L'Antichambre Parfumerie metallic gauze hanging installation

The Modern Metallic Renaissance

Metallic applications in design have experienced an uptick in popularity these last few years. This is a good thing, considering how industrial warehouse has become the default look for many coffee shops, boutiques and eateries throughout the U.S. 

So, what is the antidote for rustic retro overload?

Newton’s third law of physics, of course: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Except, the reaction to rough-hewn isn’t starchy formality. When the pendulum needs to swing in the opposite direction, it’s innovation and technology that can save the day.

Enter, the new metallic surfaces and products, with their modern, artisan fabrications and surprising applications. While the chance always exists for metallics to be overdone, its inherent boldness tends to keep most practitioners in check.

The wall treatment below was created by Based Upon, a studio of artists in London who specialize in hand-made, textural material surfaces, custom furniture and artwork.

hand-made textured silver metallic surface by London art studio Based Upon

Based Upon studio, London via Design Therapy

Metallic Grilles

This arrangement of grilles casually resting against a restaurant wall is unexpected yet conveys an atmosphere of sophistication without taking itself too seriously — something that’s never as easy as it looks.

Brass grilles as wall covering in Korean Restaurant

A Korean Restaurant via we-heart.com

Handmade Metallic Wallcoverings

This metallic wall covering by Maya Romanoff anchors this tabletop arrangement beautifully, though it’s unlikely the reason it was chosen for the room.

Contract Wall Coverings: Weathered Metals II, Maya Romanoff

Contract Wall Coverings: Maya Romanoff, Weathered Metals II  #woodwall

Metallic-glazed wall tiles

Metallic-glazed wall tiles so popular now are available in a variety of finishes including mercury glass.

Real copper-glazed tile

Real copper-glazed tile, Progetti Italiani



round copper wall tiles by Karim Rasid

Round copper wall tiles by Karim Rashid






Copper-clad light fixtures

The rose-gold / copper trend has taken off and its momentum shows no signs of slowing down as of this writing.

polished copper pendant trumpet-shaped light fixtures by Francesco Rota

copper pendant lighting by Francesco Rota; Photo: Andrea Basile

Metallic Mesh

This architectural mesh, by Haver and Boecker, is custom manufactured for each project. The mesh is most often used in stainless steel, but is available in other metallic finishes, such as bronze, copper and brass.

Architectural mesh exterior

Architectural Mesh via ArchDaily

Although typically used on building exteriors, the metallic mesh used below as an interior hanging divider, hints at other possible applications.

L'Antichambre Parfumerie metallic gauze hanging installation

L’Antichambre Parfumerie

There you have it — innovation, elegance, technology, all delivered via the new metallics. A modern, equal and opposite reaction to rusty, rough and splintered.

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