A year of metal inspirations in home design

Happy Lunar New Year and welcome to the Year of the Metal Rat! Why are we as home builders and remodelers excited about this? According to Chinese horoscope, 2020 is a year of creative energy and successful projects… if carefully planned. Sounds like a good year to get that design+build project underway with a reputable company!

And since Silent Rivers has always excelled at careful planning AND incorporating metal into our designs, we give you inspiration in these designs featuring metal… and no rats.

living room remodel Des Moines gas fireplace custom cabinets

Warm wood tones balanced with metal accents adds to the Zen-like energy of this remodeled home in Des Moines.


Year of the Metal Rat explained

This is an excellent year for new beginnings (we’re thinking of new custom homes) and renewals (remodeling, of course.) This is because the Rat is the first sign among the 12 animals in Chinese Astrology. Why?

The myth says the Jade Emperor determined the order of the animals by the order in which they arrived at his party. The clever Rat came up with a smart plan. Rat tricked Ox into giving him a ride. As they arrived at the party, Rat simply jumped down and landed in front of Ox. Through creative planning, Rat became the first animal to casually stroll across the finish line ahead of everyone else.

Rats are clever, quick thinkers; successful and content with living a quiet, peaceful life.”

(check out their fun description of people born in years of the Rat)

New initiatives undertaken in the year 2020 are anticipated to be successful if carefully planned and measured. It is thought that all decisions made during this “new cycle” year will influence the next 12 years.

Pantone Color of the Year 2020 Classic BlueHmmm… 12 years. Interesting to note that national trends show homes are remodeled every 10-15 years. Therefore with this being a year of new beginnings for all projects, 2020 is a perfect year to do a large remodeling project with a design+build company known for good project planning! (Rest assured, our emphasis on timeless design and lasting durability results in projects that last far longer than 10-15 years.)

For a fun look at your 2020 horoscope according to the year you were born, check out Chinese Horoscope 2020 – Year of the Metal Rat.

And if you’re into Feng Shui, check out Feng Shui 2020: Lucky Color for Year of the Rat. This may or may not have something to do with the 2020 Pantone Color of the Year being blue. We love how it’s described by Architectural Digest.


Metal Inspirations in Home Design

What can we say? We love incorporating metal into our designs! So many stellar looks can be created when metal is incorporated. Flooring, stainless steel countertops, raw steel fireplace, steel pipe as shelf brackets, towel bars – and yes – even as toilet paper holder. Add the following inspirations to your idea file for that remodeling project we will help you carefully plan in 2020.

modern style white and wood Des Moines bathroom remodel by Silent Rivers

While 2020 is a year of metal, a timeless approach to incorporating metal in your design ensures your home long outlasts trends. This Des Moines bathroom remodel achieves a clean, modern and airy atmosphere with timeless appeal. The look remains warm, and it’s not only because of the warm wood tones. Anchoring the connection between the brushed stainless steel faucets and sconces is a hammered raw steel mirror frame. Notice how it adds an organic feel to this modern space. See more of this bathroom remodel »


brass and metal accents in Art Deco bathroom remodel of Des Moines loft by Silent Rivers

What a powerful mix of metals and black! Brass and chrome unite in a glamorous Art Deco bathroom remodel. Chrome legs on the artful Kallista sink highlight the exposed polished plumbing. Topping off the vanity is a set of brass sconces flanking a gold mirror. Brass inlay tile creates a stunning focal point in the tub and shower area. Accenting the beautiful black walls and wainscot is a set of shelves that we veneered with brass. Notice how everything sparkles in this dramatic space, including the chrome push-button light switches!   More on this Art Deco loft remodel »


art deco bathroom remodels by Silent Rivers in Des Moines

Now for a brighter take on Art Deco using a different approach to metal accents. In this Des Moines home, we remodeled the guest bathroom and master bathroom, both in that iconic 1930s style. The bathroom on the left features chrome legs on the sink, as well as chrome accents in the lighting and plumbing fixtures. The bathroom on the right features a custom vanity in Birdseye Maple with chrome knobs and pulls featuring a three-line detail symbolic of this era. A metal accent strip in the flooring defines the two types of tile used in this space.


penny round tile flooring is bordered by white marble flooring under a custom bathroom vanity cabinets with legs in Des Moines bathroom by remodeler Silent Rivers

