Mix and Match Metals | Lighting 101 | Ideas & Inspiration | Lights.
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Mix and Match Metals: How to Select Lighting Fixture and Hardware Finishes for Your Home
March 19, 2018

Hardware and lighting largely contribute to the aesthetic of a home. In fact, if you’re looking for a quick and cheap way to refresh a room or update the style of your house, simply changing your light fixtures and metal accents can do the trick!

But how do you pick a metal finish? Do you choose brass or bronze, satin nickel or polished nickel? Is it okay to mix and match? Or is it best to stick with one metal family?

The choices are endless, but we created a guide that will help.

Brass

Aged, antique brass is the latest trend for adding a vintage, edgy vibe to your home. Used as an eye-catching accent, brass adds a luxurious touch to any room. It can be integrated into warm and white rooms, and it can even add an extra pop in rooms with darker tones. Use brass when you want the light fixture to be noticed and eyes to be drawn to the metal finishes.

Chrome

The reflective qualities of chrome make it another eye-catching option. Chrome tends to add a lightness and brightness to rooms, and considering how well it pairs with silver and glass decor, it is an extremely practical option. Chrome is usually affiliated with modern furnishings and decorations, however it is just as complementary to traditional and vintage looks.

Nickel

A great neutral choice is nickel. Nickel has a subtle gray color which pairs well with almost any color scheme or room theme. Nickel comes in two finish options: polished and satin. Polished nickel is comparable to chrome because it possess similar reflective, mirror-like qualities. Polished nickel can perfectly compliment a room with a dark color scheme.

Meanwhile, satin nickel is known for its longevity. Satin nickel can easily be transitioned into different designs and room updates, while polished nickel is more difficult to carryover. For example, polished nickel looks great in a room with a dark color scheme, but if in a few years you want to update that room to a bright color scheme, the polished nickel might not work anymore while the satin nickel would have carried over.

Both finishes have their pro’s and con’s, but given nickel’s neutrality you can’t go wrong.

Bronze

Bronze has a reputation for looking fabulous in rooms with wood, stone, and natural tones. If your home has an earthy style, antique furniture, or wooden cabinetry and flooring, bronze could be a great choice for you. Bronze also coordinates well with the current marble and granite trend, so decorating around your bronze lighting/hardware will be super convenient.

Black

You know what they say- black goes with everything and is never out of style. Black metal accents create a bold yet classic tone in any room and it pairs with almost every color scheme, the only exception being brown, navy, and certain natural/earthy tones. Additionally, choosing a matte black option adds an awesome polished look to a room. Matte is a trending style right now, so finding decor and hardware to compliment your black matte fixtures will be a breeze.

Pewter

Known for its durability, low-maintenance, and cleanability, pewter is often used in hardware and cabinetry for kitchens and bathrooms. Choosing pewter lighting fixtures is a great way to achieve a harmonious look between your kitchen and your bathrooms if want to establish a consistent theme throughout your home.

How to Mix and Match

Don’t want to pick just one? Great! Gone are the days of choosing one metal finish for the whole home. Today, it is extremely common to mix and match metal finishes in order to achieve different aesthetics in your home.

But how do you mix the right way? Which metals compliment each other, and which ones are like those two relatives who can’t stand to be in the same room?

Here are some general rules to follow:

  • Never choose more than three! Two or three metals is the magic number, but anything more than three can be distracting and confusing.
  • Ever heard of the phrase ‘opposites attract’? Well that applies here! You can safely mix shiny with matte, and it also works to mix warm with cool. Mixing metals can add visual interest and fun dimensions to your home.
  • If you’re not into contrast, then similar hues are also an acceptable approach. Pairing warm tones with a warm-colored room makes for a satisfying style, and same with pairing cool tones.
  • Finally, be sure to have 2-3 finishes that are used throughout the whole home. For example, have a touch of silver in every room just to make things consistent. Or if you’re feeling brave, add a dash of brass to each room! Don’t forget to include your outdoor lighting and hardware into this theme. Your curbside appeal should be cohesive with the interior style of your home for the best possible experience.