Rusty Rewards: Using Cor-Ten Steel at Home

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Image: Carlos Eguiguren for ArchDaily

I have a deep respect for tough and rugged materials used in home construction and décor, like Cor-Ten steel. Cor-Ten not only provides a durable—practically indestructible—element anywhere it’s used, it also takes on a vivid patina when exposed to the whims of nature., ensuring that no instance of its use is ever exactly the same.

Elemental Exterior

Because of the “patina effect”, Cor-Ten steel is most often used for buildings as an exterior surface—it’s not often that this sturdy stuff is exposed to the elements while inside, after all. The home shown above, already situated in rough surroundings, gains a level of crude sophistication from the offset placement of multiple Cor-Ten plates. This usage also allows for a dripping/staining effect from the oxidized steel—which, to my eyes, is terrific.

Rusty Rewards: Using Cor-Ten Steel at Home on the Interior CollectiveImage: Ventana Canyon House

Sculptural Facade

Another home, again in a desert-like terrain, features a Cor-Ten steel layer that’s fully separate from the concrete exterior walls of the main structure. This lends a stunning sculptural feeling to an already dramatic poolside environment. Truly a bold and artistic statement by the architect and home owner—one I fully endorse.

Rusty Rewards: Using Cor-Ten Steel at Home on the Interior CollectiveImage: Charles Mayer for Dwell

Funky Fencing

Continuing with the sculptural theme, but clearly still functional, this fence constructed of Cor-Ten is unique and interesting. A far cry from chain-link and so much more attractive.

Rusty Rewards: Using Cor-Ten Steel at Home on the Interior CollectiveImage: Planete Deco

Fantastic Fireplace

Just to prove that Cor-Ten steel can be used inside the home, here’s a magnificent fireplace that has many of the same qualities of how we’ve seen the material used outdoors. It has a sculptural feel, a grounded and elemental nature, and rough elegance.

How would you use Cor-Ten steel in your home?

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Dave Hime, founder/curator of, has been an interior design addict for as long as he can remember. In 2005, he bought a house-in-progress and missed several opportunities to have an influence on his own home decor–leaving him wanting more. With design heroes such as Blake Dollahite ( and Robert & Cortney Novogratz (, Dave began seeking out online resources that would exemplify the interior design practices he's most drawn to: using color, texture and simple materials well. Bringing all of this together, along with his specific focus on providing interior design inspiration from a man's point of view, is Dave's mission: masculine design.