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5 Expert Tips On How To Mix Metals In Your Décor

Mixing metals is the intentional combination of different metal finishes and materials within a single space to create a visually appealing and harmonious design. Specifically, it adds depth, contrast, and interest to the overall aesthetic of an area.

Mastering the art of metal mixing in décor takes some finesse, but we’ve got you covered. The following tips will teach you how to blend different metals correctly, helping you achieve an eclectic and elegant metallic touch in your space.

Balance Metal Finishes

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A balanced mix of metal finishes is important for a space’s aesthetics, cohesiveness, and functionality. It prevents a place from appearing cluttered or disjointed, making the space feel intentional and thoughtfully designed.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Choose one metal finish to be your space’s dominant or primary metal. It mainly reduces visual confusion, making viewers focus on key design elements rather than being overwhelmed by multiple competing finishes. This is often used for larger fixtures and permanent elements like faucets, door handles, or cabinet hardware.
  2. Choose a theme or style that guides your metal selections. For example, stainless steel towel dispensers from Dolphin Solutions are great for an industrial look. However, warm metals like brass and gold may be your focus if you prefer a more classic feel.
  3. Take into account the overall color palette of the room. Ensure that the metals you choose complement the existing colors in the space, including walls, floors, and furnishings.

To do so, determine whether the room’s existing color palette is warm or cool. Warm colors have red, orange, or yellow undertones, while cool colors are blue or green. Choose metals that align with the temperature of the colors in the room.

For example, if a space is in predominantly warm colors, use gold as the main metal. Gold metals have a warm, yellow undertone, so you can’t go wrong by pairing them with similar warm undertones.

In addition to aesthetics, the choice of metal finishes can impact functionality. For example, choosing durable and easy-to-maintain finishes in high-traffic areas can contribute to the practicality of the space.

Mix Warm and Cool Metals

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Using a single metal finish throughout a space can sometimes lead to a monotonous or overly uniform look. While this might be intentional for some minimalist or specific design styles, the décor feels too one-dimensional, predictable, and insipid.

Mixing warm and cool metals helps break up this monotony. Despite having different shades, warm metals’ red, yellow, and orange undertones typically complement the blue and grey undertones of cool metals, creating a visual contrast.

Moreover, note that different metals offer unique characteristics and qualities. Warm tones like brass and gold exude a cozy, inviting feel, while cool tones like silver and nickel offer a crisp, modern look. The interplay between these tones can create visual interest, making the décor more engaging and dynamic.

Here are some examples of how you can successfully make warm and cool metal combinations attractive at home or in your office:

  1. Entryway Accents: Opt for an entryway table with warm metal legs and a cool metal tabletop or vice versa. The mix of metals in the entryway creates a welcoming atmosphere, setting a positive tone for visitors as soon as they enter.
  2. Decorative Accessories: Mix warm brass or copper vases, candle holders, or picture frames with cool silver or chrome elements on shelves or side tables. The combination of warm and cool metals in accessories can add personality and charm to a room, making it more inviting.
  3. Lighting: Install a chandelier with a mix of warm and cool metals above the dining table or pendant lights in a mix of warm copper and cool nickel or silver finishes above the kitchen island to create a striking focal point.

Combining warm and cool metals can create a timeless aesthetic that transcends specific design trends. It offers versatility, allowing the decor to adapt to changing styles and preferences over time.

Vary the Finishes

It’s essential to vary the finishes to add depth and interest to your metal mix. Put simply, incorporate a mix of both instead of all polished or all matte surfaces. This is because every texture catches and reflects light in various ways. This interplay of light and shadow on different textured surfaces then adds depth and dimension to the design.

Varying textures also help achieve balance in design. For example, an office with too many smooth or reflective surfaces can feel monotonous. Introducing textures like wood, fabric, or stone brings balance and harmony to this visual composition.

Consider Proportions

Think about the size and scale of each element in your space to promote visual harmony when mixing metals as well. For example, if you have a large stainless steel appliance in the kitchen, complement it with smaller copper accents like utensil holders or pendant lights.

Paying attention to proportions also helps prevent one metal from unnecessarily dominating a space. When certain metals are used in excess, they can overshadow other finishes and disrupt the overall balance of the design.

Introduce a Neutral Anchor

To avoid a chaotic mishmash of metals, introduce a neutral anchor to ground the overall design. It serves as a visual buffer, allowing the different metals to coexist without competing for attention. This strategy also helps maintain a sense of cohesion in your décor.

A neutral anchor can be achieved through the use of neutral colors. They’re muted shades, which appear lacking in color but have underlying hues that often change with different lighting. Examples of neutral colors are brown, beige, taupe, white, cream, gray, and black.

For example, if you choose to use warm metal colors as your space’s dominant colors, use white or gray countertops, backsplashes, or walls to act as neutral anchors. Then, add color through barstools, pendant lights, or kitchen accessories and display them on open shelves.

A neutral anchor is also achieved through materials such as wood and glass. For example, if you have a mix of gold and silver metals in your living room, incorporate a wooden coffee table or glass shelves to provide a neutral focal point.

Final Thoughts

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Incorporating various metals into your décor can be a fun and creative process. However, while this can be done alone, seeking a professional is highly recommended to prevent costly mistakes and ensure great results.

Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with foreignspolicyi.org from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]gmai.com