Metals: How to Mix them Accordingly

In the design industry metals are called finishes. They are a vital part of making a space look complete. In recent years it has become more of a trend to mix metals. We love the depth, visual interest, and contrast it can add to an atmosphere. The right metal can change how an area feels by making it more elegant or timeless. However, it can be frightening trying to decide what type of metals will work well with your home. Here are our tips when it comes to metals, the finishes, and how to mix them.

Metal Types

When talking about metals there are many different types to pick from. Starting with a highly sought-after one, bronze. Bronze is easily perceptible because of its gold/brown color with hints of red throughout. Next is brass which is a longtime favorite because of its shiny, reflective appearance. Another is similar to bronze but is still distinct. Copper is not an alloy and naturally occurring. Moving on to aluminum which is a light silver color that is easily bendable. Next is steel, it is heavier than aluminum, it is strong and difficult to bend. Lastly, stainless steel is different from steel because it has chrome in it. It is popular because it is low maintenance.

Metal Finishes 

It was addressed in the opening paragraph that most designers classify metals as finishes. A metal finish refers to the surface appearance of any metal product in a home. Such as faucets, light fixtures, hardware, and the list can go on. Believe it or not, there are a couple of factors that go into determining the finish of a product. For example the luster, color, and texture of a piece. The most common finishes would be nickel, matte, oil rubbed, chrome, brushed, polished, or satin. 

How to Mix 

First, you must read the space for how many metals will be mixed. Sometimes you might use one finish throughout a room to be able to highlight other dramatic elements. Most of the time, we stick to two to three finishes in a room. Two finishes are standard, but for bigger spaces, three can be an option. It is important to be aware of the color palette in your space. What color are the backsplash, walls, cabinetry, and tile color? If you have cool colors then stick to warm metals. This will add contrast to your home. Don’t be afraid to mix tones as well. For example, warm metals brass and goes well with cool metals like chrome. Combine different textures like matte and polished. Do not use similar metallic tones like unlacquered brass and brass. Contrast is key!