Steel This: Using Steel as a Design Element

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Image: Yellowtrace

Steel is one of those amazing assets that work well in almost any style of décor—perhaps because it’s an accepted essential of structural components. As I often daydream about designing the perfect home for me, steel tends to play a big role in how I visualize my space. These ideas and examples provide ample fodder for getting my creative juices flowing.


Ibeam Decor
Images: (Left) Yellowtrace; (Right) Matthew Millman on Design Milk

Indoors or out, I-beams set the tone for a space. You know when you see an exposed I-beam that you are in the presence of serious, stable construction.


Steel Stairs
Images: (Left) Place Architects ; (Right) Dwell

Stairs are one of the most functional and practical places to show off your fancy for steel since staircases often come pre-constructed out of this material. One of my favorite ways I’ve seen steel stairs used is as counterpoint to an otherwise traditional interior design scheme—an unexpected touch.


Steel Fireplace
Image: Andres Asturias on ArchDaily

Another practical use for steel is in and around the fireplace—steel can be used for the hearth, the chimney and the flue, as well as for decorative touches around the hearth. Just be careful that there’s appropriate insulation between any steel and the fire itself, since it won’t take long for steel to heat up.

Furnishings and Fixtures

Steel Furnishing
Image: Planete Deco

Bringing steel items into your space via lighting, tables and other furnishings—and even using steel in your accessories—is of course the simplest way of incorporating steel as a design element in your home. When adding steel pieces, remember to also have fabrics, upholstery, wood, and other items to bring softness and texture into your space.

What ways have you incorporated steel into your home?

1 Comment

  1. Steel furniture really gives a decent look to our home!!
    If we consider office furniture with some small parts of steel, It would look like a sunflower with little drops of water over it!!

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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.