Designers pick home accessories

Nothing greets a New Year like festive finishes, and this season’s popular choices are silver and gold-toned home accessories – everything from tables to chandeliers, to whimsical tchotchkes with sentimental meaning. Of course, all that glitter adds some glamour to your surroundings as well, which never hurts in the month of January.

So, add a little metal to your manor and give your rooms some flair. That’s certainly what’s being shown in two showrooms locally – at Pierce & Parker and Taylor House Interiors, both on St. Simons Island. We spent some time with Carson Jones from Pierce & Parker and Elizabeth Zachry at Taylor House, and got a ton of inspiration.

Metal is considered a neutral in the design world and mixes easily with other materials, including natural elements such as glass, shell and clay. The more you layer it, the more interesting it becomes. Even the tiniest glimmer of shine adds something special to a room.

Depicting nature through metal and other hard surfaces is

popular, two good examples of that are the white porcelain hydrangea, crafted from antique gold leaf on iron. It’s the perfect piece for a cocktail table in any design style. Metals can be whimsical as well.

In fact, even a classic children’s game can become a chic accessory.

“This stylish and functional tic-tac-toe game sports a cube white bone body,” she said. “Polished nickel X’s and O’s give the decorative game a luxurious feel.”

Despite the finish you prefer – gold, silver, brass, copper, etc. – look for it in a variety of styles and finishes, including polished, raw, antiqued, hammered, brushed and more.

Metal has been a popular design element for centuries, but has recently made its way to becoming an aesthetic darling once again. Your local design houses will have access to tons of metallic items, but another good source, especially as you’re figuring out what you like, is antique stores. They’re often a treasure trove of finds, and many times can be the basis of what you choose later through your interior designer.

Gold is a designer favorite. Its timeless elegance is perfect for lamps, nesting side tables, display shelves and mirrors. Gold can work with any color scheme.

Gold has held the design limelight for the past several years, but silver finishes are still on the radar. The mirror-like shine of silver-toned metal works in a variety of decorating schemes and is hard to ignore.

A gold étagère (far right) is one way to incorporate metals into your home and show off your collection of knickknacks and treasures. The shelving provides an eye-catching backdrop, but won’t overwhelm your prized possessions. And because metals mix well, even silver accents will look lovely displayed among the golden shelves.

The one pictured, from Pierce & Parker, has what Carson refers to as a “Golden Age finish.”

“(With its) five clear glass shelves, it is perfect for adding height to your space while displaying your favorite decorative accents,” she said.

Items such as a hand-painted wooden box, faux bamboo picture frames with a gold finish and an olive statute.

Olive branches represent peace, friendship and victory.

“Why wouldn’t you want to bring those good vibes home?” she queried.

Like most decorative finishes in a home, a little bit of metal really does go a long way. So, if you’re just easing into this design trend, try adding objects little by little. Even something so simple as a metal-trimmed mirror or metal drawer pulls on a buffet can be good starting points.

At Taylor House, gold and silver finishes are also popular among customers, and their inventory reflects that.

One of the more striking accessories is a silver leaf tray, ideal for display in a group or by itself. While it’s not food-safe, it’s perfect for displaying wrapped candy or hostess napkins.

Lamps are a great way to incorporate metal into a room. For example, a traditional silver lamp is always a nice accent on a side or end table.

“It’s traditional, but gives a nod to the contemporary with its Lucite base,” said Elizabeth.

Other favorite items include a large textured vase – made from aluminum – that provides an architectural element to any space it occupies.

Two other accessories – a playful silver ampersand ideal for use as an accent piece or paperweight and a textured silver bowl – are also eye-catching and provide a number of useful options.

“The oval textured silver bowl can be filled with shells and given a coastal element,” said Elizabeth.

Just be careful. Too much metal can make a room look dated, but as with all things, when used in moderation, the effect is brilliant.

You have to walk a fine line when introducing gold into your living space, and beginning with accessories and accents is the best way. Unlike silver, gold has a luminous quality that looks soft in diffused light.

To begin, start with any of the following in gold – a tray or bowl, a sunburst mirror, framed art or photographs, objets d’art, or lamps. These smaller pieces are easy to move around to find the perfect placement. Decorative accessories in various metals are available to complement all design schemes – from the most ornate to the extreme minimalist.

Polished metals turn on the glam factor. For example, high-gloss accessories like seashell bowls and gyroscope-esque table decorations anchored in high gloss marble stands provide a luxe touch to a design scheme that celebrates the ocean and marine life.

Gold tones work well in a number of design aesthetics, from the Art Deco trope represented in the mirror to the starburst lamps. A gold leaf bowl, is a wonderful accent piece, and can also act as an agent to bring a bit of nature into an otherwise other world aesthetic.

Marble acts as the perfect counterpoint to metal. Its smooth surface and variations in color set the perfect tone. For example, starburst table accessories, anchored in white marble, are the perfect accents for the white marble lamps and the marble spheres that resemble globes of the Earth.

There are several things to remember when decorating with metallic accessories. Silver, nickel and steel are cool tones and bring a contemporary voice to designs, whereas gold, rose gold, bronze and brass, among others, are warm, inviting and glamorous. So, when designing your living space, keep that in mind.