Bring On The Bling

Bring On The Bling

Bring on the Bling! Metal Accents That'll Make Your Home Shine

By  | Jun 22, 2018
metal-accents
Metal is having a moment in interior design. Accessories made from burnished copper, sparkling silver, and warm rose gold are flooding home stores. It's no surprise, then, that this trend has traveled to the exterior of your home too, since these accents offer something that no other element can: unusual colors and sheen.

"Most fabrics and finishes incorporated into rooms and home exteriors are matte, not glossy, so adding a pop of shine makes a house feel very upscale," points out Liz Toombs, president of PDR Interiors.

"Metal elements can be eye-catching, especially if they're in good condition, without any rust, and they tend to showcase a home that's well-maintained," adds Darla DeMorrrow, author of "Organize Your Home With Sort and Succeed."

Make metal the next detail you tackle with our primer on which types to select, how to work accents into your exterior, and ways to care for this material so it looks good for years to come.

Match metal to your home's style

Photo by Houzz.com

Aim for a cohesive look when choosing metal accents for your exterior.

"Brushed antique brass is a good pick for Colonial-style houses, since it mimics the wear that an actual Colonial-period home would have experienced," says DeMorrow. Bright or matte silver matches nicely with modern homes, and copper is a transitional metal that looks good on a variety of structures.

"Copper weathers to a beautiful blue-green patina if it's not sealed," she adds. "So if you can't decide between brass or silver, this metal falls a bit in the middle as it's a warmer choice."

Justin Riordan of Spade and Archer Design Agency likes wrought iron, copper, and stainless steel.

"But if the look isn't as important in some areas, I'll specify galvanized steel or aluminum," Riordan says.

Toombs favors bronze, gold, and rose gold as they offer a nice contrast to today's popular gray paint schemes that many clients are requesting.

Metal numbers and roofline flashing

Photo by 2fORM Architecture

Metal address numbers and copper flashing work well on historic homes, Craftsman styles, country houses, and bungalows, says Toombs. Weather vanes are also excellent metal toppers, but most homes are best served with these mounted on a covered porch wall, the outside of your garage—or atop an actual barn.

Toombs would place a weathervane only on a home fashioned after a farmhouse, but DeMorrow believes it can give a run-of-the-mill suburban home a bit of flair.

Door knockers and hardware

Photo by CM Glover 

Mailboxes, kick plates, door handles, and knobs are just a few of the ways metal can be highlighted on or around your entryway.

"And don't forget knockers, which are charming accents, especially the pineapple-shaped ones because they symbolize hospitality," says Toombs.

Large metal Americana stars are popular in rural areas and are appropriate when done tastefully (make sure the color of the stars complements your home's paint—and that you don't use too many). Other metal wall accents include sun face designs, thermometers, a compass, a metal flag, or shutter dogs (decorative brackets).

Porch and yard accents

Photo by ADLA Studio 

Large metal planters can be striking on the patio, along with yard art and mirrors on a screen porch. Even lawn furniture can define a look, notes DeMorrow.

"Black wrought iron says 'grounded,' while white wrought aluminum channels a bright, casual vibe," she explains. You can also include a metal bench in a garden, end tables, metal gates, handrails, and lanterns.

Topping a plain wooden fence with copper caps is another smart metal move.

"Applying this detail is a nice way to dress up a utilitarian part of your home, but just be careful it suits your exterior—you don't want the fence and your house fighting with each other visually," says Toombs.

"Using these caps also extends the life of your structure," Riordan adds, "as it helps keep water intrusion from entering the fence itself."

Caring for exterior metal

Photo by Hackley & Associates Architects, Inc. 

Most outdoor metal components are galvanized and made to last in the weather, but do your research: Don't use an interior product in the yard unless it's made from a metal that can withstand the elements.

"Copper ages beautifully, but it costs more than most metals. Bronze also holds up well, but it can darken too much and may not blend well with your house color," notes Toombs.

Many metals can be treated with a marine urethane spray to keep them bright, and brass products are generally factory-finished, though their look may not stay fresh for very long outdoors.

"Brass can still be polished, however, even when you think it's past the point of no return," says DeMorrow.


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Phone: 931-494-4347
Dated: June 22nd 2018
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