Home Decor

Design Notes: How to Mix Metals

How to Mix Metals Interior Design Style The Heart's DelightWhen it comes to home decor, one of the questions I get asked most often is:

“Can I mix golds with silvers in the same space?”

Without question, the answer is absolutely YES. Please, do.

Just like the world of fashion, interior design and style evolves along a similar path. Take a moment to study/stalk some of the most stylish people online (Olivia Palermo, as you know, is one of my favorites)- chances are they’re wearing a skillful mix of metals and looking totally effortlessly modern and chic. Following fashion’s lead, there really is no reason oil-rubbed bronze, chrome, copper and brushed gold, etc. can’t live in your home together in harmony.

Here is my easy 3-step guide to successful metal mixing:

1. Let your existing color scheme guide you

Cool tones like greys and blues scream for warmer metals like bronze and gold to add some warmth, while warmer hues like browns and beiges instantly look more modern with an injection of cooler silvers and chromes. Look at the environment around you and think about the feeling you want to evoke in the space- the metals you select are the first step in achieving that.

2. Select a dominant and complimentary metal

Now that you have an idea of where to start (see #1 above), you can then pick a complementary metal to contrast with your dominant choice. For example, if your kitchen is full of industrial stainless steel appliances, brushed nickel pulls and gleaming silver toned fixtures, a more traditional light fixture/chandelier/pendant constructed of darker oil-rubbed bronze would be the perfect offset. The deeper richer tones and textures will easily add warmth and balance to a space.

The same can be said for the opposite scenario- if you have a kitchen that is dominated by the darker matte of black iron, or the oil-rubbed bronze we just discussed, accessories and fixtures that add brightness and gleam can instantly provide you with visual balance. Think chrome, crystal and satin nickel.

3. Repeat, repeat, repeat

Now that you’ve selected your assortment of metals, it’s time to do it all over… and over again! A dark row of nailheads on a couch is a perfect way to compliment a matte black fireplace. That gilded sunburst mirror would look great across the room from a brass framed coffee table. That shiny silver votive works perfectly in harmony with the bright reflective mirror we just discussed. If the metals you select are continuously repeated throughout a space, it becomes a pattern and more stylistically “intentional” rather than a hodge podge of colors and textures.

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How do YOU mix your metals?

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