Metal and wood: Perfect partners

"All that glitters is not gold" as Shakespeare warned us in his 1596 play The Merchant of Venice. An important lesson, and one that stems from a seemingly inherent human weakness for shiny things. Recently the world of interior design has embraced the seductive allure of shimmering surfaces, and there's been a resurgence of metallics in the home. Much of this revival has been driven by a trend for juxtaposing metal with rustic wood. It’s an elegant and sophisticated look and easy to adopt in your own home. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Metal and woodStandout furniture

Stil Novo Design of Northern California uses recycled French oak wine barrels to create unique pieces of furniture with metallic detail. In a blog for the Huffington Post, the founder of Stil Novo Camila Pistilli explained that the allure behind the marriage of wood and metal for her lies in the yin and yang, masculine and feminine qualities of the materials. Pairing them brings out the contrasting yet complementary qualities of both. Stil Novo designs clash the soft, matt quality of wood with the sheen of metal – creating a pleasing contrast.

Detailing and accenting

In a recent article in The Daily Telegraph, a number of interior designers discussed using metal to accent woodwork. Stephen Clasper, of Stephen Clasper Interior Design, uses metals like stainless steel, bronze, and polished brass to accentuate his base material, be that timber or leather. Introducing brass door knobs or light fixtures is a subtle and tasteful way to add an eye-catching flash of metal to your home.

Feature walls

For a metallic touch that really makes a statement, gilded wallpaper, such as that by esteemed British designer Christopher Chanond, creates instant impact. Foiled wallpapers have begun to pop up in homes in London’s stylish inner city boroughs. The London Magazine noted wallpaper made of "precious metal so finely woven it glows like luminous linen" in a dining room in Mayfair. Gleaming wallpaper is a striking way to introduce a feature wall to your home. Consider contrasting the lavish and modern appeal of a metallic wall with a traditional touch like an antique wooden table.

Which metal?

Of course, the kind of metal you choose to decorate with should complement the rest of your home. Choosing sleek chrome creates a cool, utilitarian aesthetic, while brass and copper add warmth and cosiness. While copper dominated in 2015, many interior designers are forecasting gold and brass to be the metals of choice for next year. These can easily be integrated into a room with gold-tone accessories or brass fittings. Pairing opulent metals with equally lavish mahogany or oak furniture will create a truly luxurious look.

At Engel & Völkers we're privileged to have access to an extensive portfolio of homes all over the world. If you're looking for a new home to put your stamp on, contact one of our expert local shops and we can guide you along every step of the way.

Engel & Völkers

Zürichsee Thalwil
Gotthardstrasse 26
8800 Thalwil
+41 44 533 12 12

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