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Unique Painting KC’s Tips For Mixing Metals

Does mixing metals in a room trigger your OCD?  I’m not going to lie, seeing metals mismatched bothers me a little if it’s overdone.  Now you’re probably worrying whether you’re overdoing it.  And you’re also probably wondering what the rules are for mixing metals in a way that won’t be offensive. Sorry to put that on you, folks, but don’t fret! I’ve compiled some tips for mixing metals that should take the guess work out of your shopping and help you mix metals like a hardcore 80’s hairband fan.

Here are some things you need to know before we get started:

Cool Metals=Polished Nickel, Nickel, Stainless Steel, Aluminum, Chrome, Silver Metals

Warm Metals=Gold, Brass, Copper, Bronze

Accent Metals=Black, Cast Iron

Finishes: Satin, Antiqued, Rubbed, Brushed, Polished, Hammered

Now you’ve been properly introduced to the band, so here are my backstage tips for mixing metals in your home.

Establish One Main Metal Color

Establishing one metal color is the first step to properly mixing metals.  That may sound funny, but you need to have one dominate or main metal color. When choosing your primary metal, you will want to pay attention to what is already going on in the room.  For example, if your kitchen is all white or a light color polished chrome will keep it looking and feeling clean and bright. Kitchens with predominately black cabinets and appliances look fantastic with brass hardware.


Select Accent Metal(s)

After you’ve established your main metal color, select one accent metal to create contrast. You’ll want to pay attention to the temperature of the metals here.  For example, warm metals and cool metals pair nicely (see above for a list of warm and cool metals).  Once you’ve chosen your second metal, a third can be tossed in for interest. Caution: If overdone, a room can go from classy to trashy in an instant.


Metal Placement

Spread your metals out yet keep the metals of the same function consistent.  A great way to remember this step is to keep all of your light fixtures the same metal, match all plumbing fixtures, and use the same metal on all cabinet hardware.


Metal Balance

Make sure your metals feel balanced in the space. Using each metal at least twice will help maintain symmetry. Use your dominant metal more than the accents.  If copper is your main element, you’ll want to use it here and there throughout the room amongst the other metals to capture its dominance.  Using different finishes will also create some difference yet add balance.


If mixing metals still scares you, start small. Mixing picture frames, mirrors, and décor throughout your space are a great way to dip your toe into the water without completely jumping in. You can always return what doesn’t work. You are now in the know.  All this metal knowledge should have you feeling like Tawny Kitaen in a White Snake video. Still struggling?  Give me a shout to schedule a Design Consult. 816-500-7759.

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