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All things bright and beautiful

Bring on the bling, but remember that there is an art to striking the right balance when it comes to incorporating metallics into your decor

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 May, 2016, 12:35pm
UPDATED : Friday, 27 May, 2016, 12:16pm

All that glitters may not be gold in one this year’s hot interior design trends – but with metals still having their moment, it’s more than ok to bring on the bling.

Typically, interior designers recommend a gentle touch with luxe finishes such as bright metallic - a few well-chosen gold trays here, a contemporary brass light fitting there – the aim being to infuse a hint of glamour, without seeming too overpowering.

Some are more overt. Shiny finishes “look wonderful together”, enthuses Anna Hackathorn, a US-based designer and blogger. All that shimmer “makes things feel dressy”, and can be a beautiful complement to neutral colour palettes.

A clutch of mirrors in frames of varying shapes and sizes, made from different metals, turns a bland wall into an eye-catching gallery, the designer explains, and enhance the spatial feel of a small entrance hallway. But why stop there? Hackathorn would also splash out on glitzy surfaces. “Don’t be afraid to mix them: golds, silvers, mirrors … all the shiny finishes look lovely together,” she says.

The rule that gold and silver jewellery shouldn’t be worn together doesn’t necessarily apply to home interiors, asserts Bec Tougas, an Australian interior decorator and stylist - especially if you’ve got a good eye for arranging the right pieces.

“You can mix and match [metals] everywhere,” agrees Kimberly Duran, a British-based interior designer and blogger, peppering your interiors with cooling silvers, blackened bronze and warming brass or coppers throughout. “I always say playing it too safe will result in a less-than-interesting design regardless,” Duran adds. “So taking risks can always result in something that looks more timeless and intriguing.”

So, you want bold and brassy? Imagine an exotic, oversized ebony stone cracked open to reveal an ooze of liquid gold … and you have the Lapiaz bathtub. Polished brass details and mirrored sides make this stunner as much an artwork as it is a functional tub - definitely a statement piece for the most luxurious bathrooms.

Or a contemporary side table from Boca do Lobo, made entirely of polished casted brass? With its engraved top depicting the heart of a golden tree, the Eden is an exclusive piece of furniture that makes a statement without dominating the space.

For a subtler approach, a statement light fitting can be your go-to metallics accessory. New this season at Indigo Living are the Forest Chandelier in gold (from the 2016 Riviera Retreat collection 2016), and the Bold Bang Gold with bulbs from the Silent Grey collection.

Lighting luminary Tim Dixon expands on the industrial look this year with his COG candelabra, formed in brass plated solid aluminium and inspired by the great British engineering, and Etch Web, a space-filling shade made from photo-etched sheets of pure brass, designed to cast atmospheric angular shadows when lit.

The final word on all things bright and beautiful comes from designer Natalie Kraiem. She believes that while there is no such thing as “too much” when it comes to incorporating metallics into your decor, there is an art to striking the right balance.

Soften the hard, shiny bits with contrasting textures, like mohair, velvet and wool, she tells Keep the palette consistent: brass and yellow gold paired with darker hues such as black and navy, for instance.

You can’t go wrong with classics, she adds: brass, chrome, silver or gold leaf are timeless.

But start out small, she advises. Introduce a metallic tray or tea set first, as they’re easy to change or move around to find the perfect balance. If it works for you, there’s always the option to embolden the scheme with a statement piece or shiny papered wall.