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Kupferlampen über einem Esstisch
Kupferlampen über einem Esstisch

Glossy accents: Furnishing with copper 

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Luxurious gloss paired with warm tones – that is the visual appeal which has helped make copper-look household objects and decor pieces trendy. But what is the best way to mix and match with this striking look?

Copper: A material with history 

Copper is one of those materials that’s been around for ages – thousands of years even. The Neolithic period was followed by the so-called Copper Age, an era in which people discovered the usefulness of the metal as a material and economically valuable commodity, and began exploring processing it professionally. The dates of this period vary somewhat, because its onset was dependent on things including the availability of the material and the technological progress in the respective culture. While there is evidence of copper being used early on in the Near and Middle East – the oldest copper artefacts date back to around 8,000 BC – usage of the metal in Central Europe came relatively late, with the Copper Age ‘only’ commencing in 4,300 BC and lasting until around 2,200 BC. The best known European figure of the Copper Age is Ötzi, otherwise known as the Iceman, who died around 3,300 BC and was found next to a copper axe that was almost completely intact.

Esszimmer mit Kupfereinrichtung
Dunkler MEISTER Laminatboden unter einem hellen Sessel

Why is copper so popular? 

Copper has always been valued for its good processing properties and has been used in a variety of ways since day dot.

  • Malleability
    Pure copper is a soft, malleable metal, making it a popular material in the visual arts – either for sculptures and copperplate engraving or etchings. 
  • Conductivity
    Its conductivity makes copper an essential component in cables, power lines or circuit boards. 
  • Antibacterial
    The metal boasts bactericidal properties that make it good for use in water pipes or door handles. 
  • Unique look
    Last but not least, copper is making a real comeback in the realm of interior design due to its unique look. It’s hard to believe how exactly the modern interior trend came to be – many consider Tom Dixon’s spherical hanging lamp “Copper” as the pioneer of the modern interpretation of this metal steeped in tradition. However, it usually serves as no more than a visual standard, as copper-look household items and decorative pieces are often just coated with a copper-coloured alloy or paint. This is perhaps better known as rose gold. 
Regardless of whether furnishings and home accessories are made from real copper or are just copper-look, copper decor pieces are always sure to catch the eye. A favourable combination of styles and shades is therefore important if the metallic look shouldn’t become too dominant. 

Furnishing styles with copper and rose gold 

The industrial interior style, which has been enjoying newfound popularity since the turn of the millennium, has made copper a must-have in living spaces – from copper lamps to cookware and glasses, there is hardly an object that the metal can’t be shaped into. To add the finishing touches to industrial style, the material often has a raw, untreated look with matt surfaces, colour deviations and the general impression of good old craftsmanship.

Fans of Scandinavian living know that elements in copper shades are also an important part of Nordic Style. Those on the hunt for matching vases, furniture or lights often end up at the glossy shade – one reason for this metal’s popularity may be found in the common colour combos found in Scandinavian design. Light, inviting colours form the visual basis of Hygge and the like, and really bring rose-coloured elements into their own. Unlike pieces found in industrial-leaning interiors, copper objects in this instance boast geometric forms and delicate contours.


These colours make a good match 

Despite their striking appearance, copper and rose gold tones go well with a variety of other tones. One thing to bear in mind though, is that less is often more. The striking metal really comes into its own alongside well-chosen accents. Even lovers of this look run the risk of falling out of love with coppery tones by overloading their homes with copper-coloured elements.

  • Only the brave set luxurious statements by combining black and rose gold. Those who perhaps don’t dare to venture into that territory can alternatively pair the metal with grey – a mix that is totally in right now. Concrete-look flooring makes for a good contrast with such decorative elements.
  • The classic has its roots in the popular Scandinavian interior design style: copper-coloured accents lendrooms a sense of feminine playfulness and breathe an inviting warmth into the home. A light laminate floor, perhaps in the colour marzipan offers a great basis for this.
  • Those who enjoy experimenting with colour can introduce a pastel colour as contrast to copper – a soft yellow or sky blue, for instance. 

Furnishing with copper: This is how it’s done 

Those making their first foray into the world of furnishing with copper may be concerned about visually overloading the room and creating in turn a “tacky” overall appearance. Here are the key tips and rules when it comes to using copper and rose gold:

  • Less is more:
    Metallic colours like copper are best suited as accents rather than large-scale use.
  • Copper goes well with this furnishing style
    The industrial factory style and Scandinavian furnishings are clear examples of how the use of copper can look – the styles differ in their use of copper primarily in terms of surface treatment and design. 
  • Which colours harmonise?
    Copper shades are a match made in heaven with white and other light tones, while those who prefer a less playful look can combine their copper with grey or black. 

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Furnishing with copper