Accessorize With Metallics

Decadent gold, demure bronze, lavish silver and refined nickel brings a warmth and regality that just can't be achieved by their matte counterparts. Design experts share tips on how to incorporate the metallic trend in your home.
By: Melisa Russo
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The Beauty in Bronze

Metallic accessories can completely change the look of a space. Julie Thigpen didn’t want to overdo it, so she decided to go with only a few metallic touches in different finishes. "Vintage gold and brass are making a comeback in home decor. The gold- leaf end table, brass metal ball and sunburst mirror tie the whole room together while adding a touch of glamour," she says.

Stay Grounded

Pairing metallics with natural fibers creates a glamorous look without feeling overdone. The key, says designer Erika Powell of Urban Grace Interiors, is to incorporate organic elements with a variety of metallic finishes. For a client who wanted to dress up her dining room for a holiday party, Powell added lustrous gold chargers, timeless china dishes and heirloom silver to an otherwise neutral palette. Photo courtesy of Erika Powell

Flashy Lights

Copper is one of the newest metallic trends. Camilla Molders installed decorative copper pendant lights in the dining room for an easy way to add interest to the space. Bold red chairs and a blue accent wall enhance the lights, bringing a polished yet dramatic look.

Spray It On

Metallic spray paint is perfect for sprucing up an inexpensive wreath, which can hang year round in the kitchen or take center stage on the front door for a New Year's Eve celebration. In this case, the contrast of rich gold against a rustic brick backsplash brings a touch of whimsy and sparkle to an otherwise neutral space. For the most dramatic effect, "remember to only bring metallics into your home in small doses," says Powell. Photo courtesy of Erika Powell

Gold Accent Wall

This bedroom proves decorating with gold isn't too dramatic. The vintage brass chandelier and light- gold headboard soften the graphic wallpaper. Camilla kept everything else white, including the rest of the walls, so the space feels light and relaxing.

Mix and Match

"It's a common mistake that you can't mix your metallics," says Cassandra LaValle of design firm Coco+Kelley. For her bedroom, LaValle selected brass hardware for her furnishings, a pair of hammered nickel lamps and a muted gold "For Like Ever" poster. She then painted her walls a deep gray and used crisp white and black as accents, to allow the metals to pop. Photo courtesy of Brandon Sawaya

Spruce Up Small Spaces

For Kirsten Grove of design blog Simply Grove, metallics should be incorporated into the home in unexpected ways. "Add a bright gold picture frame in with a cluster of traditional black or white or mix a silver pillow in with a bunch of colored fabrics," suggests Grove. For her living room, she spiced up a classic-meets-modern space with a statement-making side table. Photo courtesy of Kirsten Grove

Vintage Gold Glass Bottles

Not sure about adding metallics to your decor? Give it a try by painting vintage glass bottles to create a small bedroom vignette. You may be surprised how well metallic goes with other color palettes, like this navy and white one. Design by Erinn Valencich

From: Erinn Valencich

Silver End Table

If you have an old end table that doesn't work with your living room's new design, update it with a little spray paint. Kirsten Grove painted her table silver to complement the soft floral pattern on the wingback chair. Decorating with white accessories will enhance metallic furniture.

Keep It Cohesive

For a touch of glam in a living room or bedroom, Julie Thigpen of design firm Modern Chic Home suggests approaching the task as if picking out jewelry: "The right piece should complete your look," not compete with it. She used shimmery capiz shells to separate a client's seating area from the adjacent office and placed a gold sculpture on top of a metallic framed cocktail table. Like a chain-mail necklace or statement ring, both pieces complemented an otherwise classic room without competing for attention. Photo courtesy of Julie Thigpen

Over-the-Top Dining

Accessorizing with metallics doesn't necessarily mean through small items. If you want to make a huge impact, consider incorporating it into your furniture. The eye is immediately drawn to this gold log table base, while the rest of the room is done in neutral so it doesn't take away from the piece. Photo courtesy of Phillips Collection

Gold + Glass

For a subtle approach when decorating with metallics, go for lighter gold tones combined with glass. Camilla chose a gold coffee table and end tables with glass tops for a feminine touch, while the dark color tones in the furniture balance the space.

Metallics and Patterns

A simple metallic embellishment goes a long way. Julie placed this antique gold urchin on a small vignette for the right amount of glimmer. "Matte gold really stands out when juxtaposed with bright colors," she says.

Copper With Neutrals

A copper kitchen hood has a timeless look that won't go out of style as you change your kitchen’s decor. Kitchen Cousins hosts Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri chose black-and-white cabinets and countertops and paired them with a bold copper hood. The copper hood coordinates with many different styles, whether it's contemporary or traditional.

From: Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri

Let There Be Light

If you're ready to incorporate metallics into your home on a grander scale, consider wall treatments. "Try a wallpaper pattern that has a low sheen," says Thigpen. "It gives the room depth and interest without being over the top." Case in point: the graphic paper she chose for a client's home office. The matte finish keeps the space from feeling too flashy and lightens up a dark and narrow interior. Photo courtesy of Julie Thigpen

Just Add Black

For serious drama, nothing creates more impact than high-contrast gold on black. "I'm crazy for metallics paired with black for jaw-dropping sex appeal," says Maryam Montague, owner of boutique hotel Peacock Pavilions in Marrakech. Montague hired Melanie Royals of Modello Designs to hand-paint one wall using three different types of metallic paint to give the design more depth. Inspired by a screen that Jeanne Lanvin had in his Paris apartment, the wall provides a backdrop to the room's dark and lustrous color scheme. Photo courtesy of Maryam Montague

Spread the Love

Incorporating metallic accents from one space to the next creates a sense of continuity. Montague relies on ethnic gold and brass accessories from her travels to bring a shot of sparkle to each room at Peacock Pavilions. "I love mixing in small metallic items to tablescapes and bookshelves," says Montague. Photo courtesy of Maryam Montague

Natural Light Reflection

Incorporating metallic accessories is a must when you have vast windows. Dawna Jones placed a large metal bowl in the center of this dining room table, so natural light bounces off of it. This creates the illusion of a larger room.

Brass Bed Frame

Brass accents are seen throughout Sarah Richardson's farmhouse. The bed frame anchors the lively patterns and colors, which bring the room to life without being too bold.

Gild the Walls

"If I had my way, everything would be enveloped in gold," says Roseline Lohr, editor of design and lifestyle blog {this is glamorous}. If go big or go home is your motto, consider hiring a professional to revive your moldings with gold paint. The technique injects instant regality to any space, though it's not for the faint at heart. Photo courtesy of Roseline Lohr