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While using the same finish throughout an entire room achieves a cohesive look, more and more spaces feature mixed metals in the same room. This effect offers a lived-in feel, as if each fixture was installed at different points in time rather than all at once—as they often are in new construction homes and renovations. To help get you started, check out our five quick tips on mixing metals in your home.
Pick A Dominant Finish
Even when you mix things up, you still want to select one finish as your main ingredient and use it the most. When choosing your dominant metal, consider what's already in the room. For example, polished brass really pops in a kitchen with black appliances, and polished chrome keeps a light and airy feel in a room painted white or light gray.
Choose One Or Two Accent Metals
After you've chosen your dominant metal, select one or two accent metals to create contrast. Don't overdo it—more than two or three metals in a space can result in the room looking too busy. Mixing warm and cool tones is encouraged, such as polished brass or gold alongside chrome or silver. Polished copper is a fantastic contrast to brushed nickel or stainless steel. Sprinkle in some black or iron pieces here and there, which act as neutral colors to break up the tones.
Separate Metals By Height
Place similar finishes on the same visual plane to guide the eye through the room. In a bathroom, use the same metal for all your accessories, and another finish for each of the faucets. This will demonstrate that careful planning was put into the design rather than a bunch of items being thrown together.
Balance Is Key
Maintain symmetry in your space by using each metal at least twice. If you’ve chosen chrome as an accent metal to use on cabinet hardware, hang a matching framed mirror to support the presence of the finish. Use your dominant metal more than the accents. If you've chosen gold as your main element, sprinkle some throughout the room with decor to solidify its dominance. If you're afraid of too much consistency, break up the metals using neutrals or different textures. Try a matte or hammered finish to subtly separate it from an abundance of polished ones.
If you're doubting your ability to masterfully mix metals in your space, experiment with small pieces that can easily be swapped out. Picture frames, mirrors, wall art, or any small decor that can be removed or moved around. Keep your mixture to two finishes rather than three. You can always add a third metal later through decor. Once you start to feel comfortable, move on to more permanent fixtures such as lighting, faucets, cabinet hardware, and pieces of furniture.