By Valerie Boudreaux
You’ve probably seen successful (and maybe not so successful) uses of mixed metals. Brass, copper, steel, bronze — there are design styles that incorporate all these and others, sometimes more than one in the same space.
If you’re starting a design project in your own home, you may be uncertain if you can pull off mixed metals. I’m confident that by keeping these three things in mind, you’ll be able to create winning combinations and achieve the look and feel you want.
1. Keep It Simple
Too many metals in a space can be overwhelming. My advice is to aim for a maximum of two different metals to ensure your space looks intentional. The goal? A curated, not cluttered look.
2. Consider Both Metal Types and Finishes
There are a few common metal finishes for home furnishings and fixtures. Polished, oil rubbed, brushed, satin — the list could go on. If you use the same finish on different types of metals, those items can often look mismatched or out of place. Polished brass and polished chrome together? That’s not necessarily a great mixed metal combo. But oil rubbed bronze paired with gold? Now there’s something I can work with in a space. In addition to careful pairings, remember to consider the long-term wear and maintenance for your metal finishes. When in doubt, I encourage you to think about what you feel has timeless appeal and what will be most efficient for you to take care of over the years.
3. Location, Location, Location
Visualize where the metals will be going in your space. It can be tricky to mix metals on a single design element like cabinetry, furniture or appliances. If you’re a fan of two-tone cabinets, consider one metal that will complement both wood or paint finishes. To get added visual interest and variety without too many different metal types, you may also want to select different hardware shapes with the same finish. In my experience, I’ve found it’s much easier to elegantly mix metals with lighting fixtures and stand-alone objects rather than mixing across door hardware and plumbing fixtures, which can quickly look dated.
4. Be Intentional with Your Design
Mixing metals carefully and intentionally will help you create a successfully curated look for your space. Still unsure? Reach out to a designer — seriously, we’re here to help! A consultation can help you start to see a vision and motivate you to get started on your journey creating a cohesive design for your space, mixed metals and beyond.