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Looks We Love: The Matte Effect

Looks We Love:
The Matte Effect

Bright and shiny things, move aside: Matte finishes are the "what’s next" in design,
with muted tones that allow forms and silhouettes to take center stage.

As eye-catching as bright and shiny things may be, there’s a definitely place in design for the subtle beauty of a matte finish. By definition, matte sounds like the dark and moody cousin of the glossy and polished, but we’re seeing more and more of the understated finish in modern décor and are officially inducting it into our Looks We Love library.

Matte finishes are making appearances in all kinds of interior spaces, whether it be a painted wall, kitchen cabinets or a show-stopping light fixture. The trend seems like a drastic detour from the brass, copper and gold accents we have come to know and love but, like any trend, it doesn’t take a whole-room redesign to partake in this look.

Here are a few reasons we love the matte look:

Be bold, without all the noise.

Matte finishes are certainly more subdued than ultra-shiny color schemes, but that doesn’t mean you are limited to darker tones. The smooth surfaces downshift saturated colors into the realm of pastels, bringing unexpected colors together without feeling loud or over-the-top.

Focus on form.

Without all the distraction of the bright and shiny, the shape and silhouette of a design can take center stage. Unsurprisingly, the matte effect works well with minimalistic designs.

More complex designs with curving elements are similarly complemented with matte finishes, which tone down a busier design.

Matte contemporary to matte retro.

If full-fledged contemporary is a little too much for you, you can always reference vintage designs. Plenty of iconic pieces have been reimagined in matte colors to blend with today's interior palettes.

Matte works in every room.

If you love this look, it doesn’t have to stop at lighting and furniture pieces. Matte finishes can fit right in in every room in the house. We love a matte black finish on kitchen and bath fixtures, using matte paint colors for an ultra-sophisticated look, or even in trims and hardware.

Mix matte with luster.

Many fixtures mix matte with polished finishes in themselves. The harmony between the two is enhanced by the different sheens. Or, use a mixture of finishes between the pieces in a room, from upholstery to paint.

Even though matte finishes are popping up everywhere, you don’t need to cut yourself off from all things bright and shiny. The subtle and serene nature of matte surfaces can easily be incorporated in to your current interior design, whether it be a new pendant light, dining room chair or a fresh coat of paint.