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Mixing Metals with Confidence: 8 Expert Tips for Successfully Mixing Metals in Your Decor

by DecorMatters|Sep 19, 2023

In today's dynamic interior design landscape, the mixed metals trend is emerging as the go-to for those seeking a chic aesthetic twist. It's not just the ultramodern or minimalist homes embracing this trend either; the beauty of mixed metals is making its captivating mark on everything from rustic farmhouses to elegant traditional estates. 

There's something inherently lively and refreshing about blending a sleek chrome with a warm brass or a cool silver with an earthy bronze. However, as with most things in design, it's all about balance. Simply throwing metals together can look mismatched, while a deliberate combination can elevate a room's ambiance. The art lies in melding these metals in a way that feels both organic and intentional. If you're scratching your head wondering how to ride this wave without wiping out, fret not! We've got your back. 

Dive into our curated list of eight expert tips, designed to arm you with the know-how to confidently curate metals in your space. By the end, you'll be well on your way to orchestrating a home environment that effortlessly exudes a sense of balance, sophistication, and that sought-after designer touch.

1. Understand the Undertones

Each metal, whether it's the opulent shine of gold, the serene luster of silver, or the rich depth of bronze, has its own unique personality brought out by its undertones. These undertones play a massive role in how the metal interacts with colors, textures, and other metals in a space. 

mixing metals in your kitchen

📸 deVOL Kitchens

For instance, gold often carries a warm undertone reminiscent of sunlit amber or a soft yellow, while silver might hint at cooler undertones, evoking feelings of icy blue or muted green. Bronze can be a chameleon, sometimes tilting warm and sometimes skewing cool. Recognizing and respecting these subtle hues is crucial. By tuning into these undertones and thoughtfully pairing warm with cool, or even playing with varying degrees of warmth or coolness, you can artfully layer metals to craft a space that feels both intentional and effortlessly sophisticated.

2. Choose a Dominant Metal

Embarking on the mixed metals journey can be thrilling, but without a compass, it's easy to go astray. Think of choosing a dominant metal that will be your primary metal acting as the backbone, providing a consistent and grounding presence amidst the shimmering dance of various metallics. For instance, if you have a penchant for brushed gold's lavish warmth, let it take center stage in prominent fixtures, large furnishings, or main architectural elements. By staking its claim, this dominant metal sets the tone and mood for the space. 

mixing metals for bathroom design

📸 Vantage Design Studio

Once that foundation is laid, the fun truly begins! Introduce secondary metals in smaller decor items, accessories, or trims. They play a supporting role but remember, it's their contrast and interplay with the dominant metal that adds that spark of visual interest and texture. The dominance doesn't overpower; instead, it guides and gives structure, ensuring that the metallic ensemble sings in harmony rather than in discord. This strategy makes rooms feel curated rather than cluttered, showcasing a keen designer's eye.

3. Incorporate Transitional Pieces

When blending different metals, it's a bit like introducing friends from different circles – sometimes, they need a mutual connection to truly click. That's where transitional pieces step in. Imagine a wall clock with a brushed silver face and rose gold hour markers or a chandelier with a primary bronze structure, punctuated by copper and gold details. 

Mixing metal clock for home decor

📸 TSL Home Decor

By strategically placing them in your space, you're crafting gentle visual cues that guide the eye, connecting the dots between the dominant and secondary metals. This layer of design thinking ensures the décor tells a cohesive story, allowing each metallic shade its moment to shine. 

4. Mix Textures and Finishes

When mixing metals, it's easy to get caught up in just the metallic shades – gold, silver, bronze, etc. However, the true magic often lies beneath the surface, in the world of textures and finishes. The texture of a metal can evoke different moods and feelings. A smooth, glossy finish often feels modern and sleek, while a rough or brushed finish exudes a more rustic, vintage charm. And when these textures come together in one space? That's where the real drama unfolds. They play off each other, creating pockets of contrast that draw the eye and pique curiosity. 

