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Trending: Mixed Metal Finishes in Kitchens and Bathrooms

Beautiful interior design always comes down to the details, and a trending detail for 2022 is mixed metal finishes. Designers and homeowners alike have discovered how mixing and matching metal tones throughout a space can provide lovely contrast. Use this guide to find the perfect mixed metal hardware and other finishes for your upcoming bathroom remodeling or kitchen remodeling project.

Types of Metals

Before you start mixing metals, consider the most popular types of metals available for hardware and fixtures throughout your home, as well as the metal finishes you can choose from.

Warm Toned Metals

  • Brass – Brass hardware is a highly popular choice among homeowners currently, but it also stands the test of time. This warm gold tone works well with almost any design style and can take on a vintage or modern look depending on how it’s styled. Brass may develop a patina over time, so it may require regular care to keep a shiny appearance.
  • Bronze – Designers opt for bronze fixtures when trying to achieve a more traditional, rustic style. Bronze has a more reddish brown hue than brass. Raw bronze metal must be properly cleaned and cared for in order to maintain the timeless look. Oil rubbed bronze is a popular finish that more closely resembles black than gold.
  • Copper – Copper often develops a patina that is the perfect fit for rustic or eclectic designs. Beyond hardware and fixtures, copper metal can also be used for a one-of-a-kind farmhouse sink.

Cool Toned Metals

  • Stainless Steel – This metal is a popular choice for the face of your appliances, but also works well for hardware since it is both durable and corrosion resistant. The durability, however, does come at a price.
  • Aluminum – If stainless steel hardware feels a little too expensive for you, opt for aluminum. Aluminum is lightweight and resistant to rust, but requires regular washing with soap and water for maintenance.
  • Wrought Iron – Sometimes referred to as simply black, wrought iron is a staple type of metal that can act as a neutral in your space. The darker color provides nice contrast against lighter cabinets or wall colors. Wrought iron hardware is essentially indestructible, just like everyone’s favorite cast iron pan.

Common Metal Finishes

  • Matte – Similar to a flat paint color, a matte finish has no shine or gloss.
  • Polished – For an ultra-shiny, sleek look, choose a polished finish.
  • Brushed – A brushed finish has more texture and less shine than a polished finish.
  • Oil-Rubbed – Oil-rubbed finishes offer an aged, patinated look and are typical of warm-toned metals.

Where to Incorporate Mixed Metals

You will have the opportunity to choose a metal for dozens of pieces in your home, including during bathroom or kitchen remodeling projects. First, consider all the “fixtures” in your home, or the permanent objects that would remain in place if you were to sell your home. Fixtures include items such as faucets, showerheads, ceiling fans, chandeliers, pendants, etc.

Any item in your home that has a handle or a knob will also likely be made of metal. Think of handles like doorknobs, kitchen cabinet hardware, bathroom cabinet hardware, or handles on built-in storage. Don’t forget that along with the handle itself, the hinges and mechanisms will also be made of metal, whether you choose to have them show or not.

Other places you may find metal in your home include wall mirrors, towel holders, switch plates, sink surfaces, or even the customizable handles on high-end appliances.

Tips On Using Mixed Metal Hardware in Your Design

1. Choose Contrasting, Yet Cohesive, Metal Tones

For example, using both brass and copper could look unintentional and mismatched. Paring copper with matte black hardware, on the other hand, creates contrast and looks more intentional. If you plan on using wrought iron or black metal, this is typically considered a neutral and is cohesive with most other metal tones.

When deciding which metal tones to use together in your space, take a look at the contrast. You’ll want to make sure there is enough contrast between the tones so they do not blend together.

Example from: Scandinavian Kitchen & Bath

2. Stick with 2-3 Metal Types

To avoid making your design look too busy and unintentional, use a maximum of three metal types.

In smaller spaces, like a bathroom remodel, use just two so each type can be repeated in a few different locations. Interior designers often suggest picking a dominant metal type and letting the other metals act as an accent.

Example from: Scandinavian Kitchen & Bath

3/4 bathroom with black and white tile

3. Balance Each Metal Throughout the Design

Be sure to balance the metals you choose throughout the design. For example, if you choose brushed gold and polished silver you could have a silver faucet and shower handle, but opt for a gold bathroom cabinet hardware and vanity décor. That way each metal finish has at least one partner and the design feels balanced.

Example from: Black & White Bathroom with Skylight

4. Switch Up the Finish

You can add interest and texture to your design by switching up the metal finishes. If you opt for polished brass bathroom cabinet hardware, consider using matte brass sconces, and the like.

Mixing finishes adds another layer of interest, but isn’t overwhelming. You can also incorporate furniture and decor that brings in other metal finishes.

Example from: Bathroom Dormer With Spa Shower

When choosing the metal types and finishes for your mixed metal hardware, keep in mind design is subjective and rules, just like metal, are allowed to be bent. As long as you like it in your home, that’s all that counts! If you’re interested in using mixed metals in your next remodel, contact us today to learn about how our design-build process can guide you through all your design selections.

Written by Model Remodel

Model Remodel is a design-build, remodeling contractor located in Seattle, WA. For over 20 years we’ve been building with purpose, craftsmanship and sustainability in mind. We are proud to continually make the list of top Seattle contractors for our beautiful interior designs and homeowner-focused remodeling process.

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