How Much Do We Love Wrought Iron?

Goldie Hawn’s Malibu Mansion Helps Us Count the Ways

First-time visitors to the Eiffel Tower are surprised when they see this
mass of steel curves, scrolls and other delicate ironwork. How could
anyone make lace out of steel? French engineer Alexandre-Gustave
Eiffel did, earning the title of “magician of iron” after the tower’s 1889
Parisian debut, reports Biography.com.

Eiffel — like blacksmiths and ironworkers centuries before him — knew
that, behind its rock-hard exterior, wrought iron could be as beautiful
as it was functional.

Wrought Iron’s Practical Beginnings

In ancient times, wrought iron was the material of choice for weapons
and tools, according to Timeless Wrought Iron, makers of artisan-crafted
wrought iron furniture, décor and accessories. By the 16th
century, artisans were crafting wrought iron into decorative items,
such as details in European cathedrals, balconies in Spain and
gateways in France.

In the U.S., the use of raw wrought iron peaked in the 1860s, with the
demand for warships and railways. During the next 100 years, the
demand for wrought iron in mass production gradually diminished.
By the 1970s, a more affordable iron-based metal called “mile steel”
replaced raw wrought iron. Much of the products manufactured today
as “wrought iron” are, in fact, made of mild steel, according to
Timeless Wrought Iron.

The Fine Art of Wrought-Iron Forging

Artisans, blacksmiths and other iron workers are still transforming
wrought iron into graceful curves, twists, scrolls and other ornamental
forms. This fine art is now used primarily to replicate the highest
quality in wrought iron chairs, tables, lanterns and other furnishings,
or to restore and conserve vintage wrought iron items.

Today, wrought iron furniture, lighting and accessories continue to
give homes and gardens enduring beauty and distinction. Actor Goldie
Hawn’s Malibu mansion exemplifies both.

Wrought Iron Versatility in Ms. Hawn’s Eclectic Home

A mix of the classic, the contemporary and the exotic is the hallmark
of Ms. Hawn’s Malibu mansion. It’s not unusual to find a mix of décor
in a single room. Abstract art hangs above a colonial-style mahogany
desk in one ground-floor room. A grand stairway with old-world carved
spindles connects the ground floor and balcony, in contrast with the
clean, contemporary lines of the home’s architecture.

Appraised at $14,749,000, Ms. Hawn’s seaside home has expansive glass
walls and ceilings that make indoor and outdoor spaces appear inseparable.
In one of Ms. Hawn’s garden spaces, two Asian-inspired wrought iron
lanterns flank a rustic wooden door. The black, square-body lanterns,
with semi-flat caps, are mounted on sandy-colored stone walls. The
façade is reminiscent of tropical gardens in the South Pacific.

The dramatic contrast between the black garden lanterns and light
stone walls is repeated in a second entryway. In a sunny sitting area
filled with lush potted plants, another black wrought iron lantern hangs
over a yellow upholstered bench. The lantern serves as a sconce,
rendering the space casual and decorative, with more South Pacific
charm.

No home with outdoor space for a garden or recreational area should
be without a patio table and chairs, a chaise lounge or two, and
touches of outdoor art in the form of garden stakes or trellises.

Wrought iron offers the durability and beauty homeowners look for in
outdoor furnishings. Wrought iron outdoor seating was artfully selected
for Ms. Hawn’s lawn and garden accessories.

In keeping with the black wrought iron theme, a natural stone, floor-to-
ceiling fireplace has authentic-looking doors encasing the hearth
and fireplace tools.

A bathroom in the style of an ancient palace has an ornate mirror and
sconces on a geometric-patterned wall covering. Wrought iron fixtures
complete the lavish look.

Wrought iron comes in an array of finishes to blend in or contrast with any décor.
Besides the traditional natural black, finishes include bronze, pewter, brass,
gunmetal, antique copper, ivory, brown and rust. Gold and copper accent finishes
also are available. For added beauty, finishes are often hand-rubbed.

Versatility in styles and finishes makes wrought iron an exceptional
choice for indoor and outdoor home furnishings, as Ms. Hawn’s Malibu
mansion demonstrates so well.

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NOTE: This article was written for a realtor with the confidential listing for Ms. Hawn’s home.

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