Mention metals and interior design, and images of the corrugated iron frame of a dining table, side console with handcrafted brass legs, or retro-inspired aluminum cabinet may occur to you. Metals are also common in functional and decorative pieces such as lamps, vases, and sculptures, as well as in tableware.
If you really desire to have a large piece of real metal on the wall or ceiling of your living room or dining room, you must be prepared to spend tens, if not hundreds of thousands, to do so. Besides the potentially astronomical cost, there is the tedious process to consider. This includes the time it takes to find the piece of metal, cut it to the correct shape and size, and then install it. All in all, this is a huge challenge, even for the best entrepreneur with the relevant experience and expertise.
Yet metals are highly sought after, especially when it comes to beautifying surfaces.
“A metallic finish is considered a premium finish. If you’ve visited luxurious spaces, often there will be metals used that are designed to grab attention, ”says Dennis Cheok,
Creative Director of UPSTRS. An architect by training, Cheok founded the Singapore-based collaborative space studio in 2011 and since then has won numerous design awards.
A sparkling choice
The good news for all metal enthusiasts is that there is a more cost effective surface solution today: metal laminates. Unlike marble-like or wood-like laminates, which mimic reality by imbuing the top surface of laminates with similar characteristics, genuine metal laminates have a top layer of real metal.
Metallic laminates can also be finished in a myriad of textures like polished, brushed and even patterns, as well as a multitude of colors to create endless possibilities as they complement other materials on furniture and furnishings. A good example is layering softer textures like suede upholstery or linen curtains, which will soften metallic laminates which tend to have a cold, harsh effect.
Another benefit of using metallic laminates over real metal sheet is consistency in tone. Many models are available in one color with an even shade over the entire surface. Therefore, when applied to a vertical surface, the result is a consistent finish in terms of hue and reflectivity.
Cool tones such as silver and steel bring a sleek, modern aesthetic, while warmer hues like gold, rose gold, and bronze can be sleek, subtly glamorous, or even downright ostentatious if the occasion demands it.
“Metallic laminates have a luster and shine that works when creating a variety of palettes. Depending on the tone, texture, patina and tactility of the laminates, they add character to a space, ”says Selwyn Low, director of Farm, an interdisciplinary studio specializing in architectural work, interiors and branding. “Real metal sheets are more susceptible to oxidation and they are also less malleable, which makes them unsuitable for certain applications. “
While there are several brands of laminates that have a range of metal and metal offerings, there is only one brand in Singapore that is solely dedicated to true metal laminates.
Dekodur Distil (dekodurdistil.com) is a premium brand of specially designed High Pressure Metal Laminates (HPML) in Germany from Dekodur, a global leader in laminate technology for over 150 years. In fact, Dekdour was the first to introduce HPML in 1959.
Headlining Dekodur Distil is FLUX – a compelling portfolio of real metal laminates with five series that feature a wide selection of eye-catching designs and colors. The series includes Structures, Reflective, Brushed, Mill, and Magnetic – each with their own unique personality that will get the creative juices flowing.
Structures, as the name suggests, features metallic laminates with truly three-dimensional surfaces, matched with a tactility that makes you want to run your fingers over them. This series has five models in total – the most of any series – and three of them just launched in August. Lava is inspired by the vitality and power of molten lava, while Aqua is influenced by the ever-changing surface of a river. The crater is sure to be eye-catching as its distinctive and characteristic finish resembles the surface of the moon.
For those who prefer metallic laminates with a more subtle and refined finish, then Brushed and Mill are two series that do the trick. Both exude sophistication and elegance with surfaces that blend with light for a calming glow. When cleverly used on vertical surfaces like walls and pillars, they lend classroom space.
However, if a space needs something that will turn heads in an instant, the Reflective series will not only do it, but keep attention on its captivating, mirror-like surface. Infused with a super reflective finish, these metallic laminates brighten up interiors by creating a contrast that shines. Wherever it is applied, this is where everyone’s gaze will be. In addition, it has the magic of making a room appear larger, reproducing the effect of a large mirror.
“I love the basic metallic tones that form the basis of the four FLUX series as well as the way the brand continually builds textures and finishes into them. This is a focused and well-organized collection that is constantly evolving in very sophisticated ways, ”adds Cheok. “In particular, I love the simplicity of Brushed and Mill laminates, and the handcrafted textures of Lava, Aqua and Crater.”
With the advancement in laminate technology, real metal laminates offer greater variety, flexibility, easier application, and cost effectiveness when it comes to beautifying metal surfaces in your spaces. Best of all, you can do it without any compromise on the sparkling beauty and exquisite allure that this shiny material is famous for.
The FLUX portfolio from Dekodur Distil is completed by a series different from the other four. The Magnetic series doesn’t display an aesthetic that turns heads, but uses the magic of metals to present features like no other.
All laminates in this innovative series are encrusted with a special metal core that attracts magnets, so you can attach anything on its surface with magnets. Select any writable magnetic laminate and you can write, draw or doodle with whiteboard and chalkboard markers. In addition, the Matt White design can also be projected, so it is ideal for presentations.
There is even a laminate that can be painted or applied with decorative materials such as wallpaper and other laminates up to 3mm thick. Named Raw Magnetic, you can now have any color or pattern on a wall with the added benefit of being able to attract magnets. The possibilities are limitless.
With working from home being so prevalent these days, the Magnetic Series is a great addition to making any room in your home suitable for both study and work.
(Main and featured image: Rose Mill laminates by Summerhaus D’Zign)
This story first appeared in the September 2021 issue of Prestige Singapore.