“There was a time when mixing metals, whether in home décor or jewelry, was considered a faux pas. While the idea still meets resistance with some, designs that employ a strict rule of not mixing metals often fall flat… mixing and matching metals is a sure-fire way to bring a layered richness to any space.”
Not long ago I was standing in line to check out at the grocery store, and a lady said to me, “You dress so youthful.” At my age, that definitely caught my attention! I had on nothing more than my exercise clothes. Then she proceeded to tell me that she had read recently that in order to look more youthful, you should not match your purse to your shoes. Remember when the style was to match everything? Not just in fashion but in the home? To be “in style” meant matching, wood tones and style, the end tables and coffee table and all the pieces in the bedroom, family room and dining room… it all had to match! This look may be neat, but it can result in a predictable, boring décor.
I am often asked the question, “Is it okay to mix the metal finishes in my home?” Most often the homes of folks who ask were built in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and all the hardware in their home is polished brass. You can open a “can of worms” when you start replacing all the door and cabinet hardware and light fixtures, plus spend a great deal of money doing so. Yes, it is okay to mix the metal finishes in your home, and in doing so, you will add depth and visual interest to your space.
Keep these thoughts in mind when mixing metal finishes in your home:
- Mixing metals will keep your décor from being too defined by a trend or time period.
- Maintain some consistency: for example, brushed nickel knobs and pulls on your cabinets call for brushed nickel hinges.
- Choose a dominant metal (this gives unity to your space) and then select at least one, possibly two metal finishes for accents. For example, oil rubbed bronze as the dominant with antique brass and copper as accents.
- By using a different metal as an accent, it will not look mismatched if the metal is repeated a few times through the room.
- Keep in mind the style of your home and mix that with what you love and it should work.
- Vary the textures of your metal finishes by combining matte, brushed, polished and hammered finishes.
- Consider using warm metals (brass, oil rubbed bronze, gold, and copper) as accents for cool metals (chrome, nickel, pewter) together to add interest. Don’t say silver and gold can’t be friends.
- Match the metals in a tiny bath… hardware, light fixtures and plumbing fixtures. The metals will be in close proximity, and the room will look more balanced with the use of just one finish.
- To keep a look cohesive in a kitchen: appliances should match, all door knobs and hinges should match, cabinet hardware can be an accent metal, as can light fixtures, sinks and faucets. Just remember to choose one dominant finish, one accent… or maybe two. More than that can keep your space from coming together.
- Use natural iron as a neutral. “It (iron) is a modern industrial touch that adds a dark element to a palette that needs to be grounded or toned down. It won’t clash with other metal tones, and it also helps warmer metals such as gold, gain a stronger pop of color.” (Kathy Kuo)
The choices of metals are endless. Have fun mixing and matching!
“My youthful look”…..a pair of gray knit crop pants, a turquoise shirt and hooded sweat jacket, turquoise and lime tennis shoes and a hot pink purse. Definitely not boring… but youthful!
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