Metal recycling is an easy way to add character to a space while still appearing modern and minimalist for Melbourne appeal. A durable material that’s easy to clean, metal never goes out of style and is easy to maintain in a home. At Metal Men Recycling, we specialise in recycling metal but too often metal and recyclable objects go to waste. To help the environment, our Melbourne metal recycling experts explore easy ways to upcycle your metal products into decorations inspired by industrial design.
Industrial interiors — Origin and metal usage
Factories of the 1700s were built for durability and fire safety, with large windows, unpainted walls and open-plan spaces. After the industrial revolution, industrial design emerged to modernise and revive plain warehouses for more widespread usage. This is why concrete and brick walls are a common feature of industrial décor, combined with exposed metal pipes and structural metal beams to create that effortless vibe. Nowadays, modern and minimalist homes hide structural metal pipes and beams, so upcycled metal features and fixtures are common accents of industrial-inspired interiors.
Achieve this look with your own upcycled metal
Decorating with industrial accent pieces is all about mixing cooler metal tones, raw materials and textures while emphasising the original framing, floors and bricks of your homes. If you’re looking to replicate this vintage and minimalist style, here are three easy methods of upcycling metal to decorate your home and help the environment.
1. Old metal pipes
Exposed pipes are a staple of industrial design. Brass and copper are favoured in pipes and plumbing due to their corrosion-resistant properties, which allows them to serve as hardy design accents. If you have any exposed pipes available, be sure to embellish them by painting your interiors with a neutral tone. Unfortunately, not everyone has the benefit of having exposed metal plumbing without the necessity of a costly renovation.
You can still draw inspiration from this style by using old metal pipes from plumbing or iron bed frames as finishes around the home. This can be as simple as repurposing pipe bends as eccentric door handles or resting timber across two metal pipe bends to build rustic open shelves. If you have the skills, metal pipes can also be repurposed into furniture such as chairs and table legs.
2. Tin cans
Consider peeling off the labels of metal cans to use as industrial pieces of art or storage. Larger coffee tins can become kitchen storage for cooking utensil, and smaller, tin-coated cans such as diced tomato tins or soda cans can serve as pots for plants suspended along wire frames made from bent coat hangers.
A great way of upcycling tin cans for an industrial look is to spray paint them in gold for a bold accent. You can also add texture to your home by slightly crumpling them or taking a hammer to them for a pattern that adds extra visual interest! Tin can be recycled over and over again but unfortunately, the global recycling rate is very low. Upcycling is a great way to ensure that these recyclables don’t end up in the waste!
3. Scrapyard finds
Rustic features can be added with worn-out second-hand items salvaged from scrap yards or vintage ware stores for an easy industrial fix. Be sure to decorate with industrial accessories like factory parts and distressed timber to create that easy, blend of old and new materials. Old metal machine parts can be spray painted and used as bookends, tarnished gears can be layered across the wall as an industrial art feature, and wrought iron pieces built for outdoor use can be placed inside for a dramatic, metal look.
When collecting scrap metal, be sure to adhere to all safety tips. Wear protective clothing including gloves and goggles and wipe down the surface with soapy water to remove any possible chemical residue. If you suffer any sort of irritation by coming into contact with scrap metal, it is important to seek medical help.
Looking to recycle metal in Melbourne?
Completed your upcycling project but still have scrap metal to spare? Metal Men Recycling is available for all your metal recycling needs with a 24-hour pickup around Melbourne. We buy a range of scrap metal including aluminium, copper, stainless steel and brass for an easy decluttering solution with many environmental benefits.
If you would like to sell scrap metal in Melbourne or learn more about the many environmental benefits of scrap metal recycling, give us a call on 03 5941 6677 or contact us by filling out our online enquiry form today.