Copper is a true kitchen classic, used for centuries as a material for sinks, oven hoods, and cookware. Its latest incarnations include design elements like backsplashes, counter tops, lighting and accents for custom cabinets.
The growing popularity of this classic yet striking metal can be attributed to a number of factors. First, its unique look, which is enhanced by its tendency to transform over time due to its reactive nature, makes an instant statement. Copper’s color, malleability, and evolving patina converge to create a metal rich in character.
While copper is malleable, making it the perfect metal to create design elements in many different styles, shapes, and sizes, it is also durable. This quality makes copper a good investment for homeowners who want pieces that last for many years. The ability of copper pieces to retain their beauty equals that of carefully crafted kitchen cabinets.
Sanitation is always a priority in the kitchen, and copper fits the bill nicely for this need, as well. The metal is naturally equipped with antimicrobial properties. As a result, bacteria on copper surfaces perish after a matter of hours.
And homeowners who are conscientious about environmentally friendly materials and practices will appreciate that copper is 100 percent recyclable, with the ability to be melted down, shaped and forged a multitude of times. Copper does not lose its integrity or value when it is recycled, either.
Kitchen counter tops are stunning when done in copper, as the metal’s reflective nature gives it an eye-catching sheen and warm glow. Left untreated, copper will discolor slightly with age because the metal tarnishes as it oxidizes and reacts to the substances that cross it. However, some homeowners find the blend of matte reds, browns and greens copper transitions to as it mellows appealing.
From a practical standpoint for counter tops and sinks, which typically see a high volume of food and beverage residue, copper offers the convenience of being easy to clean. Daily maintenance comes down to warm water and dish soap, while a more intense scouring job can be achieved using a mixture of lemon juice and salt.
Speaking of sinks, copper offers a bevy of benefits as the choice of metal. Their standout style infuses the kitchen with a fresh look. And their enriched hue, full of depth, comes courtesy of the manner in which they are created. Designers fashion copper sinks from a single sheet, hammered and exposed to water and air. Of course, the color can also be kept in its original form simply by preserving it with a coating.
There is a copper sink to suit just about any taste. The metal comes in a broad array of finishes, from bright and shiny for maximum wattage, to a deep, rich bronze for a more subtle effect. In terms of shape, their malleable nature makes it possible to mold them into nearly any design. The caveat is that many copper sinks are handmade, making them susceptible to variability in a form that some homeowners may find charming while others may find irksome.
The benefits of copper extend to taps and faucets, as well. They look striking against either a copper sink or complementary metal and weathered copper ages well.
A more unconventional yet equally appealing use for copper in design is as the material for an oven hood. Due to its durability, copper is an excellent choice for withstanding the rigors of moisture and smoke from cooking. Copper hoods also offer more design options, as hood manufacturers can decorate the trim of the hood with more features, allowing it to complement the overall design scheme of the kitchen.
Think about the impact of copper lighting fixtures on a kitchen’s aesthetic. Not only would they add warmth, they would also infuse the design scheme with an old world charm invoking a quaint European village tucked away in the hills.
While copper certainly is not the conventional choice of material in the current design landscape dominated by popular standbys like stainless steel and granite, it offers many benefits to the daring homeowner who wishes to make their kitchen memorable. With a little education, preparation and the work of a skilled designer, a kitchen accented with copper elements can prove a true showpiece.
Visit our showroom to select custom kitchen cabinets to accent with copper.