Mixing metal finishes is the most asked about trend today. It’s bigger than painting woof trim or cabinets and more controversial than getting rid of your bathtub. People want to know, “can you mix metal finished in your home?”
If history is any indication we’re good to go. We’ve used a mix of metal finishes in everything from our jewelry to our wardrobe and our fixtures for years. Thankfully, the movement is getting lots of support from manufacturers who are making it easier to find what we want for our homes.
THE BRONZE AGE STARTED IT ALL
But let’s take a leap back in time to see where it all began. The Bronze age, around 3000BC was the dawn of urban civilization. For decorative and functional purposes, metal arts were crafted from the “ores of the earth,” including bronze, gold, tin, lead, silver, copper and iron, and metal alloys such as aluminum.
The art of transforming raw metals into beautiful and useful items continued to evolve through time, making advancements during the Italian Renaissance through the Industrial Age, and it continues today. After centuries of refinement, metals can be processed to be as thin and fine as a hair or as large as a bus.
PERMISSION GRANTED TO MIX METALS
Most people love the sparkle and glow that metal finishes provide. But if you need a formal invitation to use a mix in your room decor, kitchen or bathroom, here it is. I hereby grant you permission to add more than one metal into your décor. It is no longer considered taboo, embrace the change and please feel free to add another metal finish to the matching polished brass faucets and towel bars.
Today, faucets and taps are not just hardware items that add function to your plumbing needs, they are a graphic component to your interior design. They can set the tone and help define your personal design style. Companies like Delta Faucet Canada continue to develop multiple styles and finishes to their lines because it allows consumers to further personalize their homes.
MIXING METALS, WHERE DO YOU START AND STOP?
I like to think that there are no rules, but if you want some pointers, here’s what I recommend. All metals go together as long as you repeat it as an element throughout the room. For instance, if you have a warm black stainless faucet, add cool polished nickel or chrome door handles on your cabinets and repeat the black stainless in your towel bars.
If you’re combining metals in the shower, repeat that combination at the sink. Repetition means it’s purposeful, not a mistake.
If in doubt, use matte black or rubbed bronze as a bridge in your décor to balance metals like gold and silver. Matte black helps by grounding the scheme and the contrast enhances the metals you are using.
Coloured metals like champagne bronze, gold, and brushed nickel are warm metals and look great with black. If you want to add warmth to white add warm metals. If you have a lot of grey, add gold. Anything grey can be lifted in energy by adding a warm metal.
Mixing metals isn’t new but it may be to you. The bottom line is you should surround yourself in what you love. If you love multiple metal finishes, find ways to incorporate them into your home. It’s all about feeling happy where you live.
JANE LOCKHART is an interior design professional, speaker, author, and television host of Colour Confidential.