Visual content is particularly popular with architects and designers and the perfect place to share designs, materials and finished projects. Here, Anthony Millington, Creative Director at Amron Architectural, explores surface trends to look out for in 2023.
As a leading metal mesh specialist for architecture and interior design, we are continuing to ensure our product offering is keeping up with the latest trends and innovations to influence choice, engage and inspire.
Creative mesh solutions
Metal mesh has a long tradition of outdoor use spanning hundreds of years. Over time, metal mesh has earned a reputation as a practical, durable yet surprisingly versatile product thanks in part to its uncanny ability to meet a wide range of specifications.
With a variety of practical exterior applications, including vent panels, cages and baskets, it is little wonder that metal mesh was eventually introduced to the world of interiors. Its inherently superior performance properties led to its adoption as the go-to material for radiator grilles the world over.
Fast forward to the present day, metal mesh is an invaluable material asset, its reach permeating every industry from agricultural to automotive. Yet, despite metal mesh’s popularity and prevalence in industrial markets, both architects and interior designers alike continue to probe its potential for architectural and creative applications.
Metal mesh works well as a safety element, including balustrade infill panels and radiator grilles, but also for decorative purposes like ceilings, wall panels and partitions. It is also a great solution for smaller applications like cabinets, bars and shop displays. Metal mesh is being seen as an alternative to replace bulky, opaque materials in functional areas of restaurants, lobbies and office spaces without making the space look smaller.
Colour and texture
With an extensive range of metal mesh and working closely with customers, we are noticing a demand for more finishing options to help create more bespoke spaces – something we know from an architectural and interior design view that colour is still a strong focus, especially when it comes to the finishing of metal mesh. And, in particular, how the mesh is coloured without it corroding. Having researched a number of finish processes that work well with the commonly-used architectural meshes (woven, expanded and perforated), powder coating is the most cost-effective way to apply an almost unlimited range of colours. Powder coating uses an electrostatic charge to attract a fluidised powder evenly across all surfaces of the mesh. The electrostatic charge holds the pigmented powder until it passes through an oven, where it melts and adheres permanently to the mesh. After curing, the mesh has a colourful and durable coating that adds to the desired aesthetic of the project.
To further educate ourselves and to deliver what our customers are asking for, we worked closely with powder coating specialist, Powdertech Corby to understand what the demand is for our metal mesh finishes. We collaborated with them on the launch of the Satellite range, which offers a metallic depth of colour, including shades of deep bronzes and golds, which give an ‘out-of-this-world’ finish to the products. The collection provides a deep, long-lasting colour with a lustrous metallic sparkle and hard-wearing finish – meaning the colours are suitable for both interior and exterior applications. And, in turn, making them compatible with aluminium, mild steel, galvanised steel and cast metals.
Not only is the range suitable for facades, signage and other applications alike, but they are also a great design solution in bringing texture to life – a trend that we are continuing to see evolve in applications such as wall features and other surfacing panels.
Wall panelling, in particular with metal mesh, can help bring character to a space and shift proportion. And, with clever positioning, it can help give the appearance of taller ceilings.
Copper and brass in their natural form will always have their time; however, we are also seeing an increase in monochrome tones, with lots of black on white – making it a popular choice to make a bold statement.
Architects and designers are always looking at more inspirational approaches to the interiors of a space. The demand for creating more inviting spaces and the inclusion of a variety of different applications can completely transform the character of a room. Amongst these approaches, we are seeing an increase in the use of castellated square profiles. However, due to its challenging manufacturing technique, we are ensuring we are among one of the few companies that can meet the demands of customers.
One of the main reasons why we are seeing this specified is due to its natural light shade properties it holds. And, with natural tones also being a key theme for 2023 – this is also becoming a popular choice.
What comes next?
How the world communicates has become so simplified. Technology is forever evolving, and platforms, such as Instagram and Pinterest, have become a daily form of communication simply by generating and capturing images. What comes next is anyone’s guess. So, for us, as long as we are constantly evolving our product offering and continue to keep up with our customers’ demands, we can, in turn, keep up with the next generation. This is why it’s so important for us to understand what our customers’ needs are.