4 reasons to love metallic finishes in your home

All that glitters may not be gold, but a clever use of bling in a home will add light and drama
Annette O'Brien

Metallic details can take an interior from ho-hum to exceptional and provide a contemporary edge to a room… but there’s no need to go all out. Subtlety is key, especially when working with gold and brass.

1. Focus on the details

Interior designer Jillian Dinkel has used subtle elements of gold in a few of her projects in recent years and says they are a great way to create a luxe and layered space.

“Every room can benefit from metallic elements,” she says, “and adding these touches can be as simple as accessories or as far reaching as joinery detailing and specialty wall finishes.” 

“Metallics are easy to add to spaces such as kitchens and bathrooms through tapware and cabinet handles. Try mixing metal finishes in these spaces for a layered look – stick to two metal finishes and make sure they are repeated throughout the space.” 

How to decorate with metallic finishes in your home
(Credit: Anna Robinson)

2. Create a feature wall

Metallic tiles can add drama and complexity to a room, says Beaumont Tiles Strategic Designer, Vanessa Thompson. “Metallic tiles can feature everywhere from bathroom and shower niches right through to splashbacks and even tabletops,” she says. “They come in a variety of types including terrazzo, decorative, subway and my favourite – mosaics.”

How to decorate with metallic finishes in your home
(Credit: House Rules)

“In wet areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundries and outdoor showers, a playful glass mosaic is always a great choice.”

Vanessa Thompson, Beaumont Tiles Strategic Designer

Vanessa says that a metallic feature wall can make a big statement in an entry foyer or living space. “Many of our developers are utilising this technique as – apart from their obvious beauty – tiled feature walls are also life proof. They are scratch, dent and waterproof, making them perfect for high-traffic areas of the home, where chairs and furniture are notorious for making marks and scratches.” 

3. The light-reflecting power of metallics

For interior designer Mia Lake, of Vic Lake Architects, metallic surfaces can bring light reflection and interest to a room. “I believe a successfully designed room has layers of textures and details,” she says. “When all surfaces are flat, the room can lack life. Metallic surfaces are the perfect in-between level of flat and shiny. It is important to contain the metallic surfaces to one common item such as just the joinery or a wall, or one piece of furniture.”

“You need some negative space to make the metallic surface be the hero in the room.”

Mia Lake, Vic Lake Architects

4. Hot metals on trend

So which metallic surfaces are the ones to look for at the moment?

“Brass is still king but I’m also seeing a return of silver, particularly its warmer toned cousin, nickel,” says Jillian Dinkel. “Copper and rose gold are dated and best avoided for a timeless look.”

However, she urges caution before adding too much bling. “A little goes a long way with metallic. Try incorporating small metal details in your lighting choices, cushions and styling accessories. A brass or silver tray is a great way to corral your belongings in a chic way.”

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