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Sheet Metal in Furniture Design: Modern and Industrial Styles

In some of the most contemporary furniture designs, sheet metal proves to be the central material that gives it a sleek and industrial edge. 

This material has found its way into contemporary furniture styles, creating a perfect harmony between form and function. It’s accessible, timeless, and can be customized to fit various preferences. 

In this article, we’ll explore how sheet metal is used in furniture design and how it was influenced by mid-century modern pioneers. 

Why Sheet Metal Is Preferred In Furniture Design

Sheet metal is primarily made with steel and aluminum, which are two of the most durable metals available in the market.

However, the best thing about them is that they can easily be molded, bent, and cut into various shapes and forms. This allows for creative and intricate designs that may not be possible with other materials.

Chairs and tables are common furniture pieces where sheet metal is used in modern styles. Often, sheet metal is combined with other materials like wood or glass to create a striking visual contrast.

For example, a wooden chaise is sometimes fitted with metal levers and adjustable, or metal sidings to add to its ergonomic capabilities.

Also, chairs with metal frames and upholstered seats create a modern and minimalist look that complements different interior design themes.

In industrial-style furniture, sheet metal plays a more prominent role. These pieces of furniture embrace raw and unfinished elements, showcasing the beauty of exposed materials.

Sheet metal’s no-nonsense aesthetic fits perfectly into this design, reflecting the strength and robustness associated with industrial settings.

Metal cabinets, Exposed metal beams, and shelves with visible rivets create an authentic industrial look, evoking a sense of rugged craftsmanship.

Where Else Can You Incorporate Sheet Metal in Furniture?

Sheet metal can be used to design various furniture pieces beyond chairs and tables.

For instance, you can use sheet metal on the following:

  • Bookshelves
  • Desks
  • Bed Frames
  • Lighting Fixtures

Sheet metal’s versatility knows no bounds. Designers can experiment with different finishes, like brushed, polished, or patinated surfaces, to achieve specific aesthetics on these furniture pieces.

Eames’ Influence on Contemporary Furniture Design with Sheet Metal

Image source: Design Within Reach

When discussing the use of sheet metal in contemporary furniture design, it would be remiss not to mention the significant influence of Charles and Ray Eames.

The Eameses were renowned American designers who made a profound impact on the world of furniture design in the mid-20th century.

Their innovative use of sheet metal revolutionized the industry and continues to inspire designers to this day.

The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman, first introduced in 1956, remains an enduring symbol of modern design. Its seamless combination of luxurious comfort and innovative construction set a new standard for contemporary furniture.

The expertly-shaped sheet metal base not only provided stability and support but also added an elegant touch.

The Eames’ attention to detail and emphasis on ergonomics have had a lasting impact on how designers approach furniture design. The use of sheet metal, with its inherent malleability, allows for the creation of furniture pieces that not only look aesthetically pleasing but also provide exceptional comfort and support.

This marriage of form and function propelled the Eames Lounge Chair to become an iconic piece of furniture that continues to be revamped by designers worldwide.

Having the Right Sheet Metal Partner is Key

We all want sturdy furniture, whether it’s in the home or in the workplace. High-quality sheet metal and excellent craftsmanship can help achieve the furniture aesthetics and functionality you want, so make sure to get the right sheet metal partner for your future projects. 

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