Gone are the days when chrome and stainless steel dominated our kitchens. Hardware, lighting and accessories in warm metals, such as copper, graphite and bronze, have made a triumphant comeback from their Victorian heyday.
“We have seen a big increase in customers asking for warmer metals in the kitchen this season,” continues John Stephens, director of Rencraft.
“Brass and copper handles give a timeless finish and a classic feel and there are lots of choices available. This particular trend is great for those who don’t want to replace their kitchen but want to keep up to date.”
Award-winning interior designer Katharine Pooley is increasingly using copper in her designs, throughout her ranges, due to its flexibility and contemporary feel.
Katharine says: “There has been a strong return to copper due to the warm, natural, yet stand-out quality that it provides in both traditional and contemporary settings. I love using it within projects due to its versatility as a material; it can be used as a subtle accent for lighting and fittings within a kitchen or as a statement design feature. Due to the properties of the metal, copper takes on many guises with a variety of looks achievable, from its natural state to an array of colours available if the material is oxidised. Highly polished copper is a look suited to more refined, contemporary schemes, making it a hugely useable and on-trend material.”
For quick kitchen facelifts, simply update lighting by installing oversized pendants in artfully rusted or black metals, or search for 1940s-style bar stools and brass standalone kitchen racks and units. Vintage specialist Alexander & Pearl is the go-to place for one-off industrial style furniture for the home. Meanwhile, juxtaposed against contemporary kitchens, copper, brass and even gold taps suddenly look thoroughly modern again. Considered old-fashioned for many years, the burnished quality of antiqued gold and brass has a current appeal due to its warmth and heritage connotations.
Add them into an all-white or black colour scheme and these metals can light up a room with their lustre and luminosity – almost like a vintage piece of jewellery would.
“Clients are seeking a warm, welcoming feel in their kitchens but at the same time they want it to look sleek and contemporary,” says Tony Nicholas of Nicholas Anthony. “We’re noticing a return of brass, copper and graphite in fi ttings and fixtures at the moment. These give a wonderful sheen and warm colour to a space – pair them with uncluttered surfaces and handleless cupboards from the Nicholas Anthony Signature Collection and you have a smart, seamless look.”
Next up: How to do cool blues and chic, understated greys…