In the past, mixing metals around the home was a full faux pas. Switching finishes wasn't an option, using multiple metals was a no-go, and well-balanced spaces blended in rather than stood out.
Today, however, interior design has seen a major switch-up, and it's all about choosing what appeals to you most. Mixing metals isn't just doable, it's fashionable — from your kitchen to your master bathroom. Discover creative ways to work metal-on-metal design into your own abode.
If it applies to color, why should metals be any different? Brass and bronze make great bedfellows, as do copper and chrome. The trick is to mix warm undertones with cool ones. Warm metals, such as gold and brass, appear naturally richer and more vibrant when paired with cooler tones, including nickel, iron, and steel.
This not only complements your existing decor; it helps your home look more "you" and less like it's fresh off the showroom floor.
Whichever metals you decide on, always keep your existing decor in mind — especially the color palette and theme. If you've got a cool palette and floor-to-ceiling pastels, for instance, decking it out with gold might be off-putting. If metals are implemented effectively, though, they can work wonders in warming up or cooling down your abode.
This charming bathroom has the ambiance of a rustic retreat, and metals are a major part of that.
The easiest way to mix metals is to select the same metal tone for each piece. Warm metals blend in effortlessly next to each other while giving your home character, so a combination of bronze, copper, and gold is a highly effective design choice.
Mixing cool tones, including chrome, steel, and nickel, works just as well. If the cabinet hardware is one metal, then use a different one for the faucets, another for the light fixtures, and yet another for the appliances. Together, they'll work in tandem to warm up (or cool down) your room.
If you've selected a handful of metal types and can't decide on a favorite, that's okay! Many expert designers curate two or three metals, choose a dominant one, and spread the rest throughout the space.
Being intentional with your design approach is the key. Plan out where you'll use which metal type, and ensure it has a sense of purpose. From the cupboard handles to the kettle, everything about this space looks and feels sleek.
Craving that ‘ah-ha’ moment when you step into your space? Switch up your finishes, leaving any advice you've heard about warm or cool tones in the dust. Many designers are taking an off-the-wall approach by selecting whichever finishes catch their eye; whether they're in the same tone family makes no difference.
Think: one metal for the fridge, another for the cabinets, and another for the faucets. This prevents your home from appearing too flat or curated and adds interest to the space. If a particular metal or tone stands out, don't hesitate to use it wherever it fits.
Warm and cool isn't the only mix-and-match game you can play; mixing complimentary lusters has a high-low feel designers are loving. Mix glossier and more matte metals. You'll see terms like polished, satin, high-shine, and antique; alternating these qualities gives more depth to every metal, and it has the same effect in a room.
For example, you could try a high-shine copper faucet with antique gold vanity lights. If they were both the same luster, they might appear like a design mistake, but when mixed, they have an eye-catching effect.
Natural iron is the neutral of the metal world, and it makes a powerful impact everywhere, from tub to faucet, in this industrial-inspired bathroom. Not only does it tone down a room, but it brings out the warmer tones and doesn't clash with other metals.
If you want black or gold accent pieces, for instance, using natural iron on the remaining fixtures ties the room together with class.
When incorporating multiple fixtures into your design scheme, selecting a dominant metal gives the space a clear aesthetic that's simple to spot. Your kitchen is a prime place to put this to work since fixtures and accents stand out more in the heart of your home.
Dominant metals should always be easy to match. Choosing chrome or stainless steel, for instance, provides countless decor options that combine effortlessly; on the other hand, if you pick gold, you might be forced into an entirely different design scheme that can be difficult to pull off.
Make a statement by incorporating multiple metals into a single space with no rhyme or reason; it's the ultimate taboo to metal traditionalists, yet it can't help but attract your attention.
This sink, for instance, features a bold basin with completely unexpected black iron fixtures and wooden cabinet hardware. Together, they work in unison to create a unique aesthetic that's entirely you.
Two metals should never compete for your attention. Instead, they should blend together while bringing visual interest and depth to the room. The goal of mixing metals is to make it look effortless; any space should appear symmetrical with decor elements playing off of each other equally.
Avoid going overboard; often, two or three accents are all you need.