We love to mix metals, and frankly this trend is probably going to be around for a while! Matchy-matchy has given way to more organic and dynamic design and we are here for it! Understandably, this trend can intimidate people at times. It’s true that you can take metal mixing a bit too far, so we’re sharing some tips to incorporate them without overwhelming your space.
Maybe you live in a space where you can’t or don’t want to change something more permanent like light fixtures, or maybe you are a little nervous to try mixing metals–one of the best ways to dip your toe into this trend is through accessorizing.
CHOOSE A DOMINANT METAL
This could be personal preference, or based on preexisting elements in your home. Consider the color palette of your walls and floors, and any natural or built in features of the space. If you have wood beams running through your space, or maybe an exposed brick wall, a warm metal like brass tends to complement those natural features really nicely, so consider accessorizing with brass as your dominant. Your paint, floor, and furniture colors are also important to consider: beige walls and warm wood floors can lend themselves better to warm metal tones. Cooler blues, grays, and whites tend to look more modern, and can lend themselves better to cool metal tones like chrome.
PICK A SECONDARY TO COMPLEMENT
Once you decide on your dominant metal, we usually recommend sticking with that, plus just one more. Depending on your space and style, you can absolutely play around with more than two. But in most spaces, sticking with two metals will look cohesive and feel purposeful, and not like a messy mistake. Something to note: we often consider black metal as a neutral when accessorizing, and it doesn’t count toward our two metals. For example: we see brass and black metal light fixtures everywhere right now-in that case, we will still pull in chrome accessories in addition to the dominant brass for our mixed metals.
MIX IN VARIOUS TONES
Remember that metals usually fall into warm and cool categories, and you can absolutely mix tones. Maybe your coffee table has brass legs–brass would be considered a warm tone. You can absolutely use chrome accessories, a chrome table lamp, or other furniture pieces with chrome accents in the same space. Even though chrome is considered a cool metal tone, it’s actually the contrast that makes the metal mixing pop and look deliberate.
BALANCE IT OUT AND SPACE IT OUT
Finally, make sure to visually balance the metals and space them out throughout the room. Try not to clump all of the same tone accessories in one spot, this pulls focus from the rest of the space, and doesn’t look harmonious or balanced. A good place to start experimenting is on a bookcase or built-in shelving–they’re great blank canvases. Pull in your mixed metal vases, objects, or even picture frames, and play around with layering them in.
WHEN WORKING WITH FIXTURES
If you are able to, light fixtures, doorknobs, and cabinet pulls are great for diving deeper into this trend.
The kitchen is probably the most natural place to mix appliance and fixture finishes. Chances are, most of your big ticket appliances are going to be chrome or brushed nickel. Don’t be afraid to mix things up from there! Choose brass pulls for your cabinets, pendant lights, and maybe one or two kitchen accessories to blend in that secondary metal. We’ve also been seeing a lot of black cabinet pulls and light fixtures–mix your chrome appliances with black metal fixtures for a more modern take on mixing kitchen metals. On top of tone, you also want to consider texture and finish. If your built in fixtures are brushed nickel, adding polished, shiny brass cabinet pulls would be a great contrast in both tone and texture.
Similar to the kitchen, the bathroom is another great space to play with mixed metals. While shower and sink fixtures are becoming more common in alternative metals like brass or black, the most common is still chrome or brushed nickel. If that’s the case, you can play with the finish of your mirrors and vanity lights by bringing in brass or black metal that way. A smaller and more budget-friendly alternative to buying new mirrors and vanity lights is playing with the hardware on any doors and drawers in the bathroom. Reinforce it with a brass accessory, soap dispenser, shower curtain rod, etc.
As with all trends, we recommend you experiment and make it your own! Each project we do here at Haven is another opportunity to push the boundaries and play with trends like this one, which is the fun part! As always, give us a holler if you need some help!
PS – This topic was a Tuesdays at Two session! You can watch the full video: