Inside Out: An Overview of Stainless Steel in Interior Design

Inside Out: An Overview of Stainless Steel in Interior Design
Photo by Francisco Suarez / Unsplash

Inside Out: Stainless Steel in Interior Design

The use of stainless steel is not confined to the impressive exteriors of modern architectural marvels. It's also a material that's prized for its functionality and aesthetic appeal in interior design, used in everything from striking decorative elements to highly practical applications. This blog post, which is part two of a four-part series, provides an overview of the use of stainless steel in both commercial and residential interior design.

Stainless Steel in Commercial Interiors

In commercial interiors, particularly in sectors such as food service, healthcare, and hospitality, stainless steel is the material of choice due to its hygienic properties and ease of cleaning. For example, commercial kitchens often utilize stainless steel for work surfaces, backsplashes, and appliances. Its resistance to heat and staining makes it the perfect material for environments where cleanliness is paramount and where surfaces are subject to heavy use.

Similarly, in the healthcare sector, stainless steel is used extensively due to its non-porous nature and resistance to bacteria and other pathogens. Operating rooms, laboratory counters, medical equipment, and even handrails in hospitals often use stainless steel to maintain a high standard of cleanliness.

Stainless Steel in Residential Interiors

In residential interiors, stainless steel is celebrated for its sleek, modern aesthetic. It's frequently used in kitchen designs, where stainless steel appliances, sinks, and countertops contribute to a contemporary, professional kitchen look. In bathrooms, stainless steel fixtures such as taps, shower heads, and even towel rails offer a stylish, clean, and durable option.

Stainless steel isn't just for kitchens and bathrooms, though. It's increasingly being used in living areas and bedrooms, too. Furniture pieces like tables and chairs can feature stainless steel elements for a modern touch. Fireplace surrounds, stair railings, and door hardware made from stainless steel can also add to the design aesthetic of a space, tying in the interior design with a broader architectural theme.

Decorative Aspects of Stainless Steel

In terms of decorative elements, stainless steel can be formed into various shapes and textures, offering a broad spectrum of options for interior designers. Sculptures, wall panels, and light fixtures made of stainless steel can create focal points within a space. The material's reflective qualities can also contribute to the sense of space and light within a room, adding to the overall ambiance.

Furthermore, stainless steel can be finished in a number of ways. It can be polished to a high gloss for a smooth, reflective surface, or it can be brushed or sandblasted for a more textured, matte finish. This versatility enables designers to use stainless steel in a way that complements and enhances the overall interior design scheme.


Stainless steel's durability, aesthetic versatility, and hygienic properties make it a prevalent choice for both commercial and residential interiors. From practical applications like kitchen work surfaces to decorative elements like sculptural light fixtures, stainless steel plays a significant role in interior design. Its ability to adapt to a wide range of styles and settings further cements its position as a valuable material in contemporary design, not just on the outside of buildings, but inside them as well.