Life Home & Garden

Tuesday 17 September 2019

Add a little polish and shine

Can't decide which of this season's hot metals to go with? Thankfully, you don't have to, writes Nathalie Marquez Courtney

Gold, copper, dark metals and brass all play nicely with each other here, creating an eclectic but still pulled-together feel. Solid brass wire chairs by Danish
interiors brand Madam Stoltz, €230 for a pair,
Gold, copper, dark metals and brass all play nicely with each other here, creating an eclectic but still pulled-together feel. Solid brass wire chairs by Danish interiors brand Madam Stoltz, €230 for a pair,
White and copper cutlery set, €54.99: Modernist, functional —
Table lamp, €152: Pools of light strategically placed give a sense of space to a room,
Brass candle holder, €12: A simple and stylish frame with a single candle. Very distinctive,
Copper pendant light shade, €90: Create a tangle of shadows to fall on clear white walls,
Copper desk tray, €7.99: A smart and stylish way to organise all those odds and ends,
Brass-coloured tap, €110: Graceful with a nod toward the industrial aesthetic,
Copper wire terrarium, €6: The warm copper glow gives a perfect offset colour for your indoor plants, Penneys

'This trend is one that's very close to my heart," laughs interior designer Jo Hamilton. "For years, I've been trying to convince clients you don't have to match everything. That a little bit of vibration in tones and colours works really well. Metals - whether they're brass, bronze, copper or black, or even nickel or chrome - they're all just different colours, really."

Warm metals have been growing in popularity for the last few years, but mixing and matching them - alongside bold shots of black - is one of the biggest trend stories of 2018.

"It's making a much bigger impact this season than ever before," says Jo. "It used to be cool tones - silver, chrome, nickels. But we've moved towards much warmer tones like brass, bronze and copper, with black being absolutely back in a big way, metals-wise. I've loved seeing this new trend evolve in homes."

Understandably, there is often apprehension over mixing materials like metals or wood in the same space, with many choosing to play it safe and keep things matching and consistent. But it can be easier to achieve than it initially seems. Jo describes it as an "exciting, anything-goes palette", though there are tricks to getting it right.

"Pick out one major metal theme - you don't want everything fighting with each other," she advises. "And then pepper the rest of the room with accents - maybe black metal door-handles or side lamps, sculptural pendants or lighting, or perhaps a touch of chrome or nickel. They will lift and break the whole look up."

When Jo talks clients through creating this trend, she says it can be helpful to print out pictures of your key metal pieces and lay them out alongside each other. "In exactly the same way you might lay down fabric samples, this helps you instantly see how the palette is working, and if its jarring anywhere," she explains.

Another way to play with this look is to mix textures and finishes. "Though you might opt for all bronze accessories, you could try a vintage finish on one, a polished finish somewhere else and a brushed finish on another," she suggests. "It means everything plays off each other, which adds a bit of depth, and makes the look much more interesting."

Because metals are quite hard by nature, even if they are warm in tone, don't forget to soften the look by adding lots of texture though textiles and plants. "Those lovely, fluid organic shapes next to the hard finishes work beautifully," says Jo.

Metals also play very nicely with marble, another huge interiors trend. "The mix of marble with metallics is just glorious," says Jo. "Things like a beautiful marble worktop with a lovely bronze or brass tap look exquisite."

Alongside velvets and linens, they're part of a growing interest in more luxe finishes. And not only do they all work well together, they don't have to blow the budget either. "Because they're growing in popularity, prices are becoming more competitive, making them more accessible," explains Jo. If you're making the investment, be it through statement brass lighting or chic metal furniture, it can also be reassuring to know these looks will be around for a while to come.

"In the past, there have been a lot of quick movement and faddy trends," says Jo. "But these are strong, cornerstone looks that act like anchors. They won't disappear any time soon."

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