“We’re forging people’s dreams.”
Although it might seem unlikely, you can give your home a contemporary feel by turning to an ancient craft. Opting for custom wrought iron or other metals rather than wood combines proven longevity with endless design choices, according to Tony Medina, vice president of marketing and sales as well as the designer at Baltic Iron Doors/Naddour’s Ornamental Iron in Santa Ana. Though the company is known for wrought iron, it also uses other metals to create one-of-a-kind pieces.
Works of art. Part of what Medina has come to love about working with metal is the design process. He says that the artisans, many of whom have been with the company since it started in 1983, can create any desired design, no matter how large or small. “People are shocked at how amazing it is,” he says about the artisans’ ability to shape the materials. “They bring the metals to life.”
Built to last. While the designs may look delicate, the products’ longevity is legendary when the metal is finished properly. Medina says that to ensure the wrought-iron pieces will last, the artisans forgo powder-coating and instead use a hot zinc process to prevent rusting. “It’s especially good outdoors, but it’s good indoors as well, especially near the beach,” he says.
Below, Medina suggests three ways to incorporate wrought iron and other metals into your home.
1. Find Your Style
If you like wrought iron but your home is a more contemporary style, don’t despair. Although it’s most common in Tuscan-style homes, “you can create any design you want,” Medina says. For example, clients in Laguna Niguel wanted a wrought-iron staircase railing but were looking for a design that fit with their preferred transitional style.
Medina sketched a vine-inspired look that was both fluid and airy. “They asked if that was really possible,” he says. The resulting railing, seen here, and matching pattern on the front doors give the home a more modern touch and provide a nice contrast to the white walls and marble floors.
2. Make It Shine
Looking for a show-stopping feature? Consider something that will come to life at night. “Don’t think you have to limit your look,” Medina says. Clients in the Holmby Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles asked for a modern design that hadn’t been seen before for the banister and railing in the custom home seen here.
Medina created a railing of polished pewter to echo the angles that define the house. The surface reflects the light from the multiple overhead fixtures as well as the lighting underneath the bullnose of the steps. The result is a staircase that appears to glow at night.
3. Add Local Flair
Create a design that plays off your surroundings. For a contemporary home in the Balboa area of Newport Beach, that took the form of the railing seen here, positioned between the kitchen/dining area and the seating area overlooking the ocean.
Rather than copying the straight lines in the home’s other railings, Medina designed gently curving stainless steel arcs to give the “showcase” railing a wave-inspired look and reflect the home’s waterfront location. “It was very difficult to weld,” he says, but the result provided the clean look the homeowners wanted and the durability the location needed.