From structure and form to details and texture, the use of metal—regardless of style—represents a design fundamental. It can be the statement piece that sets the tone or an adornment that completes the look.
Alberto Velez, design director for HOLLY HUNT remarks, “Metal elevates the look. It’s like ‘giant jewelry.’ It adds sophistication and luxury to almost any space or piece.”
Velez also reminds us that metals are generally stronger and more durable than other material selections. They stand the test of time and often become heirloom pieces.
While always present in some way, metal trends have changed through the years. Shiny, smooth chrome dominated the ’70s. (How could anyone forget?) The ’80s gave us more brass than anyone would imagine. Then, we saw brushed nickel take off through the ’90s and oil-rubbed bronze soon after. Today, metal trends are less specific and more flexible across all design styles.
In fact, with a careful eye, mixing metals for a unique and individual look—or even weaving metallic elements through fabrics and wallpapers—is on the rise.
Metal sculptures, fine art or even a central furniture piece can be a primary draw.
If given the opportunity, consider a well-placed piece of art on an impact wall or show off that investment piece as a dominant element such as this memorable “Pick Up Sticks” table by Ambella.
The Finer Details
Not a fan of solid metal? Consider a piece with metal details.
While not quite as visible, smaller embellishments can add just the right amount of luxe to the look such as the metal features on this Cielo Chair from Niermann Weeks. It works great as an accent chair, or surround the dining table for higher impact.
Tie It Up
If you’re feeling daring, using metal throughout can tie a design together and create continuity.
This design pulls metal from top to bottom, showcasing a sturdy iron base on the side table, nailhead detail on the sofa, an understated metal bed frame and—to top it off—a tin ceiling that brings a unique and striking flair to the look.
Line of Sight
Metal offers fortitude in small quantities to create strong frames for furniture pieces yet not disrupt the line of sight.
In spaces where a view is important, consider furniture pieces—tables, shelves, etc.—that are framed in metal. This 1950s-style bar cart from Restoration Hardware allows function without interrupting views.