Luxury Interiors is a subjective concept which resonates with the user’s personal preference. However, any luxury design focus is on creating and curating elements of comfort, uber sense of quality, intricate detail and high sophistication.
Materials play a big role in the presentation of this idea of supposed luxury. It is a state of mind that occurs with a sense of style. Read on as we unveiled 10 unusual materials that you can use to add a discerning taste for luxury interiors.
A mixture of different minerals, including quartz and chalcedony is found in volcanic rocks or lava. Agate comes in multiple colours such as white, green, red, black, etc. The formation of Agate lends it natural stripes of colour, making it an excellent mineral to use for interior design due to its natural patterns and colourful marbled effect.
The advantage of using Agate is its natural hardness which makes it ideal to withstand daily use in wet places like bathrooms and kitchens. The highly polished surface also resists chemicals and stains well. However, Agate is quite expensive, and because it requires joints between multiple stones, is not as practical as a single slab of concrete or granite.
An alloy of copper and zinc, brass can be made by wrought, forging or casting to lend it different properties. Brass is a solid and durable metal that does not suffer from iron-like rusting and hence needs replacement.
Brass is used in 3 different ways: bright - which has a golden hue for decorative components, antique - that comes with a deep bronze colour whose coating mimics years of wear for a classical look, and brushed, which has fine parallel lines that add dimensions to any brass fixture.
Live edges are woodworks with unfinished edges that have not been altered by tools or machinery. The untouched ends, therefore, retain the original characteristics such as shape and bark. Live edges can be used for designing anything that used wood, from lams and frames to shelves, stools and tables.
Live edges lend a rustic and arresting look, that adds a natural look to furniture or fixtures. Each pattern is also different, leading to a unique design. Live edges can come with irregularities like holes or cracks which might require resin fillings. As live edges are not straight, they lead to inaccurate measurements which adds an organic flow.
Faux leather is primarily of 2 types: Polyvinyl Chloride and Polyurethane. These artificial materials are treated with chemicals to provide them with the same texture, colour and feel as real leather. Faux leather is versatile and can be used to make clothes, sofas, upholstery and chair covers.
Faux leather is more economical than real leather and can be polished to have a high gloss or matt finish. Faux leather also requires less maintenance, is resistant to stains, and is UV resistant to avoid easy fading. It is an easily altered material and can be seamlessly stitched into pieces of any size.
While metals are often thought of as cladding or framing material, it has their place in interior design to bring a new and refined look to rooms or furnishings. Metals are versatile as they can adapt to any space - commercial, private or public. The variety and possible finishes of metals give designers uncountable design choices to explore.
Metals are highly durable and weather resistant and also against pests such as moulds or termites. Metals can also be coated to further improve their environmental resistance or aesthetics. They are also recyclable and can be easily cleaned due to their smooth surface.
While cork is known to be used in office pinboards and wine barrel stoppers, it is a great material for the construction of buildings and interior designs. Cork has a raw appeal similar to Timberwood and is varied in its grain, texture, and colour.
Cork is highly renewable and can be extracted from the other barks of the oak cork tree without damaging the tree, leaving it to regenerate. The tree often matures for 25 or more years to allow the cellular structure to mature enough to provide excellent thermal and acoustic properties. Cork is also anti-microbial, mould resistant and repels dust as well as toxins. It can therefore provide cleaner air space. Being soft also helps relieve pressure on knees for seniors or pets through absorption support.
Laminated glass can add beauty to interior spaces that few materials can offer. While any pattern can be sandwiched between two glasses sheets, the glass itself can be made to have its aesthetic qualities. Coloured glass is great to lend permanent vividness to interiors, while frosted glass provides a unique look to present an open design with privacy.
Laminated glass filters over 99% of the damaging UV spectrum which also helps to protect the interior finishes from UV fading. A PVB membrane embedded in the glass can enhance sound abatement properties and can be customized to reduce sounds based on the prominent frequencies in the external environments. One obvious con to using laminated glass is that it can shatter when impacted with enough force though the lamination helps to ensure shards are held onto the membrane to prevent small pieces.
Parchment refers not only to paper but any animal skin typically from goats, sheep or cows. It is scraped and dried to lend translucent properties with a smooth texture. This makes it great for designing lampshades, sconces or room screens.
Parchment conveys a subtlety and solidity as a surface material and can be used as an applied panel material to furnishings like cabinet doors and wall panels. Parchment is easily puncturable due to being made from the skin but is a long-lasting material that provides a unique look to interior furnishings.
Clay is one of the oldest materials used for creating artefacts and designs since the beginning of human civilization. Clay is durable and non-porous so can be used in wet areas. Clay art and terracotta artefacts can create full murals for some creative showcasing. The earth tomes add warmth, and clay is easily painted to fit in with any decor or theme.
Ceramics are generally relatively inexpensive as compared to wood and also hold colour well for a long time. They are simple to clean, resist stains well and do not retain residual smells of food or chemicals. Ceramics can create extremely smooth surfaces that do not suffer from corrosion. Ceramic furnishings require a lot of crafting skills to create great designs and handle extreme temperatures well. Ceramics however are easily broken or shattered with impact and must be handled carefully.
Rattan comprises over 600 different species of solid timber vines. Rattan fibres vary greatly in length and width based on the species and time harvested. It has been traditionally used in Southeast and South Asia for the construction of indoor furniture.
Rattan is highly sought after due to being cheaper than solid wood. Rattan has a variety of styled and motifs that can be made into models with different styles like minimalism, wickers, ovoid, etc. Rattan furniture is lightweight and can easily be transported and moved.
There is a whole array of materials available that beam luxury and chic to your decors. Homeowners are looking for aesthetics and durability to match their personalities when it comes to choosing the right materials. Designers need to experiment and play with various ideas to fulfil the client’s brief of luxury.
Check out the Infurnia blog for more resources on materials.