Fun fact, nearly 80 percent of the copper that has been mined to date is still in use in some form or another.
Another fun fact, in two years time the pink copper handles you've just installed in your kitchen will be in the bin.
When it comes to making an impact on interiors, bringing metal finishes into the mix can do a world of wonders. Not only can they make something relatively inexpensive look like you've thrown money at it, but it tends to give the perception that the item is somewhat specialist or bespoke.
Copper as an interior finish however, needs some big time consideration when being incorporated, and should not be picked on a whim. It's one of those "what's written on the box might not be what's inside" kind of trends.
Copper is like an exposed brick wall or a concrete floor. These, as we all know, can be faked with a wallpaper or a tile, but it's never the same. More often than not the copper we are seeing used in interiors, especially in those pieces you can pick up on the high street, are the "wallpaper and tile" versions of copper. Basically cheap and nasty knock offs.
Have a look at some copper in the wild. Natural, raw, unadulterated copper. It's very seldom pink or shiny...at least not for long. The Statue of Liberty is case in point. That lady does not wear pink!
Somehow all "copper" finishes on the high street seem to be gender-reveal-pink, a rose-gold glossy lacquer, rather than a sophisticated material that weathers, wears and patinas over time. The products are bought because the say "copper" on the box, but chances are they ain't the copper that the good lord intended.
If you're buying this because you like the rose-gold finish, and it will go well with your gilded "chop it like its hot" poster in the kitchen, that's a scolding for another day. However if you are buying it because you truly want copper in your home, and you appreciate it's character, here are my thoughts.
Copper has a history of being an industrial metal. It's been around for thousands of years. Now I'm not saying you shouldn't teach an old metal new tricks, but copper deserves to be treated like the workhorse it is.
See copper as an industrial/rustic material that will add grit to a space. It doesn't take very long, looking around a high street furniture store, to see copper being used as a contemporary finish, incorporated into all manner of trendy house hold goods. If you are unsure of how to bring copper into your space, and have it stand the test of time, don't go for contemporary copper.
Go for copper in its natural, un-lacquered or non-glossy finish. That choice alone will not only limit the options available, but will ensure that when copper is incorporated, it will start to patina and age over time. This is a good thing.
The thing about metal finishes is that the real ones come with a price tag, and this is no different with copper.
Unfortunately for copper though, nobody has yet to come up with a cheap looking substitute that is remotely similar looking to the real thing. So if budget doesn't allow for the likes of a distressed copper sink or splash-back in the kitchen, traditional copper ironmongery, light fittings or even copper furniture, you would be amazed at what can be picked up at an antiques market on the cheap. Copper bowls, candle sticks, door handles and other decorative pieces are a great way to bring in real, pre-aged copper into a space for a fraction of the price.
Copper tubing was made to be a conduit hidden in walls, floors and under the sea. Let's keep it like that. Unless you're doing a welding course, try steer away from copper-tube anything if you are trying to lux up your space. I know they are probably easy to make, but a copper pipe lamp with no shade has never done an interior any favours.
And finally, just because it's in Pinterest doesn't mean it's ok...just had a look on there, and wow, just wow.