Metals are a great material to accessorize your personal space with. From glowy, warm golds and brass to the cooler, industrial nickel and stainless steel, metallic details can lend to a sophisticated interior without looking too costumey or unlived-in.
Metallic décor have a lustrous façade that demands attention, which is why they're often used as accents in a space. Moreover, metals are flexible and can easily be incorporated with other interior design trends. Think iron and wood for an industrial look, or rose gold and and white marble for a luxe design style.
While making use of metals in a home is a pretty common practice, some are still intimidated by the shimmer and attention-grabbing nature of metals in furnishings and fixtures. Thankfully, using metals (and even mixing metallic details!) in interior design is fairly simple and requires low effort, despite packing a hefty punch. Take a look at these ideas that will help you understand how to implement metals and highlight the best aspects of your space.
For the living room, pair metals with jewel tones.
Rich metals are often paired with luxe colors and materials. The reason's straightforward: opulent interior design style is characterized by the use of ornate furniture, quality pieces, and special treatments.
And such a design style makes the most sense in a living room or entertainment area, where you receive guests and host gatherings. A simple living room can easily be upgraded with meticulously polished metals and luminous finishes. To create warmth and a welcoming aura, consider warmer golden tones over the blue undertones of aluminum and stainless steel.
Gold is a precious metal that signifies wealth and high status, from jewelry to awards and art. This is why gold is an extremely popular accent among decorators who want to design a posh and grand space. Shiny golds - yellow, rose, even white - pair very well with gemstone hues such as emerald and sapphire, with fancy fabrics like velvet and high thread count cotton, and high maintenance and natural materials such as marble and heavy wood.
For the kitchen, metals work best in cookware and utensils.
Kitchen pots and pans - and cutlery in general - are great starting points for experimenting with metals in a home. Cookware are smaller in scale compared to actual furniture and if you decide you hate the look of them, you can always opt to stow them away in your kitchen cabinets. That said, choose wisely and you'll have pots and pans performing double duty as decorative pieces when in use or simply hung above the kitchen island.
A popular choice for many homeowners and designers — and therefore easily accessible in the market — copper cookware and supplies not only conduct heat fantastically but also have the ability to keep cold food cool. In addition, copper as a material is fairly low maintenance and can easily be revived after signs of wear and minimal damage.
All that and copper is a stylish replacement for or addition to your typical non-stick and cast iron. In fact, copper's sheen and warm hue meshes well with the common stainless steel kitchen appliances that most houses are furnished with. For its practicality, inherent design appeal, and more, copper just works for a space that sees a lot of work.
For a more feminine, luxe take on this aesthetic, opt for rose gold details and hardware. While considerably harder to maintain than copper, rose gold — a combination of gold, copper, and silver — has a unique air that can't be replicated by other metal styles and finishes.
For the bedroom, you can play around with variations of the same metal.
In the past, metals and metallic accents were constricted to industrial interior design and considered edgy and super masculine. By opting for yellow-tone metals such as rose gold and brass, you can create a warmer, less rigid atmosphere that's perfect for a place where you unwind like the bedroom.
An exciting take on metals in the bedroom is mixing metals and working with different materials. But if you're not exactly ready to take the plunge and mix metals like an expert, you can dip your toes in the design practice by matching different tones of the same metal. Rose gold with slight gray undertones can create an understated visual interest when paired with its shinier, more polished counterpart.
Silver is another metal that has iterations — probably more than any other metal — in home pieces, ornaments, and fixtures. Inexpensive, cool, and easy on the eyes, silver is another great option for trying out metals in your private chambers.
For the bathroom, take the unconventional route and use darker metals.
Contrary to popular belief, metallic décor and fixtures can still feel homely. And this includes all types of metal accents, not just your usual glossy gold leaf and shiny steel. Matte and dull brushed finishes are less conventional and will definitely make for more interesting interior design.
The trick is using them with materials and makes that evoke a warmer feel — e.g. light woods, yellow lights, and soft edges. Bathrooms have a tendency to feel cold and unwelcoming — and dull metals definitely don't help make the case. But with bright elements and mellow features highlighting your darker metals, you can definitely turn your bathroom from cold cell to a respite where you'd enjoy doing your nighttime routine in.
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For your other home accessories, feel free to experiment with mixing metals.
The great thing about smaller accessories is that they're easy to switch out in a space. Low-commitment and economical, accessories are a fun way to test out trends and to figure out your personal design style.
Most metals exist in nature, which is why they work visually with other natural materials like woods and stone. Chrome and copper can elicit unexpected luxury when used in gardening tools and planters. Nickel and brass in stand-alone lighting make for a more rugged feel in a home bar or garage. And shiny silver accents on a vanity setup match the glittery makeup and jewelry display perfectly.
Using metals in interior design is a simple exercise that everyone can benefit from trying out in at least one area of their home. Metals bring a certain shimmer and glimmer to a space, and are extremely versatile when used as accents to a slew of different design styles.
That said, it's still worth thinking through your design choices before making all sorts of random purchases. You can always start small and expand once you're more comfortable with implementing metallic décor. Don't be afraid to try and make adjustments, and don't forget to enjoy the design process!