Warm reflections: a look at metallics trends for the year ahead

With five new decors being added to the Laminex Metallic Series, we explore how warm, textured metallics are shaping contemporary interior design.

The radiant appeal of warm, textured metallic finishes looks set to increase through 2019 as more architects and designers specify these sophisticated decors into interiors projects. Finishes such as shimmering gold and brushed brass are elevating fit-outs in both dramatic and discrete ways and, according to Catherine Valente, Design Marketing Manager at Laminex, it’s a movement that’s playing out across both residential and commercial interiors. “Reflective or shiny materials can be polarising for some people, but the classic tones of brass, copper and bronze sit beautifully in a softer finish,” she says. “Brushed metallics, in particular, are featuring heavily in design specification and we expect this to continue.”

Using metallics to celebrate contrast

The design applications Valente has noted include subtle lustrous details in the nooks of feature shelving, on kitchen kickers, as highlight joins in front panels, between wall panels and in shadowline benchtop details. “We know joins can be a necessity but now we’re seeing the introduction of beautifully designed metallic features in bronze or stainless steel, to highlight the join,” she says. “And not just simple lines – we’re seeing zig-zag details or angled joins to create even more contrast and visual interest.”

Melbourne’s Fiona Lynch is one interior designer who has been favouring textural metallics. She says that they’re a beautiful complement to timber finishes and muted tones. “I find that white is a little too cool a colour to be teamed with a metallic,” she adds. “They tend to work best with warm colours for more a striking contrast.” To that point, classic Art Deco colour pairings, such as bronze and dusty pink or teal and gold, are appearing in soft furnishings, sofas and ottomans. And metallics are also being teamed with pastels. “There’s a move away from millenial pink toward soft blues, apricots, dusty pinks and mint green, and metallics sit perfectly with these,” says Valente. “Especially in the use of handles, pops of colour in cabinetry, accents in furniture and, of course, pendant lighting.”

The statement rangehood at Fiona Lynch’s Fitzroy House typifies the rising prominence of sophisticated, textured metallic finishes in Australian interior design. Photograph by Sharyn Cairns

Bold and beautiful feature metallics

These metallics are also shining in bold and unexpected ways, with even utilitarian kitchen appliances taking centre stage in sophisticated warm metallic finishes. For example, kitchens at two of Lynch’s recent residential projects, in Balwyn and Fitzroy, feature statement metallic rangehoods in aged brass. At another project, in South Yarra, a polished brass rangehood is integrated with matching cupboards. “People no longer want just a bank of overhead cupboards. They want the elements in their kitchen to feel like furniture,” says Lynch. And with the right metallic finish, that “furniture” can become a feature in its own right.

Valente sees another opportunity for metallic finishes in this area. “Glass shelves with brass or bronze frames can be a stunning addition to a kitchen,” she says. “Not everyone will be comfortable with giving up their kitchen overheads for open shelves, but once they start seeing them in situ, they might have a different opinion!”

But the movement to textural metallics goes well beyond kitchen joinery, of course. Lynch recently specified Laminex Brushed Stainless Steel for a beautifully curved beam in the new Brisbane boutique of Australian fashion label Viktoria & Woods. “The brushed finish is beautiful,” says Lynch. “It doesn’t mark and because Laminex is so flexible, it’s great for curved surfaces.”

The new Laminex Metallic Series decors

Perfectly timed to help designers capitalise on the appeal of luxurious brushed finishes and warm metallics, Laminex has added five new decors to its Metallic Series. All are available in high-pressure laminate. And because their development was influenced by trends in key adjacent industries, such as tapware and cabinetry hardware, the new decors can be integrated seamlessly into commercial or residential design projects.

Laminex Brushed Brass is a bright brass decor with a refined hand-brushed effect that brings a strong sense a warmth to an interior.

Laminex Copper Brush also features a refined brushed effect, reflecting a soft copper-toned glow to its surroundings.

Laminex Matte Rose Gold displays a delicate blush of soft metallic pink and has a subtle hand-brushed effect.

Laminex Plex Cupro is a bold, bright orange-copper metallic with a textured finish.

Laminex Korten is a handcrafted oxidised steel laminate. Its rich rust tones will add a sense of authenticity to industrial-style interiors.

Laminex Brushed Brass, Copper Brush, Matte Rose Gold, Korten and Stainless Steel are available now. To order a sample click here. Laminex Plex Cupro will be available from April 2019.