How to mix hardware finishes the right way


Your browser is out of date

This website will not look or function as originally intended in your current browser

We recommend upgrading to the latest version of Internet Explorer or Chrome or Firefox

How to mix hardware finishes the right way

By emily.bailey

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

How to Mix Hardware Finishes the Right Way | Schlage

Mixing metals and finishes can create visual interest that is both refined and intriguing. Here's how to get the look right.



Looking for a unique way to give your kitchen and bath more personality? Try mixing finishes to create visual interest that is both refined and intriguing. In the past, home owners thought very little about plumbing and hardware and sought only to purchase a functional item that blends in to the rest of the home. Today, home owners can express their personal style through the smallest of details. Here's how to get the look just right.

Find inspiration in something that already exists

Do you have a polished nickel faucet you absolutely love? Brass fixtures you can't afford to completely upgrade? When mixing metals, it's best to start with these pieces as a guide for the rest of the hardware in the room. If you're doing a complete makeover, create a foundation by choosing door hardware or a lighting fixture you know you want in your space.

Create a match

The most important thing to remember when mixing finishes is to not go overboard. The magic number is right around 2-4 finishes. Otherwise, you could create more chaos than style. An easy way to ensure that doesn't happen is to choose a matching element. If you have satin brass hardware, consider lighting or decorative accessories in the same finish. Notice how the bathroom faucet matches the sconces in the bathroom image below while the aged bronze door hardware provides the perfect contrast.

Choose a complementing contrast

The next step is to choose a finish that complements but does not match an existing finish. The best rule of thumb is to consider an opposite finish. For matte or brass tones, look to chrome or other bright metals. Below are a few combinations we love to help inspire your perfect combo:
Polished Nickel Shower Head + Satin Brass Door Knob
Oil Rubbed Bronze Cabinet Pulls + Antique Brass Lighting + Satin Nickel Faucet
Aged Bronze Hardware + Polished Nickel Faucet & Lighting
Copper Pendants + Nickel Cabinet Pulls

Pull it all together

Once you've created just the right amount of balance and interest, it's time to put the final finishing touch on the room. If you're trying to add a little glitz and glam to your traditional space, Lucite accessories and sparkling chandeliers are the perfect way to tie it all together. If your room already sparkles enough, consider a linen shade or softer accessories to tone it down.
The antique brass chandelier and mirror provide just the right amount of warmth to the cold bathroom below while polished nickel plumbing gives it just the right amount of modern flair.
Oil rubbed bronze and antique brass cabinet pulls are brought to life by the reflective canisters on the counter.


Mixing hardware finishes is an easy way to make a statement. At Schlage, our designers make every effort to create a wide-range of styles and finishes that match your personal tastes at a price that is also affordable. Take a look at our selection of finishes to find just the right pop of glamour or warmth to polish your space off.



Stay up-to-date on the latest style and design tips, trends, DIY tutorials, product updates and smart home news.