Mixing Metals like a Master
Say that ten times fast.
Oh the big debate, can you mix metals in your home?? Yes, no, maybe, sometimes!
The truth is there are some things to think about to successfully achieving balance, harmony and cohesion through mixing metals in your home.
"In more traditional schemes and styles, I avoid mixing metals as it creates an eclectic look.... Which of course is perfect for more eclectic schemes....contrast can bring harmony, but there is beauty in cohesion. Design style, the base colours of the room all need to be considered "
"I'm a lover of mixing metals, if it suits the clients style as it can create more energy, but only when it is two metals being mixed and rules are not broken. You go wrong with mixing metals when the balance is off.... if you've got 95% warm metals, with 5% cool say, it looks like a mistake"
"To successfully mix metals, you need to make sure it's not completely random, that's when it feels a little wrong. You really don't want to go metal mad, if you're mixing metals, stick to two or three at most so you can achieve the right balance"
Pairing metals within a room can create a unique and lovely look. Mixing metals such as gold, silver, brass, copper or iron can add warmth and dimension to a space.
When you choose to mix metals, it makes your home a little more personal. Showcasing your individual style, it's a wonderful reason to experiment with different looks.
Here are some practical ways you can combine various metals and create a cohesion, harmony and balance throughout your home.
Image Credit: Kelly Hoppen
Image Credit: Kelly Hoppen
1 - Keep a related group of metals together
All lighting in a room should be the same metal, just as all cabinet hardware should be the same. Cabinet hardware in a kitchen or door handles throughout your home should not be mixed and matched.
Keep all hardware consistent within a room and add a second metal in the form of lighting, accessories or plumbing.
When mixing metals in a bathroom, use the same metals for plumbing or lighting and experiment by switching up the cabinet hardware.
Image Credit: Douglas Friedman
Image Credit: Greg Natale
2 - Ease into mixed metals with Black
Try mixing black and polished chrome. This is an easy and elegant combination.
A black matte tap with polished chrome cabinet hardware in the kitchen is a safe way to start mixing metals slowly.
Black goes with everything, so try experimenting with black handles on cabinetry when you want a second metal in your room.
Image Credit: @House_on_little_red_hill
3 - Remember that less is more
If you have stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, try hanging copper pots from a pot rack. You can also use copper plumbing accents or hardware.
When mixing metals, less is more. We’re all for a bold contrast of opposite metals such as bronze and silver, but don’t overdo it by throwing in too many elements.
Metals can be featured on your accessories, light fixtures, door handles, appliances and plumbing. Try to stick to two to three metals maximum when mixing metals in a room and it will feel balanced.
Image Credit: StyleCarrot
4 - Mixing metals is easier with a neutral base
Some metals are very complementary, while others like gold and silver are a little more difficult to pull off unless your style is Boho or Eclectic (in that case, pretty much anything goes!)
Boho styles mix a lot of rose gold with other metals. Gold and rose gold mixed with touches of silver can create a glamorous effect, especially when one of the metals is added sparingly and on various accessories.
Let’s say your dining room has a rose gold chandelier. Consider a mirror with a silver frame above a dining console, and add rose gold wall sconces on either side of it. If you have small pieces of art with rose gold colours, silver frames would complement the silver mirror.
When you combine opposite metals such as gold and silver, it’s a good idea to keep other elements in the room such as the curtains and area rugs monochromatic.
Image Credit: Studio McGee
Image Credit: Design Loves Detail
5 - Start small
Never jump into major purchases such as brass pendant lights or a copper sink without knowing the outcome. Start small with door hardware, canisters, a metal planter or brass candlesticks.
Don’t make a commitment to specific metals without knowing whether or not you will like the look. Metal accessories allow you to experiment first and can be removed from the room if the look is not for you.
If your kitchen cabinet hardware is chrome and you want to see how it looks with brass, display a few brass accessories on an open kitchen shelf or use brass napkin rings on the table.
When you choose small metal accessories, you can use add more to get a better idea of how the combination of metals will look.
Image Credit: Amy Bartlam
Image Credit: Studio Mcgee
6 - Incorporate metal touches in these ways:
Never underestimate the power of hardware to bring a look together. Hardware includes lamp bases, fixtures, door handles, hinges, etc.
When replacing door handles, it’s important to also replace the hinges if they no longer match. A door hinge should match the finish of the door handle. A new doorknob, handle or drawer pull can add style to any space.
Replacing basic, inexpensive hardware with a striking set of door handles, knobs or pulls can instantly transform the entire look and feel of a home at a minimal cost. There’s nothing more elegant than crystal knobs on a vintage piece of furniture or black matt drawer pulls in a farmhouse kitchen.
Plumbing and appliances
Think of the many ways you can incorporate metals into your décor through plumbing:
Hammered copper sinks, brushed nickel tap, stainless steel cooker hoods, etc.
Cookware and decorative accessories
You can bring metals into your room in the form of canisters on a kitchen shelf, pots hanging from an overhead rack, trays, candlesticks, metal framed mirrors, vases, fruit bowls and metal wall art.
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