2016I proclaimed “Grey - a new black” seven years ago and now we are drowning in a sea of grey, all 50 shades of it. Brown and cream are long forgotten whilst black is seldom paired with grey. It feels like there is not an alternative, when the prevailing mood says that we are increasingly tired of this look and are craving for change.
Just over a year ago I saw the first few home products executed in copper. They seemed exotic and incredibly appealing but at the same time almost alien. We have been using copper since its discovery 10,000 years ago in the Middle East. The Romans made coins from it in the 6th through to the 3rd centuries BC but gradually, the metal became more appreciated for its look incorporated into architectural interiors and exteriors as a durable, corrosion resistant material. It was also a constituent of the first man-made alloy, bronze, when combined with tin. This tactile and graceful material has now been rediscovered by product and interior designers who are enthralled by the magnetic allure of this metal with a warm and earthy glow.
Who would have known how copper accessories could be woven into the cool and austere colour schemes which dominated interiors? I could not resist the “copper appeal” and took a chance, ordering products at the Maison & Objet 2016 trade show and pontificating on the various scenarios in which they could be used. During the course of last year a number of fabric and wallpaper manufacturers joined the “copper movement”, turning a novelty into a trend. Whilst the emergence of copper finished products has made the look very fashionable, they need to be used sparingly. Beware the temptation of filling your house with “luxed-up” copper in every imaginable shape and form. The rich, lustrous metal feels just right when added to our grey interiors, bringing warmth and richness, but it is best used as a highlight or an accent to avoid making it a “lamentful phase”. These indulgent touches can easily be substituted when the next trend comes along.
For now though, embrace the faded grandeur of copper, enjoy its powerful charm and mystifying seductiveness. Some of the best products to try out in your interior are the metallic fabrics by German textile manufacturer Nya Nordiska and fabrics by The Black Edition, epitomising British creativity and quality. Another British company, Today Interiors, has updated its wallpaper collection to include full on copper colouring, whereas copper glass dishes from Brazil will add a touch of decadence to any dining or console table. For those who favour industrial look, as an alternative to the glamorous copper there is rolled rusted steel produced by Innerspace with deep autumnal tones. It’s authentic weathered look is achieved because real rust particles are used in its manufacturing. Whatever your taste, there is now a product to match it.