The Unexpected Furniture To Keep An Eye Out For, According To HGTV's Nate Berkus

Sofas, chairs, tables, and lamps reminiscent of the '60s and '70s boost the style quotient in many of today's homes, but rarely do you spot what has become Nate Berkus' latest obsession. The HGTV host puts the spotlight on a French trend from this specific time period — namely, bent or molded stainless steel furniture. Sleek and timeless, these pieces pair functionality and form in a way that's bound to spark conversation. At the height of the trend, decorators and homeowners loved contrasting the modern simplicity of bent steel with more classic, ornate, and decorative Louis XV or XVI furnishings. Today, however, these items can be combined with just about any other pieces of furniture to create a unique look. Just a glance at a bent steel table or stool will fill your mind with ways it could complement a room.

Space age style is synonymous with 1960s interior design. Curved lines, streamlined shapes, and materials that would be at home on Apollo 11 are what you should expect when delving into this branch of the mid-century modern style. If you want to learn more about furniture in this time period, discover House Digest's ultimate guide to mid-century modern décor. The simplicity and user-friendliness of this style has allowed it to hold appeal for decades, and Berkus is especially thrilled about steel items. Vintage knock-offs abound, but finding the real deal is like unearthing buried treasure.

Where to find your own bent steel décor

For vintage style hunters, much of the thrill is in the search. However, to source your own piece of bent stainless steel furniture, it helps to have deep pockets and lots of patience. Molded stainless steel furniture became a French staple in the '60s and '70s, and despite its popularity in Paris, finding authentic pieces is not easy. In addition, many tables, chairs, and accents will also need to be shipped from overseas, often adding an extra zero to the end of their price tag.

Scanning the supply on auction sites can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Hone your search by adding brand names that were known for their molded steel work. Notable designers include Maison Jansen and Mathieu Matégot. If you're willing to include items from France's southeastern neighbor, searching for pieces by Italian designer Eugenio Davico as well will up your chances of scoring period goods. For instance, his eye-catching stainless steel and glass coffee table is available on 1stDibs. Antique shops, auctions and estate sales, or even flea markets in your area are potential gold mines for rare furniture. However, before parting with a large sum of money, make sure that the piece you're interested in is in good condition and has a designer's marking in some way.  Finally, protect your investment by learning the best way to clean stainless steel furniture.

Cheaper and more accessible options for bent metal items

The scarcity of molded steel furniture and its hefty cost may shelve your hopes for a piece of French design history. If it's the lack of supply that's holding you back, recently-made furniture based on the vintage style can be a possibility. On the other hand, if you're sold on scoring the real deal but need to watch your wallet, accessories like Max Sauze's 1960s light fixtures on 1stDibs can save you hundreds over larger furnishings. 

21st century artisans have their own takes for sale on sites like Etsy and Ebay. For example, for less than $4,500, the heavy-duty aluminum Gosha Statement Chair by DynamizeDesign is available on Etsy. However, like their inspirations, these one-of-a-kind pieces regularly have four- to five-digit price tags. Still on the costly side but packing plenty of mid-century charm, hit the European design site Leibal for its beautifully-curated collection of metal furniture and decorative objects.

For real savings, score bargains on sites like and Wayfair. features a wide variety of vintage-style metal furnishings, like a Stainless Steel Coffee Table that keeps the 1960s trend alive for under $800. On Wayfair, the Mercury Row Vitagliano Modern Abstract Wall Decor will transport you to the space age for just a little over $100. Opt for a more eclectic look by mixing metals in your home décor. Save some cash by seeking out pieces made from less expensive metals like aluminum or iron as well.