Type to search

Copper furniture

Furniture News

Copper furniture


La Cornue 003

The warm glow of copper is now being showcased in innovative ways and luring design aficionados away from industrial-looking steel, says FUNKE OSAE-BROWN.

The constantly changing, malleable nature of the copper is what attracted Jimi Osunkoya when he visited the Mondrian London Hotel located on the Southbank of the River Thames in the famed Sea Containers building. It was designed by British designer Tom Dixon who installed a spectacular copper-clad structure inspired by a ship’s hull.

Piercing an outside canopy, it runs through the lobby down towards the restaurant, embracing the reception desk en route. Osunkoya says the design was fascinating and he could not help but marvel at the level of creativity that went into the creation of such an exquisite design.

Copper is a great material that is now being used by artists to create furniture pieces that are alive, and constantly changing. They are making a large, impactful statement and draw people in with copper.

Otherwise referred to as the red metal, copper has been used decoratively for many years, but new applications are emerging as contemporary designers explore its full potential.

Described as being subtler than brass and more flexible than bronze, copper has a natural radiance and iridescence. When highly polished, it emits a warm glow. When tarnished, it develops a spectrum of hues, from orange, pink, red, and yellow to green, blue and purple. And its glaze continues to change when it is touched and used.

However, beyond these visual distinctions, it is also very practical. Artists are falling in love with copper because it is recyclable and a good conductor of heat and electricity, while its antimicrobial properties support its use for handrails, doorknobs and kitchen worktops.

Some designers are courageously using copper to create glamorous bespoke staircase, bathtubs, kitchen wares among other household wares. From the staircase and worktops to detailing on lighting and fittings within the kitchen and bathroom, the copper as become visible as it brings out a variety of colours, from reds and pinks to blues, and combined this with sections of polished copper to show its full potential.

For centuries, copper has conventionally been a kitchen favourite. The Alessi’s La Cintura di Orione collection designed by Richard Sapper attests to the unique use that copper has been put to.

Likewise, La Cornue’s (the Rolls-Royce of kitchen-range makers) Château 150 model comes in a solid-copper finish and polished-copper trim which makes it a collector’s delight any day. Perfectly handmade, comes with a personalised hob design and choice of gas supply.

Furthermore, for contemporary designers, the charming combination of aesthetics and functionality is also found in the glass and copper mosaic tiles made by Artistic Tile for Italian surface specialist, De Ferranti.

Bolu Ogunranti, an interior décor, says De Ferranti’s tile called Treble is attractive and great for panels in kitchens or bathrooms. She explains that copper’s warm colour is increasingly attracting homeowners away from industrial-looking steel surfaces.

According to her, its feel and outline play with depth and reflection of light. “A bathtub made with copper is truly luxurious. It is very practical. It comes with this unexplainable poetic quality that makes you want to stay longer in the bathtub.”

In addition, Femi Adeoye, a specialist in home designs, explains that with the recent designs of furniture made with copper, homeowners have not always been so enthusiastic about the metal. “There is a greater understanding of copper now,” he explains, as “lovers of rare furniture pieces are seeing alternative to steel in it. They often consider steel to be too boring but the colours of copper makes it more interesting.”

CopperssAccording to him, Italian furniture specialist Baxter’s sleek Loren coffee tables shows copper’s essential, jewel-like qualities. He says London-based Keir Townsend coffee tables clothed in copper are some of the latest pieces to have. Equally stylish is French designer Nicolas Le Moigne’s limited-edition Copper High Table. The table is made from spun copper and black-lacquered steel.

Also, the vertical and horizontal geometry of Christopher Jenner’s brushed-copper and pearwood Devisor shelving is fascinating. The ‘3 Tier’ shelf offers three horizontal planes for harmonious everyday living.

Marrying Pearwood with brushed copper, Jenner created a piece which exudes a cultivated elegance, perfect for both urban and country spaces. This shelf is handcrafted in Northern Italy, by a small family workshop with a rich tradition in carpentry using the finest materials and handcraft, setting the precedent for a piece of true quality. It fuses opposing elements, allowing the natural materials to perform best in a habitat of contrasts. The wooden parts is finished with a water-based lacquer presenting an innate environmental relationship, while the hand-turned, metal component is untreated, allowing for the development of an oxidised patina over a lifetime.

For most collectors, the relationship with copper is as ancient as civilisation itself and the elemental interplay between wood and metal creates an emotive layering of narrative and material. This explains their new found love for copper.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *