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