I grew up sleeping in an antique iron bed that my parents still have in a guest room. Its style is way too "antique-y" for my taste. Perhaps this is why metal beds haven't been on my design radar for years.

But today's innovative designs have forced me to take a new look at this category. The basic iron or brass bed design has been reshaped into exciting new forms. New finishes, different metals and manufacturing techniques make metal beds one of the most innovative things happening.

The last big change was the re­introduction of the upholstered bed. Now everyone at every price point has a fabric-covered bed in their collections. This usually heralds the end of a design trend, giving way for a new player. Could it be the metal bed?

Wesley Allen has long set the standard for iron beds. Their styles range from traditional to modern. It's these modern, contemporary frames that I find extremely interesting. The Lugan bed is a wonderful example of what happens when designers take traditional metals like tin and iron, and hammer, forge and finish them in distinctive ways.

Urban dwellers need to consider the benefits of metal beds. Their sleek lines and dark finishes float in a small bedroom, giving it more visual space. The Sunset, also by Wesley Allen, has a rectangular metal shape based on the Chinese character for the sun.

If curves are more your style, consider Bob Mackey's new C/O Metal Bed by American Drew. The S-shaped curves of metal have a flat brass finish, a fresh new twist on the traditional brass bed.

Mixing and matching furniture pieces is the new way to create interesting bedroom decor. Gone are the matching suites. To refresh your bedroom, try replacing your matching wooden bed with a metal one.

If you are starting from scratch, think about using a small wooden chest as a nightstand on one side of a metal bed, and a round table on the other. Recycle a dining-room cabinet as a dresser. Splash on a coat of color to make it more interesting. Purchase some fun lamps that carry that color back over to the side tables. Keep your bedding neutral if you're adding colorful furniture.

You'll discover a metal bed that fits perfectly into your existing or desired decor. They are virtually indestructible and come in a variety of sizes, finishes and styles. I've moved them from my "What's Not" to my "What's New" list.

Designer and home-improvement expert Vicki Payne is host and producer of "For Your Home," available on PBS, Create TV and in national and international syndication.