Like any metallic color, copper can bring pizzazz into a room. But it can also make a space cozy, according to Ashley Banbury, interior designer and senior color designer at Dutch Boy. "Shades of copper are a great way to add warmth to a room," she says. "Copper can create an unexpected elegance or a rustic charm." With such versatility, it's easy to see the appeal of this color. While it's often used as an accent — in the form of kitchen and bathroom fixtures, art (including DIYs made with copper pipe), backsplashes, and hanging pots and pans — Banbury wouldn't write it off as a wall color.
"A color great for a kitchen, copper is within the orange color family and is a perfect shade for gathering spaces," she says. "Balancing uplifting qualities of yellow [and] red, all grounded with neutral undertones, makes copper paint a beautiful, bold color option that is comforting and not overwhelming." If you're not ready to coat your walls in copper, though, you can go a more understated route with copper light fixtures and other accent pieces.
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The colors you pair with copper will also affect how much it stands out in a room. Against neutral or cool colors, copper stands out. But if you go for warm tones like reddish brown or burnt orange, it can blend seamlessly into the palette.
Banbury advises looking to the undertones of the copper you're working with to decide how to pair it. "When selecting accent paint colors that coordinate with copper, the undertone is the link to create a cohesive palette," she says. "For example, if the copper tone has a brown undertone, choose a neutral with a slight brown undertone to tie the shades together."
Ready for more inspiration? Here are 10 color schemes that bring out the best in copper.
10 Copper Color Combinations
1. Copper and White
You can't go wrong pairing colors with white, including copper. Depending on how you style it, a white room with copper accents can feel modern, rustic, or both at the same time — like this bathroom by Studio McGee. With the room's clean lines and pared-down color palette, the luxurious freestanding copper tub takes center stage.
2. Copper and Pink
The soft pink upper wall in this kitchen by Pure Salt Interiors draws the eye, but it isn't so bold as to take away from the other accents in the room, including the hanging copper pans. This is also a beautiful example of mixing metals. The gold-hued picture frame and brass fixtures coordinate with the copper, while their color variation keeps things interesting.
3. Copper and Turquoise
If you can't get enough of copper, consider using it for your kitchen backsplash. This handmade tile version by Copper Boutique Turkey creates a warm glow that complements the turquoise cabinets and black stone countertops. When copper ages, it develops a turquoise-colored patina, making these two shades a natural pairing.
4. Copper and Black
If you want your copper tones to really stand out, pair them with black. If you're worried this color combo will make the room too dark, consider creating a palette like the one used in this kitchen by Brown Design. The white door and ceiling, along with the marble walls and countertops, lighten up the space while providing extra dramatic contrast.
5. Copper and Blue
Small, contained spaces like bathrooms are an ideal way to experiment with bold allover color. Take this one by Kara Cox Interiors as an example. The bright blue patterned wallpaper already contains hints of copper and gold, so it coordinates perfectly with the hammered copper sink, as well as the light fixtures and mirror. Silver accents add depth and variety.
6. Copper and Brown
Copper looks more understated when paired with earth tones. This room by Laura U Design Collective incorporates several shades of brown and beige, between the chairs, table legs, wall art, and floor. The copper light fixture provides shine while also blending into the established palette.
7. Copper and Light Blue
Complement copper's warmth by pairing it with cool tones from across the color wheel, like pale blues and greens. The copper pipe shelf in this kitchen by Perfect Trades creates an eclectic and cozy atmosphere — we can imagine drying herbs and making tea here. The copper kettle and fixtures continue the theme, while the white sink and black faucet and countertop ground the space.
8. Copper and Gold
Play up copper's luxurious side by combining it with other luxe elements, like gold, brass, marble, and patterned tile. This bathroom at hotel Villa Sant'Andrea, designed by Milan-based studio L'Artigano, combines a copper bathtub by William Holland Ltd with a gorgeous tile arrangement in gold and blue. The brass fixtures and cream walls both continue the palette established by the tile.
9. Copper and Red
You can play up the warmth of copper by pairing it with other warm colors, including red. This kitchen, designed by Artichoke, combines a copper sink and faucet with a red kitchen island, greige countertops, and rust curtains for a cozy yet elegant look. With a palette like this, all you need for decor is a vase of flowers or a bowl of fresh produce.
10. Copper and Green
Have you ever seen such a dramatic kitchen? Copper loves brilliant jewel tones like cobalt blue, magenta, teal, and the shade of emerald seen on the cabinets of this space designed by Kelly Wearstler. With the cabinets and black flooring, the copper backsplash and countertop acts like a mirror, reflecting the natural light. The brass fixtures and trim on the cabinets further highlights the copper.
Colors That Go With Copper
Keeping undertones and your aesthetic in mind will guide you when decorating with copper. This metallic is often found as an accent color in a room, and whether you choose to play it up or tone it down, it works well with just about any color you come up with.
Here are some of our favorite colors to pair with copper:
- Light blue