Designer furniture captures the beauty of steel

Wednesday 23 July 2014  |  Posted by: Rod Hanna

What is it about steel? “I love designing with steel” says Designers’ Collection owner and designer Rod Hanna.

Designers' Collection has been designing, sourcing and tailor-making furniture for New Zealand's leading Interior Architects and Designers for over 28 years. One of the distinctive characteristics of their designs is how effectively they utilise the beneficial qualities of steel with other materials to create aesthetically pleasing and highly functional furniture that is easily tailored to individual tastes.

"Steel has a natural organic quality and stoic robustness that somehow resonates with our engrained New Zealandness. Its inherent strength allows us to create an aesthetic fineness that accentuates shape. Its intrinsic neutrality allows it to blend harmoniously with other materials like timber, stone and glass."

Designers' Collection uses steel in creating dining tables, coffee tables, side tables, shelving and consoles.

Their new Skyline Console typifies the finest qualities of the marriage between sculptured steel and hand-crafted oak. The Skyline Console's lines create a simple yet sophisticated form. The hand wire-brushed oak is heavily grained and enticingly tactile.  It creates an appealing juxtaposition to the clean matt finish of the steel base that cleverly wraps around it. The distinctly divergent characteristics of these materials amplify the richness and individuality of the French oak.

Skyline Console Table

The simple elegance of the Skyline Console's shape helps it compliment a wide range of settings and situations and it will effectively hero art-pieces, heirlooms and treasures displayed upon it. Their Skyline design has also been created as a coffee table and writing desk.

Dining Tables

Steel lends itself to sculpturing shapes that cannot be created or are extremely costly to create in timber. The intrinsic strength of steel allows fine profiles to be used adding greater emphasis to shapes and allowing table tops to float more freely on their bases.  Designers' Collection's Seville table features interlinking curved legs and stretchers giving it an ornate and elegant note.

The simplicity of the Xavier table's cross-legged structure is visually strong and is recessed away from the seating area allowing the free flow of diners around the table.  Steel can also be galvanised for outdoor use.

serville table

xavier table

Side Tables and Consoles

The ability to use fine gauge steel allows Designers' Collection to create highly functional side tables and consoles. These play a support role to the dominant furniture in a setting, while adding interest through artistic form and with the inclusion of interesting and eye-catching materials on the table tops.

Rod Hanna's Ring table cleverly interlinks two ring shaped forms to fashion an intriguing silhouette that can be scaled to suit its environment and can be enhanced with the introduction of colour.

Ring Table


The Rod Table by Cameron Foggo of Nonn Design employs fine circular steel to great affect with its distinctive labyrinth of legs.

Rod Table 2

Coffee Tables

The relative neutrality of steel allows it to be blended easily with a raft of other materials like timber, glass and stone. This allows Interior Designers and Architects to exploit the same design across a range of clients altering the look considerably through the use of different table tops and base effects.

Stainless steel can be used in a polished or brushed form. Steel can be black etched, powder-coated or be individually hand painted like many of Designers' Collection's bases are.

Planked rustic oak is inserted into the top of this Brooklyn Coffee Table. A shelf is added and the steel is hand painted with a black bronze effect.

brooklyn coffee table


This classic Mandolin coffee table demonstrates the sculptural shape that can be crafted in beaten steel. The base is embellished with a hand-painted antique bronze effect with further glamour delivered through the inset of a mirror glass top.

mandolin coffee table

Designers' Collection's Java Coffee Table illustrates steel bent in a circular fashion resulting in a centre-piece that allows easy movement throughout its setting.  The table top is hand-painted to give it a highly personalised look and an impactful patina.  This table also lends itself to a marble or glass top and can be made as a side table.

java table

So what is it about steel?

It is highly adaptable to create a myriad of different shapes, while maintaining a fineness that is difficult to design and craft in other materials.

It has an intrinsic quality that allows it to blend seamlessly with other materials resulting in furniture that is not only highly functional but also appealing to the most discerning eye.

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