It used to be that mixing metals and materials was considered hodge-podge. Lovers of a loom that’s both refined and eclectic, rejoice! Mixing metal finishes can add dimension and visual interest to a room. Instead of a monochromatic, one-note space, you create intrigue and the illusion of texture. When you mix metals, you can blend styles, making a room look more or less modern depending on your personal taste. So how do you do it without making your home feel like a fun house? Follow these four simple steps.
1. Find inspiration in something that already exists
Do any of these apply to you?
- I already have a polished nickel (or other finish) faucet I love.
- Everything is brass. I want to change things up but can’t afford to replace every fixture.
- I’m doing a complete makeover and have picked out a must-have statement piece such as a lighting fixture, door hardware or cabinet pulls.
When mixing metals, it's best to start with the pieces you can’t live without – or the ones you have to live with – as a guide for the rest of the hardware in the room. Then comes the fun part.
“I thought we were mixing finishes!” We are, but first, a word of caution. The most important thing to remember when mixing finishes is to not go overboard. The magic number to avoid creating more chaos than style is two to four finishes. An easy way to keep it classy is to start with a matching element. Notice how the chrome faucets pair nicely with the gray countertops and flooring in the bathroom image below. They set the foundation for contrasting gold elements, which brings us to step 3 …
3. Choose a complementing contrast
Now that you have a matching foundation to work from, choose a different finish that complements the other elements. 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 + Antique Brass Door Knob
Metallic Copper Lighting + Stainless Steel Appliances
Stainless Steel Faucet & Appliances + Satin Brass Lighting + Matte Black Door Track
Matte Black Hardware and Bedding + Brass Lighting
Oil Rubbed Bronze Cabinet Pulls + Antique Brass Lighting + Satin Nickel Faucet
Matte Black Door Hardware, Lighting & Faucet + Gold Mirror & Cabinet Pulls
Copper Pendants + Nickel Cabinet Pulls
Once you've created just the right amount of balance and visual interest, it's time to put the 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.
And don’t forget that some metallics aren’t metal at all. Fabrics with a metallic sheen can combine balance and contrast in an unexpected way. The silver of the pillows contrast beautifully with the gold light fixture and other sheen in the wall décor.
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 taste. Not sure what your look is yet? Try our interactive Style Selector or find more inspiration on Pinterest.