There was a time a few years ago that mixed metals was a total no-no. However, in the newest, high end construction estates I am seeing kitchens & bathrooms with cabinet mixed metals pulls and Buyers are LOVING the look!
In this article by Elements Design 2018 Trends: Mixed Metals In Every Room, it shows how to incorporate the popular use of mixed metals in the home. In addition to examining the how, it’s also interesting to take a look at the where, when it comes to this fun new trend.
Metal has been hot (in homes, that is) for many years, and the rule of thumb has been homogeny: one metal throughout the home, or at the least, one per space. The rules are changing, and 2018 homeowners are pushing the boundaries by mixing their metals, preferring a more heterogeneous look.
Today’s rule is contrast with harmony—a few metals juxtaposed in playful ways that still maintain wholeness in a space. While there are still guidelines to keep in mind when staying in style, experimentation is now top dog, and consistency has lost its spot when it comes to metal décor. And this trend is not limited to appliances; mixed metals are showing up in some traditional and some surprising places.
Arguably the most metallic room in the house, the kitchen is a great place to play with finishes, and the games have begun. A popular trend in kitchen spaces is to choose two, or even three, metals and position them in interesting ways to add contrast with class. A satin nickel faucet situated next to brass cabinetry or hardware creates a statement very different from the previous matched look. In the kitchen, typically the areas to incorporate metal (besides appliances) are the hardware, sink/faucets, and lighting. Add copper lighting fixtures into the mix, and this kitchen can really pop.
Much like the kitchen, the bathroom utilizes metal in a functional way. The same trend applies here: metals can be mixed, one-two-three, in the hardware, faucets, and lighting. Some other interesting looks can be created in adding perhaps a gold-framed mirror above a silver faucet or playing the bronze of the towel racks off the polished chrome of the bathtub faucets and showerhead. In a large enough bathroom, it is also popular to utilize bathroom accoutrements such as soap dispensers and tissue boxes as blending or contrasting elements in the metal juxtaposition.
The Living Room
Metal isn’t just for the kitchen and bathroom, though. It can also liven up a living space. Typically larger than the kitchen or bath, the living room provides a larger playground in which to try new ideas. As a result, some surprising trends have developed in this room where family and friends gather. For example, wall art with heavy gold or brass frames are popular. Metal table-tops or inlays can supply accents, too. Furniture legs, lighting fixtures, fireplace tools, statues—the options are endless. And they don’t have to match anymore. At the heart of this trend is the desire to personalize a living space. The combination of finishes gives a room the fresh feel of a custom-designed setup instead of the out-of-the box environment of consistent metals. Furthermore, carefully chosen contrasting pieces suggest a collection over time, adding an individualized elegance to the room.
Even though mixing metals pushes boundaries, it shouldn’t completely ignore them. For example, design professionals suggest aiming for a minimum of two contrasting metals in a space—and a maximum of three. Also, size matters. A smaller room is probably better served with two metal types than with three. Too many contrasting elements in a small space can feel less like elegant opposition and more like disturbing cacophony. And even though playfulness is king, reigning it in a bit is still advisable. Thus, choosing one dominant metal in each room provides a foundation and a common thread for the other pieces to complement. A good formula to use is the 70/30 ratio, meaning the dominant metal makes up 70% and 30% is comprised of your accent choice(s). And that primary metal becomes the chorus in the free-spirited song of your home-design adventure.
The most important rule when using mixed metals? Enjoy the melody and the harmony.
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