Met­als in the home

Whether you want to bring shine, tough­ness or a touch of the un­usual to your home, there’s a metal for you, says Lucy Denyer

The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - Cover Story -

Think metal and homes and what springs to mind? In­dus­trial chic, all ex­posed beams and iron gird­ers? Shiny chrome taps in the bath­room? Per­haps some stain­less steel ap­pli­ances in the kitchen? Sorry, but you’re a bit be­hind the times. Th­ese days, metal is creep­ing into our homes in all guises and in all places, from wall­pa­per to floor­ing, ap­pli­ances to fur­ni­ture. It’s been hap­pen­ing for a while now. First, chrome moved out of the bath­room and into slickly modernist lamps and fur­ni­ture pieces. Then we started see­ing pared-down wire shelv­ing units creep­ing into chic in­te­ri­ors as a min­i­mal­ist way of do­ing stor­age. Last year was all about cop­per; ev­ery­thing from KitchenAid mix­ers to free-stand­ing baths was made over. The year cul­mi­nated with Du­lux an­nounc­ing that its paint colour of the year for 2015 is called Cop­per Blush. Us­ing metal is hardly new. Me­dieval no­bil­ity used wrought iron in their homes long be­fore we thought of it. More re­cently in the 20th cen­tury, trends shifted through the decades. In the Twen­ties, chrome was the thing for fix­tures, ac­cen­tu­ated by plenty of pol­ished mir­rors. The Six­ties and Sev­en­ties saw Bru­tal­ist met­al­work be­come popular, with de­sign­ers form­ing chan­de­liers, wall sconces, lamps and sculp­ture from sheet metal cut with a torch. In the Eight­ies, gold and brass were de rigueur in smart in­te­ri­ors, be­fore gold taps in the bath­room started to look less chic and more su­per-rich os­ten­ta­tious. Right now, met­als in any form are big – but they ap­pear with more sub­tlty than be­fore. “At the mo­ment, there is a real lean­ing to­wards

De Fer­ranti floor­ing (top); Lin­wood fab­ric; Tom Dixon light­ing (right)

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