Material Palettes - Wood and Metal

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With my last blog, I discussed the exposed wood palette and some of its connotations. This week, I am taking a look at the wood and metal palette.

Although we have taken a look at both of these materials previously, looking at them separately has different connotations than looking at them together.

We can further break up this palette into two types: wood and metal rustic, and wood and metal modern.

Wood and metal rustic is often referred to as “industrial,” and includes designs that incorporate either rusticated wood, rusticated metal, or both. This produces different associations than modern, sleek metal and wood designs.

The marriage of wood and metal conjures up images of the early industrial period. Nascent industrial machinery involved bodies of wood combined with connectors and moving parts of iron. Rusticating the wood or metal of a wood and metal palette design harkens back to these early industrial technologies while also calling to mind industrial warehouses and store rooms.

Rustic wood and metal (industrial) furniture within a contemporary retail interior.

However, using sleek finish metal and wood, such as stainless steel and stained, satin finish wood, can cause different psychological reactions. This contemporary approach is more reminiscent of modern day upscale consumer experiences and products, like wood grain steering wheels and newly built retail interiors.

Sleek finish wood and metal stairs reveal the difference in connotations between polished wood and metal, and rustic wood and metal palettes.

The combination of these warm and cold, complementary materials, whether as rustic-industrial or sleek-modern, seems to draw its allure from their opposite connotations combined into singular design schemes. Both styles have enjoyed popular appeal in furniture and interior design.

Here are just a few of the hundreds of contemporary furniture options on that celebrate the wood and metal palettes.

The Audrey Bedroom Set uses rusticated acacia wood and pewter powder coated accents to achieve an industrial feel.

The Metro Gun Metal Bar Stool uses rustic looking gun metal finish powder coated steel and weather wood to achieve an industrial feel.

The Oakland Dining Table uses a rusticated bamboo top and grey steel bottom to achieve an industrial feel.

The Rhine Dining Table uses a stainless steel x-base and stained walnut veneer to achieve its sleek, modern look.

The Era Dining Table uses a stainless steel tube base and walnut veneer to achieve its sleek, modern look.

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