Using Metal in Interior Design

March 3, 2014 by Joe Ness

It’s undeniable. Metal is hot. Interior design trend setters on sites like Better Home and Gardens, Elle Decor, and House Beautiful tout metal and metallic accessories as the next big thing in home decorating. Are you ready to incorporate metal into your interior design scheme?

How comfortable you feel with this design trend depends largely on your current home design style. Lovers of modern design may feel right at home using metal in interior design, like steel and other metallics. But even those with country or rustic homes can use metal to add intrigue and texture to their interiors.

We’ve chosen 5 common interior design styles (contemporary, country, eclectic, rustic and traditional) to illustrate our point. For each style we’ve provided the best metal finishes for this type of style, as well as some suggestions for metallic touches. Bring on the metal!


Stark, sleek, minimalist. Metallics fit right in with contemporary design.

Best metal finishes for the type?

— Nickel
— Stainless steel
— Chrome

Metallic Touches?

— Accessories
— Fixtures
— Furniture
— Room dividers
— Mirrors


Metallic or mirrored furniture is a great conversation piece. This set of chrome tables is a playful addition to an otherwise mature and somber room.


modern living room with chrome tables

(Image Source: One Kind Design)


‘Contemporary’ doesn’t have to be ‘cold’ and ‘bleak’. Gold and brass metals create warmth while maintaining a contemporary edge.


modern living room with brass end table and fireplace

(Image Source: South Shore Decorating)


Contemporary bathrooms don’t have to conform to traditional design rules. A woven wire shower curtain brings unexpected shine and texture to this dark contemporary bathroom.


shower curtain

(Image Source: Cascade Coil)



Cozy, classic, and eclectic. You’ll want to choose warmer metallics that contribute to the coziness of your country interior.

Best metal finishes for this type?

— Gold
— Copper
— Chrome – for a fancy, high glamour touch

Metallic touches?

Because of the old world element of country style, you don’t want your metallics to look too bold or ‘unnatural’. Instead, choose vintage metal items like pots, pans, and fixtures.


The use of gold trim around this oven makes the royal blue appliance pop while still blending with the classy old world feel of this French kitchen.


french country kitchen has oven with gold trim

(Image Source: PR Web)


This open kitchen/living room is the epitome of decadence. The crystal chandelier and polished chrome faucet lends some extra glamour to the country kitchen.


country style kitchen with chrome fixtures

(Image Source: Marcus Design Inc.)


Copper is a good choice in more laid back, rustic country homes. Not ready to install a new hood? Displaying a row of copper pots and pans can have the same effect without breaking the bank.


country style kitchen with copper hood

(Image Source: Home Bunch)



Quirky, cute, and fun. Eclectic design means translating your personality into a cohesive interior style. Don’t be afraid to experiment. As long as the items you choose are congruent with your personal style, they will look right at home with the rest of the room.

Best metal finishes for the type?

Almost anything goes in this wacky home decor style. Metallics give you the opportunity to make a big statement. Don’t be shy.

Metallic Touches?

— Walls
— Large mirrors
— Whole pieces of furniture


The chrome lamp and wire mesh chair behind the sofa give this cute room a mature, modern polish.


eclectic style living room with chrome lamp

(Image Source: Pinterest)


The goal in eclectic interior design is to make friends ask where you found a cool piece of furniture or your funky artwork. Found metal items like this antique steel bench compliment the eccentricity of the eclectic home.


eclectic living room with vintage metal chair

(Source: Elle Decor)


Bringing metal to unexpected areas like the walls can make an eclectic room feel more glamorous and grown up.


eclectic desk area with gold flaked wall paper

(Image Source: This is Luster)



Natural, earthy, unrefined. Rustic interior design is the opposite of pretentious. Stick to natural metallics for a traditional look, or mix in modern metallic touches for a bold blend of styles.

Best metal finishes for the type?

— Copper
— Brass
— Steel

Metallic Touches?

Like country style, you want to keep your metallic touches muted and natural looking. Worn or even lightly rusted vintage items look great in this setting.


The hammered copper skillet and rustic iron cookware bring out the rough-hewn personality of this rustic country room while adding a touch of warm color to the stone wall.


rustic kitchen area with hanging copper pots

(Image Source: Pinterest)


The marriage of modern and rustic can turn an ordinary staircase into a sleek metallic accent piece within your country home.


rustic style stairs with modern metal banister and railing

(Image Source: Remodelista)


Don’t underestimate the aesthetic of wood and metal side by side. Notice how the bold metallic fireplace is complemented and softened by the natural wood elements. (The cat is cute, too.)


rustic style fireplace

(Image Source: Welke Lookbook)



Refined, classic, and elegant. Traditional interior design draws from the homes and workplaces of the wealthy and powerful. Because of this, you’ll frequently see polished gold and silver fixtures, as well as large dramatic mirrors.

Best metal finishes for the type?

— Gold
— Silver
— Chrome

Metallic Touches?

— Chandeliers
— Vases, candlesticks, picture frames and other classic details
— Mirrors (hanging, but also mirrored tables and other furniture)


The bright pink walls and flashy gold chandelier make this room shine from top to bottom. Notice how hints of gold on the pillows tie this look together.


classic style room with pink walls and gold chandelier

(Image Source: Studio Harrods Pinterest)


Don’t like the super-polished look? Weathered gilding can be a subtler way to add metallics to a traditional bathroom without overwhelming the elegance of your other design elements.



(Image Source: Pinterest)


Traditional meet modern silhouettes in this living room, bringing color and class to a sleek space.


living room in classic and modern styles

(Image Source: Habitually Chic)

Have you incorporated metallics into your interior design scheme? Tell us how in the comments.

Posted in Interior Design

Tags: contemporary style, country style, designing with metal, eclectic style, metallics, modern style, rustic style, traditional style, using metal in interior design