail.  Another fabulous addition is the pail will fit in the paint shakers!

They have also reformulated their Metallic Mediums line for a new and improved stunning reflective high gloss appearance.  With its remarkable curing speed it blows away the competition.  That is not all that has changed with this amazing new line of Metallic Mediums.  Over glazing is now even easier and the risk of foaming is so reduced it is almost a distant memory in the past.    They are even making this wonderful metallic line available in quart sizes, perfect to try every color available.

Golden Proceeds Metallic Mediums Faux by Kathy

Speaking of sizes, Golden Proceed is also available in trial sizes.  These are just right to prepare quality sample boards while keeping an eye on cost.  Costs have been steadily rising in the painting industry and are predicted to continue to rise.  With plants closing in years past and no future plans of any emerging in the future, Golden Proceeds is thinking of the artisan and trying to keep costs of their trial size products under control.  Golden Proceeds is trying to do what they can in a tough economic time where prices are continuing to rise in the paint industry.

As Golden Proceeds number one distributor, Kathy Carroll has an incredible selection of their products and is always willing to share her depth of knowledge about their product line.  Call Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes today at 800.797.4305 or if inside Illinois use 630.653.2400 and place your order either by phone or with the ease of our internet store.  We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Faux by Kathy Quick Inspirtations
Click Here to purchase
Quick Inspirations

Quick Inspirations

October's Sample Pack
Keep your portfolio up to date with high quality boards sent right to your door each month!  Each Quick Inspirations sample pack includes a 9 x 10 sample with a recipe for the finish as well as three 3 x 3 color waves.  What an amazing addition to your portfolio without the demands on your time!

Try our sample pack for only $27.50.  For the most cost effective savings order a 12 month supply at only $260 and receive a new Quick Inspirations sample pack delivered to your door each month.  Call now, we look forward to hearing from you!

Click Here to purchase Quick Inspirations >

Artisan Spotlight

Kathy, thought you'd be interested in seeing the walls I finished  in Los Angeles... used my residual oil-Rolco sizing after all (sent it in my suitcase w my tools!) The plain holographic sheets are too subtle - like the confetti more.


Would You Like to Be Artisan of the Month?Faux By Kathy Decorative Artisan of the Month

Have you ever wanted to be featured as an Artisan of the Month on our website?  Now’s your chance!  All you have to do to be considered is contact our office.  If you are selected, you will need to be available for a 30 to 45 minute phone interview and provide us with at least 10 pictures of your work, and a picture of yourself to be featured with your article. 

The increased visibility alone is worth it!  What have you got to lose?  Contact us today!

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