Trend Alert - Patinated Copper Sweeps New Kitchen and Bath Designs

Step aside plain copper tiles and accents - the newest trend to sweep kitchen and bath design is the introduction of stunning, one-of-a-kind patinated copper pieces to the palette. That's right - trendy homeowners can now stop fighting the fight against oxidation - that seemingly unavoidable process that takes your gleaming copper pots and pans from bronze beauties to dark brown or green duds. Instead, homeowners are embracing daring new copper creations that have been borne from a process known as applied patination - a special multi-step metalsmithing process practiced by skilled artisans.

Various chemicals are applied to the copper, as well as some heat processes, resulting in some of the most gorgeous colors you can see on copper. The effects of this patination process on metals can vary greatly, resulting in each piece being a one-on-a kind. Carefully applied to the artisan's original design, patination naturally brings each piece to life. These skilled practitioners spend hours carefully guiding the oxidation process to result in swirls and curls, patterns and designs, all in rich hues that range from greens and blues to browns, reds, and gold. Then, once their design has been perfected, they permanently seal itĀ resin or enamelĀ - shutting off the continued oxidation process and making the pieces entirely usable in the home.

Since blues and greens are often the outcome of applied patination, many copper piece designs are inspired by the treasures of the sea. New copper tiles, in a variety of small to large sizes, are emerging with stunning green and blue starfish designs patinated onto a rich traditional copper tone background. You can also find blue, green, and even brown nautilus shells, sand dollars, and scallop shells. Mixed and matched together, these seascape tiles create a truly unique kitchen backsplash or bathroom tile pattern. Or, some designers opt for one large, stunning focal wall piece, building their seaside cottage look around that gem.

Applied patination is also finding its way into trendy new furniture designs. Copper has always been a popular choice for table tops - whether it is traditionally smooth or hammered copper. But now, designers hoping to bring a little New England charm into a room are opting for patinated pieces. New bronze pieces with swirls of greens and blues are taking center stage. These works of art are painstakingly created over the course of many weeks to achieve just the right color tones, and once perfected, introduce character into any living space.