Mixing Metals: 8 Do’s and Don’ts

Mixing metals doesn’t have to be hard.

Oil and water. Cellphones and swimming pools. Toothpaste and orange juice. Some things just don’t mix well together. You may have heard this unfortunate design rumour about mixing metals, but it’s time to dispose of that outdated advice. Combining silver, gold, brass, or iron (just to name a few), is a great strategy for adding visual interest and depth to a space. At Lionsgate Design, we always love textured, layered, eclectic spaces, and mixed metals is an effortless way to make the pieces pop in your home… as long as you do it right. Here are do’s and don’ts for mixing metals:

Do: Choose a Dominant Metal

Choose a metal finish you love to be the most prominent in your home, and then select one or two metal accents to complete the look. Having a primary metal ensures your space a sense of unity, while accent metals will guide the eyes throughout the room.

Don’t: Be Afraid of Mixing Warm and Cool Tones

Warm metals (like gold and brass) come off as a rich pop of colour when placed with cool metals like silver and chrome. Many people think that matching your finishes is the best way to coordinate your home or kitchen, but in reality this often creates a monochromatic and less interesting look.

Do: Consider Your Colour Scheme

Although we encourage mixing and matching, it is very important to consider your colour palette when selecting your metal tones. Typically, you should use warm metals (like gold, brass, and copper) with warm hues (like reds, browns, and yellow) and cool metals (such as chrome and silver) with cool hues (such as blue, green, and violet). It is neutral rooms, however, that beg for metallic accents in order to add warmth, texture, and colour. If you’re using grey tones, a gold mirror can make a room come to life. Use your metals to even out your room temperature.

Don’t: Disregard Texture

When using metals, don’t forget to consider texture. It can make all of the difference in a space with mixed metals. Combine matte, polished, and hammered finishes to create a rich, appealing atmosphere.

Do: Use Natural Iron As a Neutral

Iron is the neutral of the metallic world. It is a modern industrial touch that adds a dark element to a palette that needs to be grounded or toned down. It won’t clash with other metal tones, and it also helps warmer metals, such as gold, gain a stronger pop of colour.

Don’t: Forget to Use Other Metallics

Mix your metals not only with your hardware and finishings – metallic textiles, artwork, picture frames, and wall paper are all options that you can use.

Do: Keep it Subtle

Even though multiple metals may inhabit your space, you don’t want them to be competing for attention. Don’t clutter a space with too many metal pieces. We love mixing metals…but three finishes are more than enough. Need a natural neutralizer? Use wood, iron, or a non-metallic finish. These elements offer a modern industrial touch, they won’t clash with other metals, and they add a grounded element to your palette to make sure your space looks pulled together and effortless.

Don’t: Put the Pedal to the Metal

Play around with the metal in your home, but don’t go overboard. Our guideline? Stick to two finishes. There’s a potential for three if there’s a statement piece of some kind, or if the metals are spread across a large space, but ideally you want two metals, a prominent tone and an accent.

 

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More products for mixing metals can be found at https://shop.lionsgatedesign.ca 

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