Mix and Match Metals: How to Select Lighting Fixture and Hardware Finishes for Your Home
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Q&A: Submit your question
All questions are answered within 24 hours.
I have a gorgeous, modern natural brass fixture over the kitchen island/dining table and an open floor plan. I’d like to mix that with black fixtures in the living area. Is it OK to keep everything else black? Or should I add some brass into the living and dining area to make it cohesive?
This is a matter of taste, but I do think a touch of brass here and there would compliment your brass fixture in an open floor plan. This can happen as decor moments, the hardware on a console, or even a table lamp. Black fixtures work well with brass, so feel free to add black into your living area!
I am updating a bathroom. I plan to paint the walls a bright light blue( beach like) I like the Castellated 3 globe Vanity. The aged brass caught my eye, but I wonder if the chrome would look better. I would probably use chrome hardware, although I like brushed nickel. Can you give me some ideas?
Thanks for your question - Chrome and polished nickel are very similar and interchangeable, while brushed nickel is a matte finish. Blue is a nice complementary color for brass, so aged brass could be a nice warm addition to your bathroom. Blue with nickel or chrome will also look great, and will give your bath and more cool-toned feel. Personally, for a beachy feel, I would go with the Castell 3-Globe vanity in Chrome, paired with the light blue.
Would the brass light look good in a small bathroom with a chrome mirror and brass pulls and chrome plumbing?
Sure, you can mix and match your finishes, but we would recommend sticking with 3 finishes max. A Brass fixture would look great with similarly toned brass pulls, and would be a nice contract with your chrome fixtures. Give it a try!
Hello, I have an open plan kitchen, diner, lounge. Is it ok to have ceiling lights in brass and also antique brass?
Certainly! We would recommend grouping your finished by location, like aged brass over your kitchen island, and antique brass over your diner. Mix it up and have fun, we love brass!
Which finish is best for a bedroom with gray walls?
For gray walls, we think Aged Brass or Matte Black looks great!
I am currently redesigning my room. I would like to know if these lights come in sets or bundles. So that I could have one theme for my room?
Hi, thanks for your question! We do not offer lights in set bundles, but we do design collections that match and work together seamlessly! Check out our various collections here: https://www.lights.com/collections
Would these lights look good in a modern office setup?
Yes, our lighting fixtures would look great in a modern office!
When dealing when an open floor plan with multiple light fixtures in different spaces (ie kitchen, dining, living room, entryway), is it ok to mix those metals in such close proximity to one another?
The general rule of thumb is to not mix more than 2-3 metals. To help you mix metals in an open floor plan, keep the height of the fixture in mind. For example, it could be visually appealing to use aged brass pendants and matte black floor lamps. Remember to balance these mixed metals by maintaining symmetry. Back to our example, you could then use matte black cabinet hardware to balance the aged brass pendants, and aged brass chair legs to balance the matte black floor lamps. Ultimately, it is your preference and how you find these mixed metals visually appealing.