...not the least of which is its durability, naturalness and the way it warms up a décor with its rich color. More attention has risen lately with news of copper’s antimicrobial quality. When it comes to a kitchen or bathroom sink, copper outshines every surface in the war on germs, killing most bacteria and viruses within two hours of contact.
Copper could hardly have a bigger fan than Naomi Neilson Howard. Native Trails, the company she founded while a college student, is today the leading producer of artisan-made, high-quality copper sinks and tubs, with 1100 showrooms in the US and Canada. It is one of the decorative plumbing industry’s most exciting companies, creating a dazzling array of fixtures for kitchens and baths, as well as furnishings and accessories. The product line is a favorite of designers and architects, who appreciate the handmade aspect and unusual textures.
As if beautiful, distinctive, artisanal, high-quality and versatile weren’t enough adjectives to entice anyone, there is still more to admire about the Native Trails line. The copper used has always been 100 percent recycled, made from used electrical wire, pipes and construction copper. Considering that Native Trails is now in its 14th year, the company has long been in the vanguard of “greening up” the home.
Native Trails has succeeded in showing that ancient materials and crafts can satisfy today’s building requirements. Copper, which comes from the earth and has little added to it before becoming a highly functional household object, is a tremendously honest material. The production process is likewise simple – a craftsperson, fire, water and tools, most made by the craftspeople from local materials.
Copper may be as old as the hills, but in 21st century decorating, it gives a modern look. “Though our artisans use centuries sold methods,” notes Howard, “the designs we develop blend beautifully with today’s well appointed home. Neilson describes the company’s aesthetic as “soft contemporary.” The new designs work with many styles – traditional, cottage, modern or rustic. “Bringing warmth and texture through hand-hammered copper sinks is a really unique way to add the human touch to a room.”
The Native Trails sustainable philosophy extends throughout the product array. Its Old World Vanity is a unique piece of bath furniture with a past. Built of reclaimed wood salvaged from barns, fencing and other sources, the vanity has lots of cozy charm with its weathered texture and hand-washed finishes. Like the copper sinks and tubs, this too is handcrafted, so no two vanities are the same. From its latest accessory line, a mirror fashioned from recycled copper is yet another reflection of style as well as sustainability. And, it most certainly gives an out-of-the ordinary decorative touch to any room. Native Trails shows that there is more to greening the bathroom or the kitchen than water conservation or low energy consumption. This company shows that creativity, passion and commitment can be a very beautiful thing.