Galvanized Steel Accessories an Easy Element for a Rustic Touch

It’s hard to say where it all started, but galvanized metal home decor accessories have been trending for a number of years and show no signs of slowing down. It is quite likely that the shabby chic and farmhouse styles helped propel galvanized steel to popularity because the material has been used in farm tools and equipment for a very long time. It also has industrial uses, so as that style trend grew, galvanized steel grew along with it. Regardless, these metal accessories can be used in many styles of decor depending on the pieces you chose and the extent to which you incorporate them.

Accessories are the easiest way to add a rustic or industrial touch to a living space. They are portable, easily rearranged and can be used sparingly or in a greater number for more impact. It’s easy to try out a piece or two that you love before diving headfirst into the galvanized metal steel decor trend. This A&B Home display shows a variety of aged galvanized metal accessories that can be used for decorating a space.

Even just one or two accessories lend a rustic vibe to a room.View in gallery
Even just one or two accessories lend a rustic vibe to a room.

What Is Galvanized Steel?

Galvanizing involves applying a protective coating of zinc to steel or iron, which helps prevent rust. The galvanized definition is named after the Italian scientist who pioneered the method, Luigi Galvani. Despite the fact that galvanizing is meant to stop rust, after prolonged exposure to weather or an acidic environment, like seaside air, it will eventually rust. For many people, the rusty patina that develops is not a negative, but instead enhances the appeal for decor items. This is especially true for rustic and farmhouse style decor, as well as spaces with an industrial feel.

That said, many people prefer the look of new galvanized steel and these decorative canisters from A&B Home are a nice example of small home decor accessories that can add a rustic element to a room. Using pieces that don’t have an aged patina or rust yield a more contemporary look and can be easier to incorporate into existing interior decor.

Adding a few small pieces of galvanized metal is a good way to experiment with the trend.View in gallery
Adding a few small pieces of galvanized steel is a good way to experiment with the trend.
These larger canisters from <a href="http://parkhillcollection.com">Park Hill</a> have a more old-fashioned style.View in gallery
These larger canisters from Park Hill have a more old-fashioned style.
Cake stands from VIP Garden & Home are wonderful as decor accents.View in gallery
Cake stands from VIP Garden & Home are wonderful as decor accents.

Sometimes all you want is a statement piece and these are available in galvanized steel as well. Larger buckets, watering cans, baskets and old-fashioned milk cans are among the types of pieces that can be used of a bigger impact. As this display from Blue Ocean Traders shows, there is quite a variety to choose from. Maybe opt for a large tub that can be used as a planter for indoors or out?

Lucky finds include multiples of the same item, like the three metal boxes on the middle shelf.View in gallery
Lucky finds include multiples of the same item, like the three metal boxes on the middle shelf.

Galvanized steel accessories can also be found without any sort of patina for those who prefer the shinier look of new metal. This corrugated metal box is from Zuo and could fill all sorts of functions around the house, from storage to crafts or recycling, and definitely fits the galvanized definition.

New wood and rope handles keep the box looking fresh.View in gallery
New wood and rope handles keep the box looking fresh.

Trays, like these from Home Accents, are one of the easiest items to use in decor. They can be displayed as a rustic base for an arrangement of flowers and accessories, or, use it as a serving tray to add a vintage element to your entertaining style. Some have a very aged look while others appear to be a bit newer. Either way, a galvanized steel tray is an extra versatile item that will certainly see a lot of use.

Stacking graduated trays is a chic way to display them.View in gallery
Stacking graduated trays is a chic way to display them.
These Park Hill trays have an aged patina and weathered wooden handles.View in gallery
These Park Hill trays have an aged patina and weathered wooden handles.
Galvanized metal trays from IMAX are part of the Trisha Yearwood Collection and feature a bee motif.View in gallery
Galvanized steel trays from IMAX are part of the Trisha Yearwood Collection and feature a bee motif.
Park Hill's tray and stand are darkly aged.View in gallery
Park Hill’s tray and stand are darkly aged.

Another option is to use galvanized metal accessories as wall decor. This IMAX collection features industrial sifters made with galvanized steel that have been repurposed as decorative shelving for plants or accessories. Used singly or in a grouping like these, they are conversation pieces because they are not the typical bucket or box. Below, a large rustic clock features a galvanized steel frame that looks like it was previously an industrial or farm equipment component. Items like these also exemplify the galvanized definition.

Grouping metal items that have a patina emphasizes the rustic or industrial tone of a space.View in gallery
Grouping metal items that have a patina emphasizes the rustic or industrial tone of a space.
VIP Home & Garden wall shelves and coat racks are another way to add galvanized metal to decor.View in gallery
VIP Home & Garden wall shelves and coat racks are another way to add galvanized steel to decor.

Many of these metal accessories are indeed repurposed, or at least made to look like they are. This galvanized steel decor piece from IMAX is an old-fashioned milk bottle carrier. It can be simply used as decor or used to carry silverware, napkins and condiments to the table or to your next outdoor meal. Try using it to hold glass bottles or small vases filled with flowers for a truly country look.

Paired with rustic furniture, the galvanized metal carrier is a decidedly country-style piece.View in gallery
Paired with rustic furniture, the galvanized metal carrier is a decidedly country-style piece.

Speaking of flowers and plants, a different style of carrier from IMAX is perfect for small plants like succulents. By mixing up the arrangement with moss and stones, it’s possible to create a novel arrangement that adds greenery but is low maintenance. This style of galvanized steel container would look great down the center of a rustic or industrial dining table.

Leaving some slots empty keeps the piece from looking too contrived.View in gallery
Leaving some slots empty keeps the piece from looking too contrived.

Peacock Park’s small metal tray sports tiny ball feet and useful little handles. Fill the antique style bottles with seasonal blooms for instant panache. These types of accessories give you an easy way to change seasonal decor, by switching out the flowers or using sticks, grasses or other stems. Even when the bottles are empty, it’s a stylish rustic piece.

With flowers, the galvanized metal tray and small bottles are super cute.View in gallery
With flowers, the galvanized steel tray and small bottles are super cute.

While most ice buckets for wine or champagne are shiny and a bit flashy, this one from Kalalou is perfectly chic in a rustic way. Great for celebrations indoors or out, the galvanized steel bucket sits in an aged stand, which includes a very cool frame that holds wine glasses.

If casual entertaining is your norm, this is a good choice for an ice bucket.View in gallery
If casual entertaining is your norm, this is a good choice for an ice bucket.

Small galvanized buckets on a rustic stand are perfect for displaying flower arrangements, fruits or vegetables, or other items that you collect. In a kitchen or bath, the buckets could store rolled hand towels, toiletries or other necessities.

Fill this with seasonal blooms and place it in an entryway to welcome guests.View in gallery
Fill this with seasonal blooms and place it in an entryway to welcome guests.

Mercana’s industrial lamp is accented by an oversized geometric star ornament that sits on the floor. The aged galvanized steel decor piece could also accent a tall shelf or sit on top of a cabinet or sideboard. It’s a large accessory that will be the dominant piece wherever you place it.

With these two pieces, you would not want much more metal in the same immediate area.View in gallery
With these two pieces, you would not want much more metal in the same immediate area.

Vintage or not, galvanized steel accessories are certainly in vogue. Whether this trend has gathered steam from current design shows or the desire for repurposed and vintage items, it shows no signs of waning. The right piece can be incorporated into almost any style of decor. Depending on the item you choose, it will add a rustic or industrial touch to your home — give it a shot!