Metal Mixing Made Easy! How to Mix Metals in Your Redesign

March 6, 2023 - Michelle Murphy

When it comes to interior design, mixing metals has become increasingly popular in recent years - it’s a great way to add interest, texture, and depth to a space!

That said, mixing metals can be intimidating because well - it can get tricky. That’s why it’s important to understand some concepts before starting a redesign project.

In this blog, I’ll be discussing the basics of metal mixing and sharing some helpful guidelines for successful metal mixing.

(Pssst… I’m also giving you some freebie examples of mixed metal combinations and some metal mixing do’s and don’ts!)

So buckle up! Things are about to get METAL 🤘🏼

Country Village condo modern light bright white bathroom Calgary interior designer

Understanding the Basics of Metal Mixing

Before diving into metal mixing, it’s important to understand the different types of metals and their properties.

Metals come in a variety of finishes, which can affect their appearance. Types of finishes include:

In addition to finishes, it’s important to consider aspects like undertones, as keeping metals complimentary will help you create a balanced look.

Calgary interior design examples of cabinet and drawer metal pulls and knobs

The Dos and Don’ts of Mixing Metals

Before we jump into mixed metal guidelines, here’s the gist (don’t worry, explanations ahead!):



Modern pendant lights in a Sage Bluff home in Calgary interior design

Guidelines for Mixing Metals

Choose a Dominant Metal

In an article published in Better Homes & Gardens, New York-based interior designer, Courtney McLeod, shares that “a hierarchy of finishes is the key to success” when mixing metals. If people walk into a room and cannot identify one primary colour or finish, they can perceive the space as chaotic.

So, starting with one focus metal as your primary finish should be your jumping-off point.

Create a Cohesive Look

Once you’ve determined a primary metal, choose accent metals that work well together and complement the overall colour scheme of the room.

Pro Tip: Mixing different types of finishes and metals together can create a lot of visual interest! Just be careful when mixing warm and cool tones together - it can be done, but there is a fine line between flashy and clashy!

Start Small, Then Disperse

A good rule of thumb when mixing metals in a redesign is to display your primary metal on one item, such as cabinet hardware or a coffee table, and your accent metal on another piece, like a faucet or mirror. This helps to create a balanced look that is visually appealing.

To further tie together a room with your chosen mix of metals, consider introducing pieces that incorporate a complimentary mixed-metal aesthetic, like a light fixture.

Take the Existing Decor into Consideration

When mixing metals in your interior redesign, you should think about the colours, textures, and patterns that already exist in the space. It’s important to choose metals that work well with the existing décor rather than clash with it.

For example, if the room has a lot of warm wood tones, you might want to choose warm-toned metals like brass or copper to complement the wood. If the room has a lot of cool colours like blues and greens, you might choose cool-toned metals like silver or nickel to complement those colours.

Modern kitchen in Calgary with oak cabinets and stainless appliances interior designer

Examples of (My Fave) Mixed Metal Combinations

Black and Gold: Contrast between bold, dark black and luxurious, warm gold can create a striking, moody look

Black and Brushed Nickel: Contrast between dramatic black and smooth, cool-toned brushed nickel can create bold, sophisticated looks

Polished Nickel and Brass: Contrast between bright, reflective polished nickel and warm, classic brass can create a timeless aesthetic

Chrome and Polished Brass: Contrast between cool, shiny chrome and warm, reflective polished brass can create a look that’s chic and glamorous

Black and Chrome: Contrast between dark black and sleek, reflective chrome can create a contemporary, edgy look

Mixing Metals in Different Rooms

There are different options for mixing metals in different rooms. Here are a few examples:

Living Room: Mix metals by incorporating a variety of metal accents like picture frames, coffee tables, and lamps

Bedroom: Mix metals by combining different metal finishes in your bed frame, light fixtures, and nightstands

Bathroom: Mix metals by combining metal finishes in your shower fixtures, towel racks, and mirrors

Kitchen: Mix metals by combining metal finishes in your faucet, cabinet hardware, and light fixtures

I’ve always loved how mid century modern designs incorporate metal. Check out my Mid Century Modern Style Highlight!

A moodboard demonstrating how to properly mix metals by Calgary interior designer

Let’s Get Metal!

There you have it! You now know how to mix metals in a way that adds brilliant interest and texture to your redesign.

Just remember to keep the concepts you’ve learned here in mind - and following these basic guidelines will help you achieve a cohesive and balanced look.

By starting small, choosing complementary metals, and taking the existing décor into consideration, you can redesign your space with beauty, personality, and a dash of flash!

Ready to get your redesign rockin’? Check out my selection of services or contact me now!

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