Is copper the new stainless steel?
It’s no secret that copper has become increasingly popular in kitchen designs. From range hoods and sinks to even exterior products of the home like copper gutters & chimney caps, copper is replacing overused stainless steel trends that have dominated design for the last 10 years. So why are today’s top contractors, architects & designers using copper?
So what is the appeal?
Unlike other metals, copper forms patina that can range from light blue, green, red or rustic brown. Artisans will draw out the patina using minerals and then lock in the desired color with a sealant or wax. A sleek metal range hood is great. But when it’s made of copper, there is just something special about it.
Here’s an example of a copper range hood we completed for a customer recently. It features our “Antique Color”.
I find this kitchen gorgeous….From the perfect backsplash and stunning counter tops to the decorative crown modeling on the cabinets and hood. Really ties this rustic look together. This is a timeless look that is trendy, but also conservative and classic at the same time. Some things just don’t go out of style, and a rustic copper range hood is no exception.
Some designers are getting more adventurous.
Some projects just need something to really make them pop. You can add a gorgeous counter top, a decorative copper farmhouse sink, or even a stunning copper pendant light, but it still may need a finishing touch. A trend is to add a bright copper range hood to the kitchen. Instead of a decorative patina, you can do something bold. This pairs well with modern finishes.
A recent CopperSmith customer and designer used the Artisan in her personal kitchen. I really like the way the hood makes a statement. It’s a bold design. Can you imagine this kitchen without it now? Great design work has to be bold. The nice thing about the Artisan copper range hood is that it is bright copper but also has the added protection of a sealant that will not allow further patina. This range hood was finished in with a natural patina that gives it a little variation in the patina.
A hood is not the only way to blaze a trail.
Copper Hoods are not the only place designers are making a splash in the kitchen. Since most of our business comes from great designers calling us – we are able to see the new trends developing. Traditional hammered copper sinks have been the standard for years for homeowners looking to make a splash with the farmhouse look. But lately our “Modern” line is gaining traction. Models such as the RedSmith have been selling with increased frequency.
This copper sink features a removable drying rack & solid copper drain. The finish is raw copper, so it will patina naturally as time passes. No need to worry about scratches, as they will simply re-patina over time. We have found that this sink will become a dark rustic brown, like a used copper penny. For those looking to maintain a little bright look, just hit it with a scotch bright pad or steel wool once a month, but this is totally optional. This trend has been very popular among people that value sustainability. No sealants or chemicals are used to provide a so called “Maintenance free finish”. This sink features sloped drains and extra heavy 48 ounce copper along with sound dampening technology.
Is there more to kitchens than sinks and hoods?
A copper hood or sink might not be your thing. Or maybe its currently out of your budget. We believe that everybody can afford to add copper as a finishing touch. A growing trend in 2015 is using copper pendant lighting. There is just something about the way light shines on, or through copper. (see picture below)
We decided to get into copper lighting because our customers just kept requesting it to the point that we had to figure something out. After years of delay, we decided to put together a small collection of copper pendant lights. A few different sizes, a few different styles, carefully selected to work for grand entrances or over kitchen center islands. You can expect copper pendant lights to be very trendy in 2015. Its a new subtle way to add a decorative feature that will make any project shine.
The last product that I want to talk about that is coming back in full steam is decorative half round copper gutters. I have to admit, I am little partial. My first job was installing copper gutters and I learned about there superior water drainage qualities from the other guys. Over the years I realized that although copper gutters are have a higher ticket price, they actually offer tremendous value to the homeowner. Its amazing how much better the exterior of the home looks after an install. And the best part is they are the longest lasting gutter system you can buy. There is a reason why churches, and historical buildings feature copper gutters, and its got a lot more to do with the longevity and value than the gorgeous looks.
It’s got a tract record of success. From an architectural standpoint, it’s a winner. From a design standpoint, it’s makes things pop. For your next project, consider copper. History says you won’t regret it.
Ryan Grambart is president of CopperSmith located in Minneapolis.