Copper is making a comeback

on the design scene

Popularised by the trend for Scandinavian minimalism and the passion for using high quality materials, copper and its alloys are making a comeback on the interior design scene. Copper is an essential metal...

 

It is absolutely vital to our modern way of life. Copper pipes deliver electricity and drinking water to our homes and it is used widely in architecture, manufacturing and the food industry. This extremely versatile material has many useful properties; it is antibacterial, anti-fouling, recyclable, durable, ductile, a great conductor of electricity, etc. 

Copper is easy to combine with other metals

The best-known copper alloys are brass (copper and zinc), bronze (copper and tin) and cupro-nickel. Combining copper with other metals creates alloys that are ideal for certain practical applications.

le cuivre

Stylish accessories. Habitat autumn-winter collection 2014.

 
Colourful copper

No other metal presents such lovely shades and hues as copper and its alloys. Warm red copper, golden brass and aluminium bronze, chocolate brown manganese bronze, the green patina of a roof and dazzling white of nickel silver provide designers with numerous opportunities to showcase their artistic talents. Surface treatments can extend copper's colour palette even further.

Copper in interior design

Copper was extremely fashionable in the Arts and Crafts movement. It was also widely used in the ostentatious and over-the-top designs of the 1970s and 80s. Today, it is back on the contemporary design scene, a sign of its reliability. From unfinished industrial copper to warm golden brass, designers are rediscovering the aesthetic potential of this colourful metal, its wonderful interplay with light and its endless versatility. Copper is incredibly malleable and ductile. And because it is extremely durable and 100% recyclable, it is becoming sought after by eco-designers too. This can be seen in the profusion of decorative items, furniture and home accessories made from copper: lights, candlesticks, pots and pans, mirrors, tables, chairs, and even bathroom taps and accessories.

 

Inbani, Bowl

Brushed copper shower attachment

from the exclusive colour series collection designed by Sopha Industries.

Copper and upcycling

Copper is very easy to work, allowing upcycling and DIY fans to modify it any way they see fit. To help popularise this noble material among the general public, the European Copper Institute launched the international Copper Upcycling Contest* whose aim is to give copper or copper objects a second lease of life. So, time to get rummaging in the attic or cellar and hunt out those old bed warmers, jam pans, candelabras and door knobs and give them a new lease of life. Wonderful, noble and recyclable copper is the antithesis of our 'throwaway' culture.

Auguste et Claire  © Bénédicte Blondel-Matthieu Gualandi

Click HERE to learn how to make this stylish copper clothes rack...

You don't have to be a plumber to get creative with copper!

Tip!

How to clean and maintain copper

 

To restore the lustre of your copper, polish dull patches with a cloth soaked in vinegar and sprinkled with salt (about a dessert spoon). Then rinse thoroughly with water and dry. 

 

Alternatively, you could use a lemon cut in half instead of a vinegar-soaked cloth.