For a time in the interior design world, mixing metal finishes was considered a decorating faux pas. Over the past few years, however, the trend of mixing metals has been on the rise. In many of my articles I write about mixing it up; design periods, furniture styles, textile patterns, anything that will add layers of depth and character to a space. Combining a variety of mixed metals throughout your home is another way to develop a design that looks relaxed, visually interesting and as if the pieces have been collected over time. While this is an easy design to implement when starting from scratch, there are also simple and effective ways to incorporate this look into your existing space. Below I’ve listed a few ideas to help get you started.
1. Begin with accessories. Picture frames, candle holders and trays are a great way to add a mix of finishes in a subtle way. Stack an antique brass mirror over a simple black frame, pull out a silver tray or incorporate some brass candlesticks.
2. Update your lighting. Updating pendants, chandeliers or sconces in a contrasting metal will make a big impact in any room. Or, to get the same result with less expense, change out a few lamps. Incorporating something new like a chrome floor lamp or a modern black table lamp will make a big difference.
3. Change out hardware. Replacing hardware on a piece of furniture or cabinetry is a quick and inexpensive way to add a contrasting metal. If your bathroom finishes are chrome, try replacing the cabinet handles with something brass. Or if the faucets and appliances in your kitchen are stainless, try complimenting them with oil rubbed bronze handles.
It’s important to begin by considering what is existing in your rooms and to coordinate with the colors and finishes that you already have. Choose a few finishes that you like that can be repeated throughout your home. Mixing metals should give an eclectic feel, but also be well composed. Repeating design themes in different rooms helps your house feel well balanced. In the end, have fun and be creative! An unexpected element will always elevate a room and mixing up your finishes is a great place to start.