A guide to metal finishes and more for metal furniture and fixtures
Metal fixtures and furniture are necessities for some rooms (the kitchen, the bathroom) and design choices for others (pretty much anywhere in your house you choose to add a metal accent), but however you utilise metal in your home, it’s important to know that different metal finishes can totally change the tone of a room.
From industrial-inspired detailing to glamorous shining style, you can use the metal finishes and colours of your fixtures and furniture to enhance your space, create a mood, and add shine to your home. Read on for our guide to different metal finishes and how to best bring them into your home decor.
There are a number of common metals that are used in bathroom fixtures, metal furniture pieces, kitchen faucets and sinks, and other metal home decor essentials. Here are a few popular options for metal fixtures and furnishings that you may consider for your home:
- Aluminium — Always a popular pick due to its lightweight and inexpensive yet durable qualities, aluminium is great for ornamental accents as it is very malleable and can be shaped into detailed pieces.
- Brass — Brass is a favourite for lighting and other fixtures due to its rich, warm, golden tones that create an elegant, glamorous look. Low-maintenance and durable, it looks beautiful with both matte and polished finishes.
- Bronze — For another distinctive warm-toned metal, bronze is a sought-after material. A metal alloy crafted from aluminium, copper, and other metals, this red-hued metal is appealingly decorative, although it is a more high-maintenance metal than some on this list.
- Copper — With a naturally lustrous finish and natural antibacterial properties, copper is another red-brown favourite for fixtures and furnishing. It is generally treated to prevent oxidation.
- Stainless steel — For fixtures that see heavy everyday use such as taps and sinks, steel and particularly stainless steel is a longtime favourite. Stainless steel is strong, doesn’t rust or corrode, and offers an appealing silver-toned polished finish.
- Wrought iron — One of the heaviest-duty materials used in furniture construction, wrought iron often crops up in outdoor furniture due to its durability. While it can rust if not properly treated, the elegant black finish is a favourite for industrial and modern looks.
Our Peglar luxury tapware comes in a variety of colours and finishes like this sleek matte black tap and sink.
One thing to keep in mind when you’re choosing metal finishes for your furniture and fixtures is that what the finish is called doesn’t necessarily correspond to its construction but instead to its colour — in some cases this is obvious (if a side table has a ‘gold’ finish it clearly doesn’t mean it’s actually made of gold) but in other instances it may mean that the piece has been plated in that metal or simply that it is the colour of that metal. Sometimes this is due to the strength and durability of the metal; sometimes because it would be cost-prohibitive to craft furniture or fixtures from an expensive metal such as gold.
However, various processes can let your metal furniture and fixtures emulate the look of any material in its finishes, allowing you to create the exact mood you’re looking for in your home. When it comes to metal colours, the warmth or coolness of the metal’s hue helps to determine what feeling it will add to your space. Cool-toned metals bring a sleek, futuristic feel to a room, while warmer tones offer vintage-inspired styling and an extra luxurious feel.
An antiqued gold finish adds vintage-inspired appeal to the Madison end table set
Metal finishes and textures
When you choose materials and colours for your metal furniture and fixtures, you have an array of options in terms of metal finishes as well. Here are some of the metal finishes you’re most likely to encounter in home interiors:
- Antiqued — Deliberately aged to achieve a darkened, patina effect, an antiqued finish is ideal for traditional and rustic decor styling. Sometimes crafted through oil-rubbing, antiqued finishes can be used on any type of metal, particularly those that are naturally shiny.
- Brushed — Ideal for industrial-inspired spaces, a brushed finish is mostly matte with a texture that evokes the look of paintbrush strokes. This subtle texture helps to conceal marks and fingerprints, and offers a more cutting-edge alternative to typical matte finishes.
- Chrome — A favourite finish for sleek, modern kitchen and bathroom fixtures, chrome is beloved for its high-shine look and scratch-resistant, long-wearing qualities. Plated over a base metal such as brass or steel, chrome offers bright, lustrous silver for an ultra-modern look.
- Hammered — With a hand-crafted look ideal for rustic styling, a hammered finish adds a dappled texture of dents across a metal surface. This can be paired with either a polished or matte finish to create a unique and eye-catching look.
- Matte — Most people choose metal finishes that offer at least a hint of shine, but if you want a bold option for your bathroom sink or your side tables, consider a non-reflective matte finish, in colours ranging from traditional metal hues to jet black.
- Nickel — Like chrome, a nickel finish gives your metal pieces a silvery hue and lovely shine that can be highly-polished or feature a brushed texture. Nickel plating adds strength to the base metal, and is great for both traditional and modern looks.
- Polished — When you want that stunning high-shine finish for glamorous home decor, naturally a polished finish is what you’re looking for. Associated with stately traditional homes or with dramatic decor spaces, this is a classic pick for metal fixtures and furniture.
- Satin — Similar to brushed metals but without the brushstroke textures, a satin finish is at the centre of the spectrum between matte and polished. Perfect for mid-century modern styling or contemporary looks, it also hides scratches and fingerprints for low-maintenance appeal.
The Park chrome heated towel rail is a shining addition to your bathroom.
What about mixed metals and metal finishes?
Traditional home interior advice is to stick with one metal in your space, so if you’re after a classic motif, then opt for a single hue and finish. However, if you want a more modern and eclectic look, we have a few tips for effectively mixing metals in your home decor.
An easy way to get started with mixing metals in your home decor is to use one colour and finish for the main elements — match your light fixtures, kitchen taps, and so on — and then add contrast with different metals for accessories. Adding a warm-toned accent to a mostly cool-toned space (or vice versa) can be a lovely way to bring balance to your space. And if you want to stick to a single metal type, add contrast through diverse finishes such as pairing hammered pendant lights with a high-shine chrome sink.
The Ottawa sideboard pairs gold metal details with a chic black design.
Shop metal fixtures and furniture at Corcoran’s
Whether you want traditional or modern, industrial or Old Hollywood, futuristic or farmhouse, you can add metal fixtures and furnishings to your space to get the look you want. By choosing the right metal finishes and colours, you can create an inviting atmosphere for your home decor that offers exactly the vibe you’re after.
Shop metal coffee tables, dining chairs, photo frames, and more, and don’t forget to browse our bathroom catalogue for the best metal taps, showers, and sinks. Plus, check out our Killarney Bathroom, Tile & Stove Centre in-store or online. Need help choosing the best metal finishes, materials, and colours for your home? Our team is always ready to assist — just get in touch!