Copper is the New "It" Finish

Polished nickel is just swell, but consider this chic option when spiffing up your abode
Posted August 13, 2014

Finish is to hardware, plumbing and lighting as color is to paint and fabric. There are trends, styles, and combinations that can make a remarkable difference in your project, whether a home, restaurant, hotel, or commercial building.

Just as color is trendy or cyclic, so too are finishes. Some finishes are best known for the type or style in which they were predominately used. Consider how the mid-century modern design popularized the use of chrome for example. Other finishes are classic and rise and fall in popularity just as colors do. In the nineties for example, consumers were troubled by lacquer coated polished brass when the brass failed. This created an unnatural appearance that looked more like the brass was peeling off than the lacquer. This was made worse by companies who used lesser quality brass adding additional color to the lacquer giving it the appearance of its more expensive counterpart. 

The result was a pale, mottled finish that hastened the introduction of the PVD (physical vapor deposition) finishes. Today there is a return to natural metal finishes, such as natural brass, bronze and copper. Chrome, aluminum and stainless steel were economic and popular metals for furniture legs, plumbing, and even today’s computers and tablets for almost a century. Now copper is gaining strength due to its “warm shimmering” color and its authenticity. It brings with it warmth that is lacking in the silvery tones that have dominated the industry for many years.

Designers are looking at this beautiful finish in a fresh new way. When left natural, copper will patina, going through variations from the beautiful pinkish color, darkening to brown and eventually to a beautiful green. (Think of the beautiful Verde roofs on buildings in Europe.) It can also be maintained and polished with a good metal polish. Besides the aesthetics, it conducts heat and electricity very well and has amazing anti-bacterial properties, even being used in hospitals and medical facilities to reduce the spread of disease. It is also soft enough to be formed into any number of beautiful designs, including hammered sinks.

We love the unexpected look that a copper faucet brings to a clean, white marble countertop and backsplash

Copper finish is being introduced as an option on faucets, showers, kitchen faucets and other plumbing products for the bath and the kitchen. Seeing a faucet in copper instead of polished chrome makes the design look remarkably different. Dornbracht™ has added its CYPRUM™to the MEM™ design for both kitchen and bath and have a process that prevents it from tarnish and patina. You must see this beautiful finish to truly understand why it is worth talking about.

This article is by Kaye Powell of Bellevue-based Chown Hardware and