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How to Master Metallics with F&P's Emma Vans Agnew

16th September 2019

Can metallics hold their own in homes all year round? “Absolutely,” says F&P Interiors Design Director, Emma Vans Agnew. “Metallics have been popular all throughout autumn, and the trend shows no signs of slowing just yet.”

We asked Emma to guide us through the process of using metallics to lift a scheme out of the ordinary and into the awe-inspiring.

For those just starting out, which room will benefit most from metallics?

Rooms such as bathrooms and dressing rooms are a safe bet. These spaces will always benefit from a little metallic as we often associate them with polished indulgence and glamour. A large metallic gilded mirror or copper bathtub will add instant drama, and will mean you forever connect the space with beauty and luxury.

Which colours best complement metallics?

Metallics should be considered as somewhat neutral shades, in that they can be paired with so many colours. A simple yet smart scheme can be created by mixing gold, black and grey, with white as the central colour. Alternatively, pair gilver (silver-gold) with shades of blue and beige for a stylish yet tranquil space.

Warm metallics such as gold and copper are great for bringing light to a room and work very well with bright oranges and creams. Meanwhile, a little bronze or copper with a rich deep blue will ooze a sophisticated vintage look.

People often see metallics as being feminine, can they be manly?

A stylish masculine scheme is easy to create with almost all metallic shades. Try pairing bronze or caramel gold with leather or wood for an exciting look. Otherwise, add just a hint of metallic to a dark scheme in the form of accessories such as lamps, mirrors or studded armchairs.

Using metallic wallpaper can be daunting to some. Do you have any tips?

Don’t be put off, especially if you have a space with limited light, as metallic walls can really help to open up the room by reflecting the light from lamps and candles.

Metallic wallpaper is ideal for feature walls as it instantly draws the eye and evokes feelings of glamour and importance. Tropical designs are especially good at doing this and are ideal for contemporary schemes. While, trellis designs and damasks work well to promote opulence and grandeur in more traditional spaces.

Do you have any tips for those worried about overdoing the metallic look?

If you’re starting out, treat your metallic shade as an accent colour, rather than one which is going to take centre stage. A metallic plant pot, drawer handle or lampshade placed sparingly around a room will all add interest and keep any scheme from becoming boring.

However, if you want to take the plunge with metallics, don’t be fooled that less is always more. The key to making it work is to vary the finishes you use. Metallics will compete for attention in a space, so mix polished surfaces with brushed or burnished ones to create a balance. Likewise, use a variety of textured fabrics such as weaves, velvets and faux furs to soften the scheme. Start by keeping the palette fairly neutral and built up colour as you add more metallic elements to keep from going overboard.

(Images: Hague Blue Paint by the Victoria Road Team; Palm Leaves Wallpaper by Graeme Wyllie.)

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