Quick Guide to Mixing Metals
August 1, 2018

Quick Guide to Mixing Metals

Combining more than one metal into the design of a room has been a popular trend for years. But even with a ton of projects and inspiration ideas out there, it can still be difficult to determine which metals will look right together and how much to use of each finish. We’ve put together a list of tricks for mixing metals that can help you in your next design venture.

Step 1: Choose one dominant metal and 1-2 accent metals.

Mixing warm and cool tones together will help to create a modern, sophisticated look. A good rule of thumb is to use the dominant metal for larger, stand-out pieces while using the accent finishes sparingly on smaller pieces. Mixing the texture will add an interesting design element as well. Use finishes like polished and hammered for fixtures you want to draw attention to and more of a brushed or matte look for accent pieces in the background.

Polished Metal
Polished
Brushed Metal
Brushed
Antique Metal
Antique
Satin Metal
Satin
Hammered Metal
Hammered


Mixed Metal Textures

Step 2: Separate the room into planes.

Once you have your finishes chosen, you can begin to plan the placement strategy. Mapping out a design plan that includes the same finishes in the same heights will help to produce a clean look that is visually pleasing. In the first example below the designer opted for 3 finishes – an English Antique for the cabinet hardware in the lower plane, a stylish brass faucet in the second plane, and large stand-out aluminum light fixtures in the top plane. In the second photo, we have a simple design with only two planes – a dominant brass accent in the coffee table in the lower plane and elegant aluminum accents up top. Both designs offer a unique harmonious look that adds a sophisticated charm to the space. Separating the respective metals into different lines of sight prevents them from overpowering each other.

Mixed Metal Textures

Step 3: Choose a complimentary color palette.

The mixture of warm and cool tones continues here. Incorporating cooler metals with warmer hues or warmer metals with cooler hues is your best bet. And of course, as in any design, black goes with everything! In the first example below, the cooler finishes of aluminum and metallic silver go perfectly with the warmness of the orange and red décor. The warmer look of brass compliments the cool color palette in the second example very nicely. Also, notice how both rooms incorporate black accent pieces seamlessly into the design for a beautiful overall look.

Mixing Metals Bedroom Mixing Metals Kitchen

Mixing metals can be tricky at first thought, but following these steps will help you to create a striking design that will be on trend for years to come. Remember to plan out your design carefully by first choosing your dominant metal along with 1-2 accent finishes that will compliment it nicely. Then you can divide your room into planes and decide which finish will look best in which section. To finish off your design, choose a color palette that will compliment your standout metal finishes in the design. The right blend makes all the difference.

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Related Articles: Metal Finishes, Selecting the Right Hardware, How to Choose a Color Scheme