The Best Way To Introduce The Aluminum Design Trend Into Your Home

Aluminum furniture, known for its distinctive metallic sheen and lightweight material, is cropping up everywhere, from stylishly designed indoor pieces to durable outdoor ones. Embraced by designers as one of the most sustainable metals due to its easy ability to be recycled, aluminum is one of the most popular and inexpensive materials for today's furniture manufacturers. According to IKEA collaborator and furniture designer Tom Dixon, "It's a modern material with many new possibilities being revealed all the time." (via Architectural Digest)

This new popularity can readily be seen in designs for tables, chairs, and decorative accessories catering to a variety of different design aesthetics, including industrial, farmhouse, and mid-century modern spaces. Adding selected aluminum elements to your decor can fulfill a variety of needs, including interesting variations in texture and reflective surfaces, durability, and sustainability. Aluminum pieces are also a great sustainable solution to other metals and plastics, with an infinite ability to be recycled and reused in the future.

Aluminum and furniture design

Aluminum furniture first began to appear in homes in the mid-20th century, when it was often a popular material for outdoor furnishings like tables and lawn chairs. The 20th century's love of metallic materials had carried through the Art Deco and Art Moderne styles and into the automobile-obsessed 1950s. By mid-century, many were seeking out the lightweight and shiny appeal of aluminum for all sorts of home accents and furniture pieces, including Christmas trees and dinette sets.

If you're looking to add this trend to your home, consider the effect aluminum pieces will have on existing design elements. The space-age modernity of aluminum still complements mid-century modern-style rooms in particular, but can also easily complement other styles, including industrial-inspired decor, which typically mixes a number of metals. Here, aluminum offers a smoother, more reflective counterpoint to darker and more matte finishes. The clean lines and highly reflective surface of many modern-inspired aluminum pieces like chairs and lamps are a perfect fit for minimalistic contemporary rooms, when combined with other shiny materials like chrome, mirrors, and transparent glass.

Getting the look

Even more rustic-based aesthetics, like modern farmhouse style, can benefit from the clean and subdued presence of aluminum lamps and chairs, which look amazing when combined with natural, ruddier, and aged textures. Designer Tom Dixon told Livingetc, "Rough and smooth, shiny and matte, black and white — we want [to use] a lot of materials to avoid too much monotony."  The more modern surface of aluminum is also a sleeker, futuristic complement to antique or vintage accents in any room, especially since the profile of most pieces is minimalistic and fits well with a number of design styles. 

Try placing a metal chair at a desk or table for a bit of industrial flare in a more feminine or glam room. Add a high-shine metal lamp or pendant light for a perfect complement to more natural materials like stone, wood, and greenery. You can also get aluminum in brushed, matte, and painted finishes. Whatever style you are working with, the rising popularity of aluminum as a material offers a great opportunity to add it in small doses.