Living Finishes

Savage Design has made a design decision to work with honest materials that speak for themselves, such as brass and marine grade stainless steel.

In our design process we consider the following as necessary considerations for Engineered Beauty:

The senses;




The senses

There is a beauty and honesty inherent in materials interacting with their lived environment. We are all familiar with the aesthetics of time and place seen in reclaimed timbers, heritage bricks, and bronze statues. Savage Design honours this visual connection and evolution by encouraging our products/designs to live their own life and tell their own visual journey, without the unnecessary interference of coatings. Our metal is left raw without the unnecessary interference of coatings leaving the outer surface to oxidise and burnish to develop a unique patina.

Depending on its use and the environment that it is exposed to expect to see the following things:

· Burnishing

· Colour changes

· Watermarking

· Spotting

Each surface will be interacted with differently, the environments they are each exposed to are not the same, and the cleaning isn’t uniform. As a result, each Savage Design piece will become one of a kind and will wear the story of its interactions with the world at large. Individual

components supplied will have begun this story from the moment they leave the machining bays of their creation and will patina differently to one another from the start.

Functionality & Value

Though the visible surface changes, the structural integrity of the item will not. We choose to work with brass and marine grade stainless because of their excellent resistance to corrosion, and ability to be used outdoors particularly in our harsh Australian environment. If you are seeking a finish which “doesn’t age” our stainless steel finish is for you, it is 316 grade and reacts to its environment very, very slowly indeed – almost unchanging.

The alternative to Savage Design’s preference for living finishes to is to look at using coatings. These rarely have a good life-span on high-touch metals, and can look tired very quickly. We have made a deliberate decision based on experience in our own manufacturing, and also refurbishing other companies’ products in the past, to avoid coatings in this context, letting the material speak for itself and avoiding high refurbishment costs for our clients downstream.


As designers and lovers of fine spaces we, and the industry we are in, spend a lot of time talking about ‘the environment’ as a space, an experience. It is clear to us at Savage Design that this use of the word cannot be separated from the natural environment within which we are all situated. Much is made of reducing the impact of manufacturing by using ‘greener’ processes – but what about just removing processes? By steering away from unnecessary coating on our pieces we eliminate the impact of an entire process, not just reduce the impact of that process.

Coatings such as plating or lacquering not only add an extra manufacturing process, they also add coating refurbishment processes. This repeats this environmental cost each time a coating fails.

While some coatings are better than others for the environment, many use or are made up of chemicals that we ultimately don’t want our staff handling, nor do we want to be the cause of needing to dispose of them. Some coatings also mean that the metal cannot be recycled or need another process before recycling can take place.

Looking to know more about metals and their finishes? We offer a CPD session on metals in architecture and interiors. Contact our team to find out more.

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