Marvelous Mixed Metals

08, Apr 2019


They say rules are made to be broken, and when it comes to mixing metals in your home décor, we agree! Gone are the days when using one metal color throughout the home was the rule of thumb. Today’s rule is: Mix it up! Combining metal colors adds visual interest and depth to a room, as long as it is done right.

Whether you’re seeking a layered, textured space, or a clean and modern look, start by choosing a dominant metal – the metal you want to be the most prominent in the space – and then select one or two accent colors to complement the look. Depending on the size of the room, aim for a minimum of two metals, and a maximum of three. You’re seeking harmony, and too many contrasting elements can feel less like a pulled-together look and more like chaos. As a general guideline, go for a 70/30 ratio, where the dominant metal makes up 70 percent of the look, and the accent metals comprise 30 percent.

Warm and cool colors can definitely be mixed. Warm metals such as brushed brass, antique bronze, gold, and black give a vibrant pop of color when mixed with cool metals like chrome, nickel, and silver. When mixing metals, err on the side of more contrast, not less. Using too many similar metals makes it look like a mistake, not a design intention.

To easily nail the mixed metal trend, start with your lighting fixture choice. In many cases, the lighting manufacturer has done the work for you by designing lighting that beautifully mixes metals, such as matte black accented with gold, polished chrome with brushed brass, or even white accented with brushed nickel plus an unexpected touch of blue. 

 

Then, choose your cabinet hardware, appliances, plumbing fixtures, and accessories by matching one or two of the finish colors from the lighting fixture. Warm toned metals, like brass and bronze, add an eye-catching accent of color when used with cool toned metals such as stainless steel and aluminum.

Take the room’s color palette into consideration, too. Warm metal finishes (like brass, bronze, and copper) are best used with warm hues (like beiges and browns). Use cool metal finishes (such as chrome, nickel, and silver) with cool tones (such as blues, greens, and grays).

When working with a neutral color palette, add metallic accents to achieve warmth, texture, and color. With a white or gray color scheme, for example, add a stunning gold chandelier to make your room come to life.

Today, metals are meant to be mixed. Stop worrying about whether they’ll go together! Keep in mind the 70/30 rule, and by choosing a dominant metal plus one or two accent finishes, you’ll add the perfect mixed, but not mismatched, metal look to your home. For more ideas, visit ProgressDesignGuide.com.

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