The design industry has fallen in love with copper – and so have I! There’s something very alluring about copper: it’s not as bling as gold and far warmer than silver. Old copper, bright copper, tarnished, weathered, polished, brushed – it’s out there and everywhere; and I’d really recommend introducing even a small glimmer of it into your home somewhere.
Used wisely, copper brings a touch of luxury to any scheme, along with a fantastic dash of “look at me!” Use it as you would jewellery, as an accent in your grander scheme. Or, if you’re feeling bold, go for the whole Edwardian brewery effect and have great big swathes of it!
Another wonder about copper is its heritage. Until we discovered Cu, we were still wildly hitting about with rocks. The story of copper conjures up images of ancient bracelets, of the romantic silhouettes of Cornish tin and copper mines, and rows of gleaming pans in Victorian kitchens. It’s beautiful, and also pleasingly practical. It is also a must-have for today’s interiors.
Mix it with marble
Copper may be distracting me at the moment, but marble remains my true love. So, in my recent renovation of my own kitchen (more about this project to follow…), I’ve combined the two, with delicious results.
The cool marble makes a classic and practical kitchen worktop (my pastry will be superb!), and the gorgeous contrast of copper accents just lifts it from fab to stunning (although I say so myself!)
Another great space to use these complementary materials is the bathroom – just look at that luxurious bath on the design board. It would look superb with marble tiles in a variety of contrasting shades. Or, try a Statuary marble Regency-style fireplace with copper accessories such as a grate or fire tools – a classic combination.
Cold marble and warm copper. It’s like drinking hot coffee through cold cream. Lovely.
Search out some vintage copper
Aged copper is beautiful. It can develop that distinctive green patina, which protects the copper as well as giving it an interesting appearance.
Sometimes however, copper has been looked after and polished by generations of proud housewives, leaving you with a rich orange reflective surface. If you have a dark corner to brighten up, a copper accessory can be perfect. Tracking down vintage copper is becoming quite a task as it becomes increasingly popular. But something like this vintage copper milk churn, repurposed as a planter or vase, would make a fabulous statement piece.A vintage English copper milk churn from Violet Grey Decorative Gardens
Or, try something completely different. For a really modern approach, nothing beats a Xavier Pauchard chair, as shown on my design board. Frenchman Xavier pioneered galvanisation in the 1920s, producing the now iconic rustproof, robust, and stackable chair that quickly became beloved of every business from cafés to factories.
These days, his galvanised chairs are bang on-trend. The copper edition of the chair would look amazing in a contemporary-style kitchen. You can get a genuine Pauchard chair made by his former company, Tolix (there’s a list of UK stockists on the website). Imitations are available – such as this one from Cult Furniture.
Another chair I love is the one from Heal’s, again on my design board. It has a crazy combination of all sorts of sheets of copper, and apparently is flat pack! But believe me I’ve seen it - and this contender is no loser of rigidity. It is robust, comfortable, and very worthy of consideration for an up-market, contemporary kitchen or dining room.
Copper is suddenly everywhere, from kitchen drainers upwards, and you can have a lot of fun teaming it with other materials. As ever, I advise my clients not always to follow trends, if you are not keen on a style or product then are just not! After all, it’s you who lives in your house, not the style police – but as you may have gathered, I thoroughly approve of this new fashion!
For advice on how best to use copper – or any other material – please get in touch. I’ll even put the (copper) kettle on.