LESLEY TAYLOR shows you how to steel your style with marvellous metallics
IT’S versatile, elegant and the go-to material for adding drama to any room; and those who are fully on-board the metal movement cannot get enough of the shiniest of homewares. But for some, the thought of bringing metal into the home can be a little daunting. After all, metal has long been used for the more practical of homewares such as taps, basins and saucepans, so using it in a decorative manner might be a little challenging. Fortunately, there are plenty of great accessories to ease you in gently.
HIT the high street and every interiors shop will have something with a metallic element on offer, from lightshades and ornaments to cupboards and chairs. As with any trend you want to try for the first time, approach carefully and start small. Choose something relatively cheap and versatile, so you can play around with placement before committing. It’s also worth remembering that not all metals will look the same in your interior scheme, so try different metallics to see how they interact with the light and your colour palette. Once you’re happy with the tone of metal that suits your home, go for it. Start hunting out key pieces to add to your scheme. And don’t just stick to the high street, explore charity shops and salvage yards for unique pre-loved pieces with a distressed edge or two.
THE industrial look – think exposed girders and wire basket shelving – and metals go hand in hand. But it can be a costly look to achieve. So start by replacing elements one at a time as your budget allows. Two of the biggest changes – and ones that will really pack a punch in the style stakes – are your radiators and bathtub. Swapping a 90s-tastic convector radiator with a chunky Victorian-inspired specimen or a chrome steel flat panel radiator will certainly add the wow factor. But if you’re considering a bathroom renovation, a freestanding bath with metal surround will not only pay homage to bathing habits of centuries past, but create the most spectacular showcase of metals.
GOING ALL OUT
NOW that you’ve plucked up your confidence and are feeling comfortable with your metallic accessories, perhaps you fancy going all out. And by that I mean the big ones – your walls and floors. I’m not for a second suggesting you whip off your wallcoverings and replace them with sheets of corrugated iron. Instead, look to the furniture brands that incorporate metallic elements into their wallcoverings. Sanderson for example, pay homage to the golden pineapple – one of the most popular interiors accessories of the last few years – in their Pineapple Royale design. Incorporating golden hues onto a dark background creates a striking design that is playful but has an edge of sophistication to ensure it hits the right notes stylishly. In terms of flooring, porcelain tiles are proving to be one of the most versatile options on the market. And while they might not be made of metal, there are plenty of designs inspired by the material, including the Metal Elements collection from The Baked Tile Company. This collection of tiles covers an entire colour spectrum with pieces inspired by platinum, steel, copper and iron. And while they might look like metal, they have all the benefits of a tile meaning they are easy to maintain and keep clean. They are also extremely hardwearing – perfect for modern life.
■ Lesley Taylor is the author of 10 interior design books and has appeared on a range of network TV shows, including This Morning, giving inspirational advice on home styling. For more information on her work, head to lesleytaylor.co.uk
The Baked Tile Company’s Metal Element collection allows floors to get in on the look The Radison cast iron bath in polished aluminium from Imperial Bathrooms will hit all the right style notes Experiment with different metallic hues to find the perfect shade for your home
Lightshades are an ideal entry-level product if you just want to try the look
Sanderson Pineapple Royale wallpaper 216326, £62 per roll, stylelibrary.com/sanderson (Image courtesy of Sanderson)