Ah, Wayfair, how do we love thee? As a home goods and decor site, Wayfair consistently charms us with its free shipping—sans subscription!—and a product selection to rival Amazon’s home goods section in both price and variety. You want a massive, horse-shaped bench? Wayfair’s got you. Need a Don Draper-worthy coffee table? Done.
“Steelside” might sound like a lot of things, from a processing center for building materials to the latest erotic novel by Danielle Steel, but it’s actually a brand new furniture and decor line (with a unique aesthetic) at Wayfair. And given Wayfair’s pedigree for featuring affordable but expensive-looking furniture, we couldn’t wait to see why the Waybabes are trying to make Steelside happen, and if they succeeded.
Think of Steelside as “soft industrial” design. It feels like a more breathable version of the 2000s industrialism that graced such hallowed design ground as CB2 and Restoration Hardware, whose aviation-inspired pieces can be clocked by my fellow reality TV goblins as the office desks on Selling Sunset. The line does have some lovely Brutalist tendencies for Ricardo Bofill buffs, but the Southwestern rugs and raw wooden forms feel far more JB Blunk, woodcarver-off-duty cool than dorky Wright Brothers-core. Just remember: Peak Steelside decor is found not in motif, but material, so stay away from that propeller art unless you are 12 years old, or really into planes.
If you dig industrial design, but hate when it starts to feel too bro-centered, Steelside is also a sigh of relief. When the aesthetic focuses on earthy, minimalist materials and lived-in finishes, it pulls the vibe away from cringe, rustic, man-cave decor, and instead features tables, lamps, and loveseats that take inspiration from the spartan silhouettes of Japandi design, and even a sprinkle of 1950s Googie architecture. The furniture feels substantial, but not overwhelming; it’s the ideal design base for layering your home with tchotchkes, textured throws, and bouquets of eucalyptus. It feels organic, personal, and—in the words of the Frasier character Niles Crane—“homey, but just hard enough to pronounce to intimidate the riff-raff.”
We’ve perused the entire line’s furniture and bedding, living room pieces, and more to give you the best Steelside pieces at every price range for zhuzhing up your apartment—just in time for spring. Wayfair is also offering up to 70% off during its President’s Day sale, which is a great excuse to give your living room a little bit of love, and cross over to the Steelside of life.
An inviting leather lounger
Our beef with a lot of mid-century reading chairs is that they look sexy, but not always that inviting. The Wassily chair is a work of art, but we would rather choke on an ice cube than read in it for an hour. Apartment living calls for furniture that works double time, and you deserve a chair that is both pleasant to look at and sit in, and the Akeem is one of the line’s best-rated pieces. It even comes with a little slot for your book or remote.
A minimalist chair with girth
This is what we call a primo “spare chair.” We’re referring, of course, to the kind of chair that collects books and groceries, or caters to the tuckus of an unexpected dinner guest. That’s why it’s crucial to have a spare chair that doesn’t take up much visual space, but has more girth than your average fold-out chair. The “Storm” has a 4.6-star rating, with customers saying they’re “industrial, modern, and [of] generous size but not heavy looking.”
The best loveseat
This is the kind of loveseat that you could find on Article, whose sofa doppelganger is going for a whopping $1,899. “We love this couch!” writes one Wayfair reviewer of the faux-leather loveseat, which is fashioned from real wood materials. “The distressed look is so cute. We were worried it was going to look cheap but it is far from it. It is very comfortable as well.”
The best accent mirrors
A key part of our design gospel is to find more decor that lets you bask in your glorious reflection throughout the day. These accent mirrors from the Steelside collection aren’t your standard square or circular mirror, and instead walk the line between wall art, shelving, and another way for you to blow yourself kisses. The rustic, wooden trio is perfect for witches and lumbersexuals alike, while the Devonte shelf mirror is a great way of not only regrouping, but highlighting some of your most precious odds and ends.
An area rug that lets people know you have a ‘New Yorker’ subscription
The Southwestern-inspired Astoria rug has a 4.8-star rating, and customers are saying it won’t lose its coloring in the sun, that it feels “soft underfoot,” and that it’s easy to clean if you have pets.
A well-equipped media center
Do you love mid-century design, but feel a little tired of seeing cocked legs on every piece of MCM furniture? Then this sultry piece has come to your rescue. Known as the “Hendrix,” the top-rated media stand can fit your TV and/or record player, and comes with plenty of interior storage. Take it home while it’s a whopping 55% off the original price.
The best Steelside lighting
Perhaps you already have all the big-ticket furniture you need, but you’d like to swap out the rose gold and marble lamp you bought in 2016? (Same.) Steelside has quite a few minimalist lamps that would look great on a reading or accent table thanks to their sleek silhouettes and Brutalist materials. Plus, the Crewe even comes with its own USB port.
Minimalist bar stools
We love the look of custom wooden furniture, but boy, the price can be steep. The chestnut-colored “Abington” chairs are made of solid acacia wood, and will bring a little bit of welcome texture to your kitchen island or outdoor space, because they look far more expensive than they are. “I searched for this style for a looong time,” writes one reviewer, “and battled between a few. I couldn’t be happier with these! They’re solid wood & much heavier than expected.”
A statement wooden coffee table
Nothing says, “I have taste, but I’m down to earth” than a massive hunk of wood working double-time as a coffee table. A piece like this will anchor the entire room, and beautifully offset every vase, catch-all, and meticulously stacked pile of TASCHEN art books.
But if you’re not keen on losing any floor space, the Annabel is another great option. It’s crafted out of buttery mango wood and has rimmed edges that will make it harder for your cat to knock off any errant glassware.
Steelside sconces kick ass
The iron material on these babies will be offset by the softness of your plants, and climbers including pothos and philodendrons will especially love to wind up their curved sides.
We’ve learned the hard way that burning candles too close to the wall is fun and vibey for about 10 minutes, and then you realize you’ve got a bunch of smoke residue to clean up on the wall. So when Saint Steelside offers covered candle wall sconces, we smash that order button.
Frasier Crane’s sheets
Don’t be deceived by Steelside’s obsession with iron: It also loves a set of cozy sheets. We’ve always wanted some sexy black bedding, and this subtly striped set definitely feels like something Frasier Crane, or at least a hot vampire, would own. Of course they also come in Burgundy.
Happy zhuzhing, Steelers.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.