Weekend Warriors – Magic Metallics and Luster!

Shimmering yet sophisticated Metallic Wallpaper – image from splididwillow

Do what on the weekend? One of the big trends synonymous with 2011 and 2012 and carrying into ’13 has been the resurgence of metallic wallpaper, paint or luster – which is a metallic matte finish.

You may be conjuring horrifying images of a time-capsule bathroom decked out in vintage ’60’s Italianate gold foil wallpaper complete with matching colored sink – but I promise a second look is worth your time!

A sparkling Victorian entry treasure, made even more spectacular via metallic wallpaper – image via houseandhome.co.uk

Metallic and luster finishes predate retro-disco or Victorian renditions by several millennium. Majolica earthenware was introduced to Italy in the 14th century by Majorcan merchants (hence the name). The Metropolitan Museum of Art has an amazing Majolica collection, dating back to the 14th century. You can’t really see it in the images I snapped, but this Venus de Milo plate (and several in the collection) has a Mars or Venetian Red sash is actually metallic – quite the feat for the time, considering the difficulties of creating and applying red glaze!

An image I snapped at the MMA of Majolicaware with both a carnival-type luster and metallic glaze; 14th or 15th century.

Likewise, Metallic finishes appear in Benjamin Moore Paint’s Colorpulse 2013 Flow color group, translated poorly in photographic reproduction – but trust me when I tell you that the oyster and chocolate mocha lustrous tones are neutral yet stylish home-runs for any space!

A snapshot of Benjamin Moore Flow Paint Colors that include two tones that are shown in luster (top and Matte finishes (below) – image from Benjamin Moore’s Color Pulse 2013 Brochure

Some pretty hideous takes on metallic finishes have sullied their reputation, causing most style-minded do-it-yourselfers to ignore their potential for glamor.  But it is just as easy to do something right as it is to do it wrong.

My mantra about finding your comfort zone for proportionate application is just as important here as it is when using super-bright color like Pantone’s color of the year, Tangerine Tango. Strong applications require restraint, unless your objective is to achieve drama – in which case I’ll be just as repetitious in restating that sometimes the only way out of the box is over the top!

The right application of metallic or lustrous surface can do both a once, because metallic silver is a variation on the ultimate neutral – grey. Metallic gold, is suffused when paired with warm beige – not as neutral as you think, but go read my “Grays That Wow” article for more on that…A sultry mix of silver and gold metal finishes creates the foundation for a Hollywood Glam or an Art Deco inspired space.

I want to be this dressing room in my next life – image from Design Indulgences.

The dressing room above shines indulgently with a silver-leafed ceiling – not a project for the unskilled weekend warrior! For those of you who prefer design within reach, a metallic wallpaper is a natural extension of many styles. The key with wallpaper is to PAINT YOUR WALLS THE COLOR OF THE WALLPAPER”S BACKGROUND (so that in the event of environmentally induced minute shrinkage, your work is not ruined) and to follow directions carefully.

A luminious traditional mural paper in metallic finish – image from Desire to Inspire

Check out the faux finish below – don’t try this at home if you are a novice to faux finishing! The luster lilac pot and contrasting charcoal velvet tufted seating combined with that linear wall pattern repeated in the area rug texture create a timeless and amazing style.

Striated Venetian plaster, followed by a sealer and silver metallic paint – a silver finish by designer Juan Montoya

5 Ways To Make Metallic Magic that works in your space:

1) You don’t need to adhere to traditional design nor become a faux or tromp loi’el guru like Isabelle O’Neal to procure an amazing result with hot metallic looks.

Candice Olson’s dimensional wallpaper with silver metallic accent by York Wallpaper

Candice Olson of Divine Design / Candice Tells All fame has thought it through flawlessly for you, and partnered with York Wallpaper so you can get the look yourself.

Image and copy from Canadian House and Home Magazine website.

Metallic wall paper nets an amazing result. If you are new to hanging wall paper, keep it simple by using a paper with a small repeat that’s easy to match – like Candice Olson’s dimensional cork wallpaper embossed with a hint of silver metallic sparkle (above).

Click the image (above) to read Candice’s glowing testimonial on the virtues of cork. That paint in that image is a Metallic chocolate shade from Benjamin Moore; Candice’s paint of choice. Candice’s collection also includes a vertically patterned paper rich yet distinctly modern gold metallic (left). There are some fabulous colorways in Candice’s Collection, too but here I am appealing to those of you whose comfort zone lies resides in the more neutral, since you have all been indulging me as of late with some pretty eye-popping color.

If wallpaper seems intimidating, there are other ways to get that metallic magic on your walls.

modern masters metallic paint

2. Metallic Paint provides some great options for metallic mastery…

Modern Masters Painted room detail – decor pad

…and for those of you who don’t want to make your friends feel bad with your mastery of faux painting, try metallic paint, wall decals or stencils:

Branch stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils, applied in 3 different styles

3. An allover stencil application is very hard to tell from more expensive wallpaper.

metallic-wallpaper – Design by ROMO beside a cutting edge damask stencil

Add metallic paint to make it shine!

A Georgian Medallion stencil applied in gold creates instant architectural interest in a new build home lacking details.

The technique is easy – just choose a stencil grab your supplies and give that metallic magic a test drive!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y352nfwJZsE&rel=0&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&version=3]

A mirrrored diningroom by Jamie Drake – image from Jamie Drake’s website

5. Mirrors are another metallic surface – try mixing mirror in combination with a Boiserie moldings to showcase your metallic wallpaper application. Boiserie is a French term used to define ornately carved wood room paneling used on walls, doors, shelves, and mural or mirror frames. Boiseries were fashionable in 17th and 18th century France and are alive and wall across Europe and upscale US rooms in 2012.

Glamor fits into homes like yours more easily than you may believe. A room that you live n everyday with high-end detail improves the quality of life and imperceptibly elevates your mood – just as a plated meal with a great table setting somehow makes the meal taste better and changes the way you eat it.

If only small changes are possible, look to some metallic accents to make apartment-friendly changes. I have a whole store of portable style at www.MyHomeFaceLift.com!

Funky Metallics: L-R; Areaware Candlesticks, Metallic Cow Hide from Saddleman’s, Brass Pendant from Currey