August 11, 2009

The Cool Brilliance of Chrome in Interior Design

Nickel is nice, but chrome is cooler! Nickel has a high end cache.  It’s true that in general nickel is more expensive, and has a softer  warmer glow.  But I guess I’m an all or nothing kind of designer.  If metal is going to be bright and shiny, I prefer it VERY bright , VERY shiny and VERY cool in tone.  That’s why I LOVE chrome, and of course, I’m not alone.

(below:Artimede Mercury Ceiling light fixture) lsiepj;soejfsljdflsihslkndflsiehfslhdf;lakjfpsiefhkshflsihfoih

Mercry Ceiling light  Artemide62Lincoln142836814670.PICT00196a00d83452989a69e20105360b9e38970c-800wi477875348_0856da50b2
Chrome has been the favored metal finish for furniture, ever since Marcel Breuer first fashioned the Wassily Chair in 1925, and continues to be so in the new century. The development of chrome in furniture runs parallel, and has often been reflective of  its use in the car and motorcycle industries. Above and beyond its obvious practical applications, chrome denotes speed, modernity,technology, and a forward looking optimism. Zuo modern carbon accent chairThe Zuo Chair (above) is from LIVINGINCOMFORT.COM ZUO CHAIRlkjfowifosjfosieufsknfoisehfsikhfoi;ajli

david jimenez

Design by David Jimenez

This bedroom by David Jimenez uses generous doses of chrome, and is nothing if not cheerful and optimistic!  Wouldn’t you love to wake up in a room like this?5-21-platner-tableThe Platner Table (above) is available through Design Within Reach

I love the relationship here, between the spiroscope patterns in the art, and the similar effect in the chrome table base

Image via designsponge

Image via designsponge


Here’s a question I’m often asked:  Is it OK to mix styles and periods? Let this eclectic, pretty room be the final answer to that question!  What could provide a more elegant, yet neutral link between the wide ranging looks in this room, than the classic chrome Brno Chair,(1930) by Mies Van der Rohe.

brno chair mies van der roheMIES VAN DE ROHE Brno Chair lksjdfolsiurfosdjflskjfpoiesldkhflshflsdhf;skhf

The Brno Chair is available through Knoll Studio

b701c67efe4dALMOST DINER CHAIRS IN DINING ROOM lskdjflskdjflskdjflskdjflskdjflskdhl

I can’t resist comparing the chairs in this airy inviting dining room to good old fashioned diner chairs like this one from Why not use diner chairs with a light neutral covering, in a slightly more formal way?  The cost is low,  the comfort is excellent, and the look would be very original.



MY LIVING ROOM slkdjfowiflskdfhosieflskdjhosih;saljps;jpsihlkfhgosiohlkj

Here the chrome of the classic Wassily chair mixes beautifully with a warm earthy color scheme, adding a little glitter and shine.  The Wassily Chair is available through Knoll Studio Designed in the Bauhaus Studio in 1925 by Marcel Breuer, then only an apprentice, it was the very first steel tubular chair.

Here are some of my favorite interior design CHROME INSPIRATIONS:

furnitureinfashion.netEdge 5 light table lamp form Fabbianbarcelona-pavilion-tableamericanchairs_2061_3641810sam flaxmylivingspaceco.uk10198b

GET NAMES OF DESIGNERS FOR ROOMS lkdjperod;ljperjgp;ojgpojg;sldjps9upsodjgpsodugp9rutpdojfgpsdjf;sljdgpsougpsouposufpsodufpso
candice Olsen


chista-natural-wood-coffee-tables-1Designed by Candace Olsen, this room has both a modern sensibility and a warm rusticity.  This approach is embodied in the coffee table which  combines a hand hewn rugged wood top, with machine age chrome legs.  The open leg notches on the top enhance the effect of nature-plus-technology.  It’s almost sculptural, and very forward looking.  The table to the left from Chista, and the others below from Century and Hudson Furniture Inc. are very much in the same vein.  In fact, once I started looking around, I saw enough in this general style to pronounce it a trend! These furnishings display a reverence for the beauty of the natural world, combined with a use of high tech man made materials.  What a great metaphor for the future, if you’re an optimist, like me!


Century Furniture

Century Furniture

Hudson Furniture Inc.

Hudson Furniture Inc.


We have enough history with chrome interior furnishings to look back on some of it with affectionate nostalgia. Meanwhile, many early examples remain as relevant and cutting edge as ever, and far more popular and available than when they were first created…And, the market place is filled with current, new examples of beautiful chrome furniture, from the innovators of today. It will be very exciting to see what  forms in chromed metal will appear next!


Long may you run.
Long may you run.
Although these changes have come
With your chrome heart shining in the sun
Long may you run.

-Neil Young

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