How to incorporate metals into your home without overdoing it?

Brass, copper, nickel – some may call them fads, some may think they are here to stay. No matter what, metals have been invading our houses big time for the past 4 years. The challenge with incorporating metals into homes is that one can easily overdo it. I have seen many copper-everything kitchens or brass-everywhere bathrooms. It can look good but it can also look too much very quickly.

My approach to interior design is like a French diet: everything is good for you in moderation. I love a bit of copper and brass, but I am always asking myself “will I still like it in 10 years?” before falling for every and any interior trend.

If in doubt, less is always more

You don’t have to go crazy to make an impact when it comes to metals. In the picture below, you will see that I opted for copper lampshades which really pop against the black wall and furniture. True story: I originally thought I would change the drawers’ knobs to copper ones but I quickly realised that it would just be a little tacky. Instead, I opted to bring another touch of copper with a picture frame you can see toward the back of the chest of drawer. The warmth of my grandmother’s painting and the bench are enough to tie it all in together nicely!

Copper and black hallway
A bit of copper in the hallway

Pick very subtle details

Clever interior design is all about the details. Everybody can buy a big designer sofa or an Ikea table, but there is a fine line between ending up with something everybody else has and something a bit different. When it comes to decorating my house, nothing has been innocently picked or styled, every detail has been considered and thought through before being purchased (call me crazy but I just can’t help it!).

For our living-room, I wanted to incorporate new textures with something less commonly used like concrete. I also wanted some touches of metal without making it a statement like in our hallway. I, therefore, searched for something unexpected and interesting to look at. This is exactly what this Oliver Bonas table lamp is, first you see a grey lamp, then you notice that it is made of concrete and finished with brass. A modern and simple design with the latest trends in mind.

Living room black bookshelves
Brass detail on a table lamp

Our living space is fully open-plan so the kitchen, living-room and dining room are merged together. With touches of brass and copper already present in the living-room, I thought it would be good to tie-in the kitchen with some copper too. To avoid making this connection obvious or too matchy-matchy we kept it very subtle with this minimal copper clock from Karlsson.

Karlsson minimal copper clock
Thin copper clock frame

Mix the metals

Now, this is a scary one, but it can really pay off when done nicely. Mixing metals in interior design is a brave move but it will make your space so much more interesting! Start small, like I have done in my hallway. I have brushed copper lamp shades so I added this Paperchase polished copper picture frame (old collection but similar here) for the chest of drawers and next to it I placed a brass H&M trivet (old collection too, similar here).

Copper picture frame and brass candle
Brass and copper mixed with small home accessories

Match the tones, not the materials

I think sometimes people get too caught up into matching materials with materials, such as brass with brass, instead of thinking of the colour palette. An advice I have is to look at your space and its colour palette. Brass, for instance, is yellow and brown toned. Shades of copper can go from orange, pink to maroon. Silver, chrome and steel are greys whereas nickel is more of a greige colour. Does it make sense?

I followed this principle in my house, for instance, the colour of the copper lamp below matches the tan leather Moroccan pouffe next to it.

Copper lamp and Moroccan pouffe
Leather and copper colour match in the living room

And these side tables from Oliver Bonas (old, similar here) have a slightly deeper shade of copper which goes well with the walnut details of this Ikea armchair.

Mid-centry modern reading corner
Wood and copper colour match

Pick a brushed finish

If you really love metals and want to incorporate a bit more of them into your house without overdoing it opt for brushed metals. The matte finish makes it more subtle and easier to implement, mostly with copper when polished can have a bit of an overwhelming orange mirror effect. You will notice that it is a rule I followed a lot in my house as most items I have picked have a brushed finish.

Embrace it in small spaces

Sometimes it is good to throw all rules and principles out the window when it comes to interior. So if you need to get metals out of your system and have a small space you can have fun with, go for it!

You will see below that for our powder room I went for brass-everything and I love it! It is a small space which helped limit the ‘damage’ while still having fun with frames, accessories and wall art.

Brass and teal guest bathroom
Brass and teal guest bathroom

I hope this post helps you embrace metals without turning your home into a disco ball!

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How to incorporate metals into your home without overdoing it?

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16 thoughts on “How to incorporate metals into your home without overdoing it?

  1. TheGreatAmbini April 28, 2018 / 3:51 pm

    I love copper in the home and I feel it is so underrated. It is difficult to understand how many is too many in the house, thanks for sharing this guide.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lance Hale April 28, 2018 / 1:35 pm

    I like the look of metals in a home, and I appreciate your ideas so as not to overdue it. I like the simple accents of the metals throughout your rooms. I agree that you need to match tones. Unfortunately, one merchandiser’s bronze is not the same as another merchandiser, so that your home can end up looking like a mash up of too many tones.

    Like

  3. Marya The BeauTraveler April 28, 2018 / 6:30 am

    I am still yet to apply the philosophy of “less is always more”. I know it’s not good, but it’s just… I feel like it’s so hard to get rid of some stuff. But I swear I’m still learning! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Alexander Popkov April 27, 2018 / 8:21 pm

    Oh, you are definitely better at interior design than me 🙂 I would love more advice on how to decorate my room, but I am considering to move out.

    Like

  5. Kylee Hayes April 27, 2018 / 3:06 pm

    Great way to incorporate metals into your home, it looks amazing and so clean. Thank you for sharing your talent!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. sumit April 27, 2018 / 2:27 am

    never did much to the place i live in but i guess if we have a passion for it , doing up our homes and places where we spend our time in a intimate manner is a great activity .

    Like

  7. laurenchasingfun April 27, 2018 / 12:02 am

    These are great ideas! I’m going to try mixing metals, as I’m always scared to do it, but they look great in your pictures. As long as I start small, I think I’ll figure it out. Thank you for the insight!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Claire April 27, 2018 / 6:50 am

      Yes! If you start small you should be completely fine!

      Like

  8. thegetawayjournals April 26, 2018 / 8:24 pm

    LOVE this post! We’re redecorating our living room and bedroom right now, and these are great tips to follow!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Claire April 27, 2018 / 6:50 am

      I’m so glad it can help! Good luck with the living room!

      Like

    • Claire April 19, 2018 / 8:28 am

      Awwww thank you so much!!!! I’ve got another interior blog post coming soon! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. vanprice April 18, 2018 / 1:59 pm

    I love love love copper accents in the home. These picks are beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Claire April 19, 2018 / 8:27 am

      Thank you very much!!! Love a bit of copper 😉

      Like

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