Blog Post Image

📸 Jade Rebecca Voorvelt

Moreover, these varied finishes interact differently with light, adding layers to your space's ambiance. A polished piece might capture and reflect light brilliantly, becoming a focal point, while matte pieces absorb light, grounding the space with their subtlety.

So, the next time you want to mix metals, venture beyond just the type. Experiment with finishes, from the high-shine glint of polished metals to the earthy, tactile allure of hammered or brushed ones. 

5. Distribute Metals Evenly

While the allure of metals in decor is undeniable, their placement within a space can make or break the overall design. Consider the strategic placement of metallic pieces: a brushed nickel lamp here, a copper-framed mirror there, and perhaps a gold-trimmed coffee table in the center. By distributing these elements, you allow the room to breathe, letting each metal shine without overshadowing the others.

Distribute metals in your kitchen design

📸 Caren Rideau

Imagine walking into a room where all the brass elements are clustered in one corner, with other metals scattered elsewhere. It would feel off-kilter, with the eye constantly drawn to that heavy brass corner, creating a sense of imbalance. But, by sprinkling different metals throughout the space, you weave a tapestry of metallic accents that guide the eye smoothly from one point to another.

6. Use Accessories to Experiment

Here's the silver lining (pun intended): you don't have to dive headfirst into this trend. Beginning with smaller items allows you to test the waters. Swap out a chrome picture frame for a brass one, or switch a copper vase with a silver trinket dish, these small changes can give you a glimpse into the world of mixed metals without the hefty price tag or commitment of redoing an entire room.

mixing metals for home decor accessories 

📸 Intimate Living Interiors

These tiny tweaks are more than just decorative. They're educational. By playing around with miniature metal accents, you gain a better understanding of what combinations resonate with your style and which ones might be a mismatch. You may discover that rose gold and stainless steel strike just the right chord in your living room, or that a cluster of mixed metal candle holders becomes the conversation starter during dinners.

Another advantage? If you feel a particular mix isn't working, it's a breeze to reconfigure. Unlike larger pieces, such as metallic furniture or light fixtures, which may demand significant time and resources to change, smaller accessories can be easily moved, replaced, or stored away.

7. Maintain Consistency in Style

How does one maintain a sense of decor identity while juggling metals? First, get acquainted with the inherent vibes of different metals. For instance, brushed nickel or chrome may seamlessly blend with a sleek, modern space, while wrought iron or aged brass might feel right at home in a more rustic or vintage setting. 

mixing metals containing consistency

📸 Designed Simple

Another thing to consider is the design lineage of the metal pieces themselves. A baroque gold mirror with ornate carvings, even though gold, might feel out of place in a minimalist, contemporary setting. On the flip side, a simplistic rose gold pendant light would gracefully blend with Scandinavian-inspired interiors, thanks to its streamlined design. Remember, the idea is not to create a disjointed metallic medley, but a harmonious symphony where metals accentuate and celebrate the predominant style of your space. 

8. Seek Inspiration

When it comes to honing your skills in mixing metals, there's no such thing as too much inspiration. Sure, design magazines with their glossy spreads and elaborate photo shoots are a timeless source. And yes, blogs brimming with personal insights, tips, and DIY projects offer a fresh, relatable perspective. But let's not stop there.

In this digital age inspiration is just a click away. Whether it's an influencer showcasing a chic metallic room makeover on Instagram or a homeowner tweeting about their newly acquired bronze artifact, there's a whole world out there, ready to inspire.

Blog Post Image

📸 Sarah Robertson

And speaking of diving deep into the digital realm of design, have you explored the DecorMatters app yet? It's a game-changer! With a user-friendly interface, it allows you to visualize different decor scenarios in your space before making any decisions. What's more, the app is packed with ideas, trends, and expert insights specifically curated for design enthusiasts.

So, why wait? Let the digital revolution enhance your design journey. Download the DecorMatters app and elevate your space with informed and inspired metal-mixing choices

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