An important trend in product design is the use of metal, especially bronze and copper. There’s a move away from the ubiquitous chrome and stainless steel to the warmer shades that reflect a more rustic and natural feel that goes along with the trend to natural materials.
Another advantage of a well-made metal item is that it is likely to remain usable and attractive much longer than a plastic alternative, increasing its desirability as a material with those who want to fewer items of higher quality.
Pewter is sort of a halfway point between the cool industrial and warm Hygge style. While it has a silvery tone, its darker, dulled patina is a break from the high-shine look of metals such as chrome or stainless steel. It can be used as an accent piece in either setting and it will look right, making it a versatile choice for a variety of product designs.
As well, metal lends itself naturally- and is, in fact, essential in the industrial look that continues to be popular. Items made of roughly finished metal, such as rebar or piping, are a key component of that style, as well as the more finished look of stainless steel.
Copper has long been used in housewares, being especially good as a heat conductor and thus used for pots and pans for centuries. It’s also a versatile material, as it can be fabricated into a very finished, smooth surface for a modern look, or hammered and oxidized to look rustic and weathered.
Brass is back, and it can be used in sleek, modern design or traditional table lamps. There’s a market for both. Meanwhile, bronze, especially rubbed bronze with a dark finish, is an increasingly popular choice for items such as lamps.
Other metals can be combined for a distinctive effect, such as in this brass and pewter bowl.
Obviously, working in metal is not a new trend; we’ve defined periods of pre-history by the metals that they worked, such as Bronze and Iron. However, metal is experiencing a resurgence of popularity today because of its durability, versatility, and recyclability. It’s a good choice for product design for now, and into the future