How to Design with Mixed Metals Like a Pro


Nowadays, there are so many home design trends, it’s hard to keep up with what is current and what is outdated. Combining mixed metals effectively can not only create a modern look but can also be a great way to give a more timeless appeal. It can be hard to figure out where to start. Is it better to choose metal with warm tones or cool tones? Which metals go best with white cabinets? Can you combine aged brass, matte black, and maybe even silver tones in the same room? Let’s look at some strategies for why mixed metals work and how to do this effectively.

Mixed Metals with White Vanity and Round Mirror

Why should you design with mixed metals?

For starters, mixing metals gives more of an interior designer look. There’s boldness in contrasting metals and different finishes. It adds interest and helps to create a unique look. The mixture definitely creates a custom feel versus cookie-cutter decor. When designing with mixed metals, make sure that it looks like it was done deliberately and not just thrown together or randomly placed. When done correctly, it elevates and adds interest in any space.

mixed metal vanity with vertical shiplap

How can you pull off mixed metals?

Repeat each Metal Tone Used at least Twice

The rule of thumb to ensure the mixed metals look feels intentional vs haphazard is to repeat the metal type at least twice. For example, keep the faucet/light, hardware/mirror, or hardware/lighting the same metal tones. If you have brushed brass faucets, you can repeat this element with brass hardware. This design tip is critical to creating a cohesive mixed metal look.

Stick to Same Finish

From there, it is best not to mix different metal finishes. For example, don’t mix polished brass and satin or antique brass. Stay consistent with the same finish for each color you are using. With silver metals, don’t mix satin nickel and polished chrome. Pick one of the cool metals and repeat it a couple times. Brass can be a little more tricky with undertones. One trick is to try and purchase hardware and lighting from the same vendor to ensure consistent warm undertones. Rejuvenation is a great option as they carry both beautiful hardware and lighting.

Where to add mixed metals?

Incorporating different metals doesn’t need to be hard. Let’s look at the best way to pull off the look and talk about different ways to implement mixed metals throughout some of the spaces in your home.


Choose kitchen cabinet hardware as your primary finish and showcase an accent metal with your kitchen faucet or light fixtures. You can layer in decorative accents like picture frames to coordinate with cabinet pulls. Also, consider that you may have stainless steel appliances. These don’t necessarily need anything to complement them, as they can be more of a neutral in your kitchen space.


For the bathroom, focus on vanity faucets, plumbing fixtures, mirrors, lights, cabinetry, towel bars, and rings. Your dominant metal could be the mirror on the wall and the pendant lights while the accent metal could be the faucets and plumbing. Whether you have white cabinets or a more moody color palette, mixing metals in your bathroom space can add more character.

Living Room

Have a fireplace and mantel? Make that the focus point for a pop of color. For example, utilize gold metal around the fireplace mantel and hang a picture or mirror with a gold frame right above it. Incorporate accent metals around the room like picture frames, curtain rods, furniture legs or even decorative accents like metal candle holders.

Other Areas

Entryways, hallways and many other common areas throughout the home can also get the mixed metal treatment. Consider mixing door knobs and lighting colors. Switch plates are another good opportunity to mix complementary metals. Many of these are places not commonly thought of but can really add a special touch to the look of your home.

What else to consider when creating this look?

When choosing your pieces, try to go for more timeless pieces when it comes to what you’re going to spend the most money on. That way, if you decide to change things up later, you can center around your largest investment. For example, when choosing plumbing fixtures, use a more classic look like chrome. When you go bold, do it with items that you’re likely to change out more often.

With that being said, don’t limit yourself to what’s trending right now. If you love the look of gold hardware, do it! Going with what you like will help you create looks that reflect the warmth you want for your home specifically.

Mixed Metals Gives the Home Timeless Appeal

Designing with mixed metals is a wonderful way to give a home a more timeless appeal. It is definitely a favorite way to add interest among interior designers. The mixed-metal look will give your home personality and can help keep it from looking dated. Whether you are planning a bathroom remodel or you are simply adding decorative accents to a space, consider some of the above tips to create your own look with different mix of metals in your home.

What are your thoughts on the mixed metals look? Would you be willing to give mixed metals a try?

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