Here is another example of a metal accent strip in bathroom flooring. In this vintage bathroom remodel, a metal accent strip provides a transition between the penny round tile and the room’s border tile. What a difference it makes to add that sparkling edge detail! See more of this vintage bathroom remodel »


modern metal accents in Brown Camp Loft in downtown Des Moines by Silent Rivers

As you can see metal can be used in a wide array of styles. In this post-modern style gem we built several years ago, metal appears in some unexpected places. A metal channel defines the edges of the sleek white cabinets, defining their shape amidst the while walls. Metal grid stairs behind the kitchen lead to a futuristic bathroom with a curved brushed stainless steel vanity. The look might remind one of a spacecraft, yet this is a condo in downtown Des Moines’ Brown Camp Lofts. See more of this condo remodel »


galvanized metal pipes as towel rack and toilet paper holder in Des Moines loft remodel by Silent Rivers

In this industrial-style bathroom remodel, we used metal pipes to create towel bars, shelf brackets, a robe hook, and a whimsical toilet paper holder. The red metal valve adds a fun pop of color! Different sizes of pipe, elbows and round floor plates can be assembled in a variety of ways. Here, the shower even continues the metal theme. The curtain rod is made of silver pipe and brushed stainless steel shelves are integrated into the wood-look tile. See more of this loft remodel »


double vanity maple and steel refaced cabinets in Johnston bathroom by remodeler Silent Rivers

Here’s another bathroom remodel where metal pipes were configured as towel bars. We refaced the vanity with maple and steel. A special patina created by the talented Silent Rivers Woodshop adds dimension and texture to this gorgeous metal accent. The look is rich, earthy and unexpected. And it’s very timeless.


custom cabinets in maple with steel inserts in Johnston, IA kitchen remodel by Silent Rivers Design+Build

The bathroom above was inspired by the kitchen remodel we did in this Johnston home in 2005. That’s 15 years ago and this kitchen design still looks fabulous! The timeless look of the metal cabinet inserts and raw steel shelves continues to inspire. As an added bonus, all the metal makes a great place for magnets. See more of this Johnston home remodel »


Door hardware made of railroad ties accent beautifully clean and simple millwork in barn style custom new home in St. Charles, Iowa designed and built by Silent Rivers of Des Moines

A very creative use of metal, this custom home features door handles made out of railroad spikes. The sculptural look was achieved with the help of a blacksmith. The artistry is further enhanced by the steel barn door tracks on which these crisp white doors operate so smoothly.

Floating steel and bridge plank lumber stairs in barn style custom new home in St. Charles, Iowa designed and built by Silent Rivers of Des Moines features a wagon wheel light fixture

In that same custom home, you’ll find a splendid staircase incorporating a delightful mix of metal. Supporting the bridge plank steps is a raw steel frame and railing. Making a large statement above the stairs is a custom light fixture made of a metal hay wheel.  Industrial farmhouse style at its finest, and there’s more. See this custom home’s steel fireplaces »


urban industrial Des Moines loft remodel metal accents Silent Rivers

Raw steel makes a bold statement in this urban warehouse loft remodel. From countertop support brackets to rolling door tracks, metal is used throughout to complement this condo’s exposed metal pipes and venting. Paired with brick accents and a mix of wood tones, the look stays warm and inviting. More on this urban loft remodel »


Close and make-up area with birch shelves built around concrete column next to stainless steel trough sink in downtown Des Moines loft remodel by Silent Rivers Stainless steel trough sink in downtown Des Moines loft remodel by Silent Rivers

Stainless steel countertops are used throughout this downtown loft for a completely unique look. We designed the bathroom with an easy-to-clean makeup station that wraps around the concrete support beam. On the other side is an oversized stainless steel trough sink with dual wall-mounted faucets. Long metal drawer pulls are integrated into the custom teal-pigmented vanity.

metal and birch entertainment center desk divider in Des Moines loft by Silent Rivers

In that same downtown loft, a raw steel and birch divider separates the living area from the bedroom. On the bedroom side is a desk, while the living side features an entertainment center. This clever shelving and storage unit features brackets designed to make a statement. Similar to the bathroom vanity, long metal handles are integrated into the cabinets. Ready for one more very cool example of how we used metal in the design of this loft?

Downtown Des Moines loft remodel features a 16 foot kitchen island with natural raw maple tree stump as a support, design and built by Silent Rivers

Year of the Metal Rat might have found a favorite example! This giant 16′ island is topped with a stainless steel counter supported by a natural Silver Maple tree stump. We custom cut the steel counter around the organic shape of the stump for a very earthy contrast to the metal. The counter complements the stainless steel backsplash and its subtle shimmer effect with the undercabinet lights. See all the fun metal accents of this remodeling project »


As you can see, a carefully planned design for your remodeling project or custom new home can incorporate metal in a timeless way. Long after the Year of the Metal Rat has come to pass, your metal accents will still look gorgeous. Meanwhile, consider a 2020 project while the horoscopes predict creative success!

Let’s talk about your 2020 remodeling project or custom new home »


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