If Urbanology Designs had a motto that we use on every project, it would probably be mix, layer, texture. This is true of metals and metal finishes just as it is true of fabrics. The old adage that you shouldn’t mix your metals is totally out the window and we couldn’t be happier about it!

Source: House Beautiful

Take a look at the photo above. Notice the brass light fixtures, paired with the chrome faucets, layered with matte black cabinet hardware. This kitchen would not have the same depth, interest or charm had the faucet finish matched the lights or had the cabinet finish matched the faucet and especially if all three finishes has matched. The mix is perfection.

You might be squeamish about the idea of mixing metals in an area of your home, or maybe you love the idea but you’re worried about how to achieve it. When mixing metals it is all about balance.


Source: chrislovesjulia.com

To achieve the look, start by selecting an item that you love the most – whether it’s a matte black faucet or a brass light fixture. Then, select another item that matches or coordinates closely with the finish of that first metal (for instance the brass sconces in the photo above are a bit more gold than the brass cabinet hardware – this adds to the interest of the space) but it’s important that they are close so that it doesn’t go from interesting to chaotic as you mix in other metals, colors and materials.

Next, layer in a different accent metal (or two) to complete the look.  When we mix metals we are going for a collected look, but we still want it to be tailored. A good rule of thumb in to use at least 2 different metals, but no more than 3 – keep it classy!

Source: Country Living
photo credit: Lincoln Barbour

In the photo above the dominant metal is the chrome on the clawfoot tub faucet, with the chrome towel hook and the chrome shower door. This is layered with an accent piece in the brass pendant light. The third metal layer here is the black or dark bronze curtain rod and hardware on the wood cabinet. Complete the layered look with accessories and furniture in varying textures and tones.

Experimenting in a bathroom or a home office is a great place to start mixing metals. There are tons of great combinations, like the below Matte Black + Polished Brass.

Source: Studio Mcgee

Other combo’s to try:

Brushed Brass + Nickel or Polished Chrome

Aged Brass + Polished Chrome

Matte Black  + Aged Brass  + Satin Nickel

Polished Brass  + Satin Nickel + Oil Rubbed Bronze

Oil Rubbed Bronze + Polished Nickel + Aged Brass

Matte Black + Polished Chrome

Mixing metals works because it gives the room balance, it creates a more interesting, designer and collected look and it also personalizes your space. It will never look like you chose everything from one collection at one store.

Happy Decorating!

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