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 🤘🏼
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.
The Dos and Don’ts of Mixing Metals
Before we jump into mixed metal guidelines, here’s the gist (don’t worry, explanations ahead!):
- Experiment with different metal combinations to find what works for your space
- Use textures and patterns to create interest
- Mix metals in a balanced way to avoid overwhelming the space
- Overdo it – too many mixed metals can make a space look cluttered
- Choose metals that clash with the existing décor
- Mix metals in a way that does not complement the room’s colour palette
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.
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!
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!