Ornamental ironwork for the home can range from decorative railings on a home’s exterior to balusters on an interior staircase, and from doors boasting beauty and security to a table or lamp base. From finials atop a roof acting as lightening rods to drapery rods that are custom made, ornamental iron is part of the beauty of area homes and is part of homeowners’ attachment to handmade products.
Whether you want to emphasize a house design with vintage Art Deco looks, recreate a New Orleans vibe, or custom designs with personal significance to the homeowner, there are few limits to what artisans can create in ironwork.
Iron railings on second floor landings are showing up in homes across Greater Nashville, and ironwork for chandeliers, wall sconces, and outdoor lighting is a traditional element.
Custom glass and iron doors create an eye-catching entry, while ironwork doors have been added to numerous homes to guard a well-stocked wine cellar. Different metals can be combined to create dark and light contrasts.
Headboards, canopy beds, wall art, table bases, and more can be used to give weight and dignity to a space, while the recent popularity of rolling factory pieces modified to serve as end and coffee tables speaks to homeowners’ interest in the beauty of iron and old wood. Iron work weathers well, also, contributing to its popularity.
According to Bohnne Jones of Decorating Den Interiors, wrought iron is a very traditional element. “It has been around for hundreds of years. Typically, one would see the use of iron on a home’s exteriors.
“Some might reason the recent popularity of ironwork is further expression of the outdoors-in and the indoors-out trend,” she says. “Also, over the past 10 to 20 years we’ve been experiencing an industrial trend in residential furnishings. And wrought iron is a way to apply the ‘metal’ look in a more traditional setting.”
Hollie Knight of David Patton Construction says, “Ornamental ironwork has grown in popularity in the home over the past decade—it is found on exterior doors, stairs, railings (mostly as balusters), decorative rods for window treatments, and more.”
She adds that David Patton’s customers like “different, new, and custom work. Ornamental iron enhances and compliments the style homes that are popular (Old World, French Country, Tuscan, etc.). Customers favor ironwork for its inherent strength and aesthetic qualities,” she says.
Ken Arthur with Image Design Stairs suggests that a cost-effective way to upgrade a home’s interior is to replace wooden balusters with wrought iron ones. “It is an effective and affordable way to significantly enhance the appearance of your home,” he says.
Herndon & Merry, Inc., a family-owned and operated business founded in 1959, produces and installs custom architectural metalwork including driveway gates, garden gates, fending, balconies, drapery rods, interior and stairway railings, doors, and numerous one-of-a-kind items. Sister company Franklin Ironworks, in business for over 23 years, specializes in fabrication and installation of interior and exterior handrails, balcony rails, wall rails, entry gates, estate gates, and other wrought iron products.
Ferrin Iron Works specializes in handcrafting original works utilizing both blacksmithing and other metalworking techniques. Andrew Ferrin says the company’s work draws beauty from the vitality of the steel. Techniques include welding, forging, bending, melting, building, creating, collaborating, and repairing with all types of metals including carbon steel, stainless steel, copper, bronze, brass, zinc, and more.
Offering a range of doors, Classic Doors features, among others, GlassCraft doors from Buffalo Forge, according to Ken Doran.
There are a number of local sources for ornamental ironwork including:
David Patton Construction
Franklin Iron Works
Image Design Stairs
Iron Lion Entries
Herndon & Merry, Inc.
Modern Iron Concepts