The Art of Metal Art: Against the Grain

Interior design is always changing and evolving, building on what has come before and seeking what comes next. The human eye gets tired of things very quickly, and what was once astonishing eventually becomes expected and even boring – that’s part of the challenge of life. In order to remain excited and energised by the world around you, you have to keep finding new ways to stimulate your sense of beauty.

Metal art is an exciting innovation in interior design.

In recent years, one of the key ways interior designers have been branching out is in the materials they use, and one of the most popular of these materials is metal art on the walls. The fundamental appeal of metal art is its contrast with the rest of an interior space – most of our rooms are furnished and decorated with warm, soft materials to make them comfortable, so metal pieces always contrast well and add energy.

Comparing and Contrasting

One of the easiest and most effective ways to use metal in your room is to build off that contrast by using it to depict natural, organic things, thus creating a second layer of contrast – the first being the contrast between textures and materials in the room, the second being the contrast between the harsh metal material and what it depicts.

For example, a print of plants or animals, or a sculptural piece in the shape of leaves or branches achieves this nicely: A soft, comfortable couch or a warm piece of wooden, organic-feeling furniture below, then the gleam of metal that catches the light but shows a softer, more organic image. The effect is subtle, but powerful.

Use metal art to create an interesting contrasting effect.

Using the Light

Another way to achieve this second layering of contrast is with the light in the room. Even brushed or otherwise treated metal will reflect light in ways that other materials can’t, so positioning those pieces – whatever their shape or whatever they depict – so that they catch various light sources and bounce them back clashes creatively with the light-absorbing pieces like upholstered furniture, carpeting and rugs, and other textile-based decor.

When using metal art, make sure you consider appropriate lighting.

When hanging metal art on the walls, in fact, it’s a good idea to move your light sources around if you can, by placing lamps in different spots to gauge the way the light bounces in the room. The goal is to have a nice lighting effect that is different for every seating area in the room, contrasting effectively with the areas where the light is swallowed up.

Metal is one of those materials that never really goes out of style – only the ways it’s used ever really change. While your choice of pieces may shift over time, the way to use metal – as contrast – is fundamental in design. If you have some great photos that you think might work well as contrasting pieces in your rooms, click here and we can turn them into amazing metal prints for your walls.