All that glit­ters has its shining mo­ment

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Front Page -

If it feels like an age since you packed away your Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions, re­joice: you can em­brace all things that shim­mer again. Metallics can add sparkle to your home far be­yond the fes­tive sea­son. “Ar­chi­tec­ture, in­te­rior dec­o­ra­tion and fash­ion are all be­ing heav­ily in­flu­enced by the Six­ties and Sev­en­ties at the mo­ment,” says Al­berto Pez­zato, de­sign di­rec­tor at the Rubelli De­sign Stu­dio. “Metallics were used a lot at that time, and are now having a re­vival.”

As part of the 2018 Rubelli Venezia col­lec­tion, the lux­ury Ital­ian tex­tile house has launched Au­rum, a fab­ric cre­ated from weaves of pure gold on silk and in­spired by the tra­di­tion of the Vene­tian “tiraoro”, ar­ti­sans who made gold yarn for the man­u­fac­ture of tex­tiles, cloth­ing and jew­ellery.

A num­ber of new fab­ric col­lec­tions in­clude gold and sil­ver el­e­ments, and not in the weighty, lav­ish way you might as­sume. Lelièvre’s Riviera col­lec­tion, in­spired by sum­mer days in the south of France, in­cludes Maquis, a vi­brant botan­i­cal print en­riched with gold em­broi­dery; Olea, a soft cot­ton satin with olive leaf de­tails and gold, sil­ver or cop­per metal ap­pliqués; and Madrague, a linen mesh in­ter­wo­ven with golden thread and in­spired by tra­di­tional fish­ing nets – un­doubt­edly the chicest net cur­tains you will ever see.

These lux­u­ri­ous ma­te­ri­als are now pos­si­ble due to new tech­niques in tex­tile pro­duc­tion. This has al­lowed for metals such as pure gold yarn to be wo­ven into more tra­di­tional fab­rics, as well as the ap­pli­ca­tion of spe­cial fin­ishes through mod­ern print­ing meth­ods. Last year, Ital­ian tex­tile maker Dedar re­leased Cos­mic Con­fetti, a linen dot­ted with sil­ver and gold splodges, clev­erly ap­plied through 3D print­ing tech­niques.

Pez­zato says that these in­no­va­tions have also re­sulted in a sub­tler, less gaudy ap­proach to us­ing golds and sil­vers. “We have de­vel­oped a spe­cial recipe: by mix­ing metallics with matt yarns we can mod­u­late the shine and recre­ate an ox­i­dised look that is much softer on the eye,” he says.

Leathers have also been given a lus­trous new look. Per­haps the bold­est of these comes from Stu­dioart, which has cre­ated metal­lic ver­sions of its sig­na­ture Leather­wall wall pan­els. These now come in a strik­ing sil­ver or gold (Vec­tor de­signed by Elaine Yan Ling Ng) and a rich bronze (de­signed by Mas­simo Bran­cati). They are def­i­nitely a state­ment choice, but one that must still be ap­proached with cau­tion, ac­cord­ing to in­te­rior de­signer Natalia Mi­yar.

“Metal­lic leather is beau­ti­ful but can be a step too far,” she says. “Sub­tlety is key. Small ac­cents can go a long way, whether it’s a de­tail in the fab­ric, on fur­ni­ture or an ob­jet d’art. Matt or brushed metals are prefer­able too – high gloss can be a bit twee.”

In­te­rior de­signer Katharine Poo­ley agrees. “The sim­plest way to in­tro­duce metallics to a scheme is through ac­ces­sories and fin­ish­ing touches, such as vases and pip­ing to cush­ions,” she says. If start­ing en­tirely from scratch, how­ever, Poo­ley does like to in­cor­po­rate metal­lic el­e­ments into be­spoke fur­ni­ture. “In re­cent schemes, we have added sub­tle fin­ishes such as gold gild­ing within the shadow gaps of wardrobes and book cases.”

We shouldn’t be fear­ful of mix­ing metallics ei­ther, adds Mi­yar. “Cop­per and bronze can look beau­ti­ful to­gether, and re­ally lift a scheme.” The gen­eral con­sen­sus is that these two shades work well with darker, stronger hues, while sil­ver and gold go bet­ter with soft tones such as pale blue and cream. Pez­zato favours gold and bronze with deep reds, rem­i­nis­cent of the Ital­ian re­nais­sance, but such a sump­tu­ous look may not be for ev­ery­one.

If up­hol­stery, cur­tains and wall leathers feel like too much of a com­mit­ment, there are plenty of metal­lic pieces on the high street to add a touch of the trend to your home, such as geo­met­ric sil­ver cush­ions from Zara Home and An­thro­polo­gie’s cop­per and bronze wall hang­ings.

“The key is to use metallics as high­lights to a scheme,” says Poo­ley. “These colours add a touch of lux­ury, but should do so in a way that whispers, not shouts.” So keep the tin­sel in stor­age. For the rest of the year, gold, sil­ver and bronze should be sub­tle and so­phis­ti­cated, but by no means out of sight.

Vec­tor wall tiles, main, by Elaine Yan Ling Ng for Stu­dioart, from €1,000 (£883); Natalia Mi­yar used a Ki­toko mir­ror by Marc De Berny, left

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