Guest Author - Debra Conrad
Did you know that copper was once regarded as "pocket change"?
Copper finally gained a "price" when it earned it's role as the - penny. This orange-reddish colored metal, which usually develops a green patina over time... has been used in home design for years in the Southwest. Copper lends itself to inventive new applications and designs.
Copper is indigenous to the Southwest, with Arizona hosting some of the worlds largest copper mines in the world.
The natural earthy colorations have a calming effect with the colors ranging from brown to green to red it actually resembles the local terrain.
Faucets with a shiny or patina finish have become a really hot trend for homes. Kitchens often boast hand made copper tiles or sheets of copper as back splashes.
In the bathroom - copper is used for handcrafted tubs, vanities and mirror surrounds. Of course, hammered copper sinks have been popular for a decade or more.
Exterior uses for copper are - roofs, flashing or trim. Many old domed buildings, such as the Arizona state capital use copper to create a shining - can't miss - statement.
Copper roofs for residence use is best left as an old natural bronze color... this blends in well with exterior paint colors from nature as well as natural desert landscaping.
For a touch of Southwest glamor... using copper as caps on outdoor fence posts, for lighting fixtures or an accent on wrought iron fencing has become the norm rather than the exception.
Copper is easy to sculpt into almost any shape. It's very easy to bend and is an ideal material for covering cabinet doors, window sills or range hoods.
Interior design accents of copper are often found on lamps, coffee tables, mirror frames and fireplace mantels. If you want copper to maintain it's shiny new penny appearance, you must seal it with a protective finish.
If the look of aged bronze is desired, just let the copper age naturally over time... but if you would like
the verdigris - green penny - look, their are chemicals to hasten the oxidation.
photo credit: takomabibelot
photo credit: monikomad
photo credit: laverrue