While there are few decorating rules when it comes to the festive season – this is a time, after all, to be as expressive and decorative as you wish – it’s fair to say that a little goes a long way when it comes to decorating with metallics.
Soft copper, antiqued gold, even the subtle sheen of black-bronze all have parts to play in a scheme like this. And each will sit against yellow-based neutrals, velvety browns, pinks, navy and dark greens with surprising versatility.
A table setting lends itself particularly well to metallic accents. Antiqued brass or bronze candlesticks are a natural foil for winter greenery – a life-like pine or eucalyptus garland stretching the length of the table, for example, will bring softness to the metals. A centrepiece, meanwhile, in a shimmering metallic shade will add a true sense of occasion – just ensure the scheme feels natural and grounded, (rather than overly shiny), by incorporating earthy-coloured table linen and the honeyed tones of oak furniture.
If you already have metal finishes in your room, such as a gilt-framed mirror or bronze lamps, or a metal-edged coffee table like Keswick, take them as your cue to introduce other metal nods: a wooden tray or woven basket-full of assorted metallic decorations, such as our Laurel baubles, makes an attractive and easy coffee table display. Or, you could spray twigs in a metallic finish and arrange in a rustic vase (like Haybrook or Whitton) to display on a sideboard or console, or on the mantel. Just remember, the smooth sheen of metallics will need to contrast with rougher textures like those of rattan, seagrass or jute, or the tactility of nubby woollen throws or rustic pottery to stop the look feeling too glossy.
Probably the greatest advantage of working in some soft metallics this season is the way they perform once the lights are on and the candles are lit. Flickering candlelight bounces off the curves and planes of metal pieces giving them a twinkling, glinting and magical depth. The perfect mood for a perfect Christmas season.