A Periodic Table of Design Elements
Add Panache With Copper, Tin, Aluminum and More
I'm a freelance writer and design enthusiast who believes the best design is collected, not decorated, and that homes should always be as comfortable and functional as they are chic. In addition to writing for Houzz, I work as the Head Copywriter for Layla Grayce and Zinc Door.
I'm a freelance writer and design enthusiast who believes the best design... More »
If you’re anything like me (right-brained and a daydreamer in science), you probably sat with the periodic table of elements in chemistry, memorized it accordingly, and then wondered what in the world you’d ever do with that information. While I’m fairly certain I’ve still never put it to use, one thing I do know is this: Several of these elements fare quite nicely in the home. While it’s safe to say the majority should be left in the lab (Arsenic? Bad idea. Ununnilium? What IS that?), feel free to test a scientific spin on your interiors with the following stylish elements.
Cu: Did you ever think copper could be this luxurious? This bathroom feels like a European escape… especially with the very Venice-like scenery in the painting!
If you really want to talk copper impact, finish your fireplace from floor to ceiling in this rich element. Note how the designer extended the copper finish to the left and right on the bottom half: it gives the fireplace a dimensional feel and instantly creates a enticing focal point.
Sn: I’d be a little wary to believe you’ve never gleefully yelled “tin roof, rusted!” during a late night Love Shack rendition. However, I’ll understand if you haven’t considered something like it for your own home (minus the rust). Now’s your chance: not only does this tin ceiling offer textural appeal, its reflective surface opens up the space, making it feel larger.
Or, try tin on the walls. Wrapping this bathroom in corrugated sheet metal made from tin gives it a hip, downtown industrial feel.
Ag: Do not be fooled: Silver has use outside of tableware! Finishing off pieces in silver gives them a lustrous appeal that equates just the right hint of glamour-chic.
Au: The great thing about gold is its high impact whether overstated or in smaller doses. This space is beautifully done and the minimal, soft lighting emits a comfy glow, but it’s the gold chairs flanking the console that give the room its charisma.
Have a little fun with animal prints by choosing them in unexpected colors, like this shiny gold. This plastic chair never looked so sophisticated.
Al: Aluminum siding is old hat, but what about an aluminum backsplash? This choice in the kitchen is similar to mirrors in that it opens the space; however, aluminum adds much more textural quality and visual interest.
Have an old dresser that could use an update? Refinishing it in aluminum will give it a fresh, unique, almost contemporary appeal.
Fe: Oh, to own this wrought iron bed myself! The size of this piece does wonders for a room with shorter ceilings, and the detailing gives the bedroom a sense of antiquated, whimsical romance. Though I prefer it without a bedskirt, adding one will hide items beneath the bed if you’re in the need for extra storage.
Where was this staircase when I was taking prom pictures? The juxtaposition of this wrought iron railing against the modern feel of this interior gives the space a welcomed hint of eclecticism.
Pb: Get pencil lead (yes, I know this one's a bit of a cheat!) out of your desk drawers and onto your walls with handwritten notes and stories. They’re unique and at times romantic, and when framed, they’re the perfect way to add personal mementos around the house. Be sure to preserve the handwritten note before framing so it lasts.
O: I can’t imagine a better solution to incorporating oxygen into your home than moving your entire living room outdoors! The ceiling provides protection from sun and unruly weather, but painting it blue still gives the illusion of sky.
Cl: If this were my backyard, I’d happily bring on a little chlorinated water. When you’re done in the pool, simply jump in the sea for a rinse-off!
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Heavy Metal in Home Decor
Geek Chic: When Left and Right Brains Live in Harmony
Ideabook updated on March 31, 2011.
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