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Custom Metal and Glass – Design, Fabrication and Installation
“Iron is being used in a variety of ways inside the home
to evoke both rich and rustic atmospheres.”
Ironwork Makes Its Way Indoors Get a Project Evaluation
Iron gates, railings, banisters, and furniture have long been a fixture in western architecture and landscaping. Many are familiar with the ornate work of an iron fence around an estate or a cemetery, the iron balusters and railings on a residential stoop, or iron window frames fabricated for breathtaking architectural effect. However, what may not come to mind at first glance — but what is gaining steam in the interior design world — is ironwork inside a home, residential building, or commercial space.

Iron has a very classic, timeless look that evokes richness and stability. It can skew both modern and traditional depending on how it’s used within a space. For these reasons, designers have increasingly been being drawn to using ironwork indoors.

Iron initially gained decorative steam in the mid-seventeenth century, where it began to be used ornamentally in Europe. Using iron to create banisters, stairways, and gates, Europe embraced the classic look of iron in a big way. Later, in the United states, iron became a common installation for gardens, estates, cemeteries, and public spaces.

In truth, today’s “ironwork” is not always iron. Whether true iron is used to achieve an iron look depends on the fabricator and the budget of the project. Alternatives include steel, stainless steel, and bronze, which are worked in such a way that look like traditional ironwork but at varying costs. Of course, most ornamental iron is made by hand, so the cost of labor is certainly a factor. However, for some perspective on materials, steel is typically around $1 a pound, bronze is around $15 a pound, stainless steel is around $5 per pound.

Blacksmiths are responsible for forging ironwork, with the help of a furnace. With the iron at the proper heat, it can be cut, spiraled, bent, and twisted. Many balusters for railings are twisted, creating an ornamental feel that is also functional. In addition to architectural structures, wrought iron also finds its way into the home in the form of pre-made pieces, such as curtain rods, candlestick holders, fireplaces, and fireplace utensils.

One ongoing concern with iron work is that it does tend to rust fairly easily. Exposure to oxygen rather quickly leads to rusting. Darker irons with black finish show rust less than lighter variations. Iron that is coated properly will not rust, and to keep everything inside the home from rusting, one must consistently watch for rust and if it appears, clean the iron down to the bare metal and coat it again. Painting over rust will result in the rust beneath the paint continuing to corrode the iron, so this is not a recommended fix to a rusting problem.

Maintenance aside, iron is being used in a variety of ways inside the home to evoke both rich and rustic atmospheres. Iron has long been considered rich and sophisticated in both rural and elegant settings, hand therefore it is no surprise that it is continuing to find its way into interior spaces.
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