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Combining Wood with Metal: Finishes Make All the Difference

Being a reputable brand, whose Italian luxury furniture is known around the world, Bellavista Collection takes combining materials very seriously. It’s one of the most important factors, which determine the overall look of a furniture piece.

Actually, Bellavista Collection brand has always been good at making the most of materials, showing their natural beauty. Metals, marble, leather, glass, and wood are beautiful in themselves, but it is the designer’s talent that helps highlight this beauty.

When you are bringing together different materials in the same piece, harmony is the keyword. Attilio Zanni, Bellavista’s extremely talented designer, is an expert in creating combinations that look and feel like an inseparable whole.

Choosing the right wood for each item also matters a lot. Although there are virtually hundreds of species that could be used in furniture making, Bellavista Collection picks only those that fit the brand’s strictest requirements as to their looks and combinability, not to mention prime quality.

Just browse through the descriptions at Bellavista’s website, and you’ll instantly notice that there are about dozens of species used most often.

Common and exotic, natural and stained, with or without glossy finish, these options have one thing in common. They all perfectly harmonize with other materials used for Bellavista’s furniture pieces. And, of course, they all look really gorgeous. Rosewood, ebony, and grey sukupira are the favorite exotic woods at Bellavista Collection. Noble-looking and luxurious, they are an excellent fit for sophisticated designs created by Attilio Zanni.

Oak and walnut are the kinds of common woods, which Bellavista craftsmen use most frequently. No wonder: these species, especially oak, have been very popular in furniture making for centuries. For instance, the vast majority of the furniture pieces, preserved from the Middle Ages, are made of oak.

Staining woods greatly enlarges the number of colors available, so Bellavista’s customers have more choices. If you like shades of brown, you are welcome to choose among a wide range of wood options, from honey-colored champagne-stained oak to almost black moka stained walnut and deep dark brown moka stained oak.

If you want something special, consider gray-stained or smoke-stained oak. Their somehow unusual but lovely greyish shade looks extremely elegant.

Why Cast Brass?

Nowadays nearly every wooden furniture piece has a few metal parts. Handles, hinges, knobs, keyhole frames, decorative elements, not to mention various screws, nuts, and bolts – all these details are commonly made of metal. Even legs and entire frames of tables and chairs can be metallic. Look, for example, at EIFFEL or ELIZABETH console tables.

Metal details not only serve as a link between the various wooden parts, joining them together – they significantly contribute to the overall look and style of the piece.

Metals and alloys commonly used in fashionable furniture making include stainless steel, aluminum, and, of course, so-called “red metals” – namely, copper, brass, and bronze. Bellavista Collection utilizes all of them, although brass definitely is the favorite material for metal parts.

Strictly speaking, brass isn’t a metal: it’s a mixture of several chemical elements, i.e., an alloy. Brass consists mostly of copper and zinc, with lesser amounts of other elements, such as arsenic, aluminum, phosphorus, manganese, silicon, nickel, etc. In fact, there are various kinds of brass with different chemical compositions.

Foundrymen love brass for its irresistible beauty and great workability. Brass not only looks gorgeous, but also is relatively easy to cast. The melting point of brass varies from 900 to 940 degrees centigrade (1,650 to 1,720 °F), which is much lower than that of steel.

What is more, at Bellavista Collection’s workshop brass is cast using very old techniques. The earliest known bronze and brass artifacts that date back to the 5th millennium BC were cast using these technologies, called lost-wax casting and sand casting. Although the casting equipment has changed drastically over the millennia, the core of the process remained the same.

The Finishing Touch

But just producing detail isn’t enough. A brass part coming from cast process or from standard profiles need applying a finish, i.e., a special coating; there is a variety of them available. Otherwise, brass will quickly lose its glitter and form natural patina in the course of time (so will bronze and copper, by the way). Well, you can leave it alone, but natural patina rarely looks beautiful. Its color and thickness depend on lots of factors, such as the chemical composition of the air, humidity level, etc.

In any case brass is always a good choice and gives a real value to every products.  It has an excellent duration over time since it doesn’t corrode and has an exquisite elegance.

A thin film of finish protects the metal surface from oxidation, so its color remains the same. Finishes also serve decorative purposes: they vary in color, so the designer picks the one that harmonizes with all materials selected for the piece. What about the magnificent ‘antique bronze finish’, the Bellavista’s favorite?

This finish imitates the surface of noble-looking old bronze. Its rich color turns out to be really universal: details with this finish look grand and go well with almost any wood, marble, not to mention other materials.

One more impressive dark-colored finish from Bellavista is ‘black patina’. It is offered as an option for such items as DALIA – a lovely table lamp from 2020/2021 collection, BATISTA – all-metal coffee table, and IPPO TRAY – a remarkable tray for candles that turned heads at trade fairs in 2019.

Besides, you can see this finish on cast brass statuettes of animals, including IPPO the hippopotamus that has long been the company’s mascot. This cute hippo, as well as FURIA the horse and RHINO the rhinoceros are offered in four finishes: black patina, antique bronze, antique silver leaf, and antique gold leaf. These finishes make the same statuette look quite different yet equally attractive. Take a look at these lovely pieces of artwork – and you will realize that the right choice of finish really matters a lot and often makes all the difference.

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