Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Metal Mixing


A common kitchen and bath related question I'm often asked:

Can you mix and match finishes within a space?

For years it was an interior design taboo to mix finishes. If you chose oil rubbed bronze for your faucet than it was expected that your light fixture, hardware and curtain rod would to be oil rubbed bronze too. The same concept was true for fashion accessories, if you chose gold hoop earrings to compliment your ensemble then your other jewelry needed to be gold toned as well. This concept was tried and true for a long time but as of late I've noticed a revolt against the matchy-matchy.

It's hard to say exactly when the mixing of metals became acceptable, but I'm crediting David Yurman with the trend. For years he has being designing iconic pieces mixing gold and silver in his creations.

Photo via google Pinterest search. 


It's interesting how gold and silver are both beautiful metals in their own right, but combined, they really pop and the elegance is undeniable.  For my wedding day I wore an arm full of silver and gold DY bangles and gold earrings.

Photo by Tisha Saunders of Flashback Photography.
I even mixed it up for my wedding set with a white gold engagement ring and a yellow gold wedding band. I love the freedom this combination gives me; with such a staple part of my everyday jewelry ensemble being two toned metal I feel I can mix and match as I please. Obviously, you want to do so in a way that looks intentional and not so much like you got dressed in the dark, but overall I'd say mixing metals is 100% acceptable as far as fashion is concerned.

But what about when it comes to interiors?

Chrome, Oil Rubbed Bronze, Antique Brass, Polished Nickel, Brushed Nickel, Black, Polished Brass, Stainless Steel, Copper, Satin Nickel...SO.MANY.OPTIONS! Can they play together?

Below is a picture of my 2013 Holiday House Kitchen. If you look closely you will see there is a lot of metal mixing going on.

Photo by Barbara Brown of Barbara Brown Architectural Photography.
The metal strips on the hood and all cabinetry hardware have an antique brass finish. The sinks and faucets are stainless steel and the light fixture is aged iron. It's a smorgasbord, but it works.

Below is a photo is of my Grandmother's Kitchen. All of the appliances are stainless steel and all of the hardware and the faucet are antique brass.
Photo my own. 
The cabinets are light gray and while it would of been easy to go with a more silver toned finish for the hardware and faucet because of the stainless appliances, I felt that would evoke a more modern look. We really wanted the space to have a casual elegant vibe and I knew the antique brass was just the right finish to help us achieve that look. To marry the two finishes we selected a light fixture with a champagne finish. The finish has depth with both silver and gold tones within, which brings the whole look together. 

Photo by Barbara Brown of Barbara Brown Architectural Photography.

Above is a kitchen designed by Mike Bell. As you can see this space has stainless steel appliances, polished nickel hardware and black lights. Black and white is always a classic combination. While black knobs would of worked in this space the polished nickel hardware really ties in nicely with the stainless steel and adds a layer of elegance to the room.

The whole concept of mixing metals is so liberating to me. It allows us to focus on what finish works best for each specific element within a space. That's not to say sticking with the same finish throughout a room can't work, it can and does. But isn't it satisfying to know you don't HAVE to? To me, accessories be they interior or fashion based, are meant to enhance a space or an outfit. It's easy to get caught up in the abundance of choices when attempting to select the right finish for your project. My advice, take a step back, consider your space and the overall look you are trying to achieve and then make one selection at a time. The devil is in the details folks, take your time and know, no two rooms or outfits are alike - pick what works for you!

2 Appreciated Comments :

Daniel Brown said...

Wow such a wonderful blog! This looks perfect. I just say one thing your blog is mind blowing. Pictures are very beautiful. You are right Stainless steel hardware is mainly used in home design . Thats why our home looks unique and lovely. Keep blogging.

Courtney Foster Shearer said...

Thank you Daniel!

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