Copper is a fairly unusual material when it comes to bathroom design, but even though porcelain and chrome fixtures are far more common, copper ones can make a stunning accent, adding an elegant old world flair or a slightly rugged, rustic touch, depending on the finish you choose. Even a single small copper accent can be quite eye catching, and multiple copper bathroom fixtures and features are easy to coordinate and combine to even greater effect. If you aren’t quite sure where to start, this simple guide will introduce you to a few of the most popular copper bathroom fixtures as well as what types of bathrooms they’ll work best with.
Copper vessel sinks are ideal for use as an accent piece for a few reasons. In general, vessel sinks occupy prime real estate in the bathroom: the sink is a high-traffic area, and vessel sinks are showy by design, if only because they sit fully on top of the vanity. Opting for a hand-hammered copper vessel sink in this central, visible area will make it one of the main stars of your bathroom, even without any other copper accents. If you have a vanity that can accommodate a vessel sink, this is an easy swap to make, too, though even if you don’t, copper drop-in and under-mount sinks create a similar look without any other upgrades.
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Similarly, copper bathtubs make gorgeous statement pieces. Freestanding copper tubs, like more conventional clawfoot or pedestal tubs, typically have a very elegant, traditional appearance, but while porcelain or cast iron tubs can work with a simple, humble decor, copper tubs are almost always very grand and palatial. There are, of course, copper bathtubs out there that have a more rustic or modern design, but most favor a Victorian-style slipper or double slipper shape, though some have more detailing (or a more highly polished finish) than others.
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Bathroom vanities with copper accents are fairly rare, and while many copper bathroom fixtures have a very traditional, Victorian air to them, copper bathroom vanities tend to have a much more rustic appearance. Rather than having a rich, dark patina or a new-penny shine, copper bathroom vanities tend to fall somewhere in the middle, with a distinctive orangey copper color that’s visibly weathered, sometimes with spots of blue-green or brown oxidation, but not the consistent chocolatey bronze of well aged copper. These more weather worn pieces are also often paired with aged or reclaimed wood, for a look that works better with a cabin or southwestern style bathroom than a very traditional one.
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Of course, not all copper bathroom fixtures have to be bold and assertive. Copper bath and shower hardware, like this hammered copper shower panel, pairs beautifully with medium toned, sandy tan stone tile. While chrome and stainless steel fixtures are bright and shiny, their copper equivalents are intended instead to create a rich, lavish feeling, so they work better with a shower enclosure that’s both grand and earthy, with lower light and warm brown tones.
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For a slightly more subtle way to introduce a copper accent into your bathroom, consider adding a few copper accent tiles to your backsplash or tile floor. Copper accent tiles have a soft metallic sheen and often feature some sort of raised image or at least a hand hammered texture. Even if you only incorporate a few of these tiles into a larger pattern of more traditional tile, they’re distinct enough to add variety and visual interest to the whole installation. Now, it’s also possible to use copper tile as the primary tile, for example on the floor or in a shower enclosure, but this is a VERY bold design choice, and one that will have a major impact on the appearance of your bathroom as a whole.
Finally, one of the simplest ways to incorporate a copper element into your bathroom is to simply change out your basic bathroom accessories. That can mean something as simple as swapping out your existing light switch plates for copper ones, or as elaborate as replacing your towel bars, shower rings, and cabinet hardware. If you’re buying a copper sink, many manufacturers offer matching copper faucets, and while copper lighting for the bathroom is relatively rare, it is a viable option, particularly if you’re aiming for a simpler, more rustic style. Even changing these simple features without making any major hardware or fixture changes can totally alter the appearance of your bathroom, so if you’d like to find out how adding copper bathroom fixtures will change the look and feel of your space, this is a simple, affordable place to start.
What do you think of the slightly darker, earthier, more traditional look of these bathrooms that feature copper bathroom fixtures? Let me know in the comments below!