Mixing Metals: The Do’s and Don’ts

First off, I’m giving everyone permission to mix metals in your home. Mixing metal finishes gives a room dimension and is visually striking, but I get it, it’s intimidating if you don’t know where to start. Set up a good system for yourself so you’ll never doubt mixing metals again. Here are a few of my tried and true tips that I keep in mind when designing for my clients.

Do: Limit Your Metals to 3 or Less Per Area

A white and blue living room with custom built-ins and matte black finishes

The goal here is to cohesively layer in different metals, not to overwhelm a space. Avoid this by selecting no more than three metals you want to add, and if you’re not feeling too confident, just start by going for two different ones. I love matte black because it looks good with everything, but I also take into account the color palette of the room and of the metal finishes themselves. Are there warm or cool undertones to consider (it’s cool to mix these up too!) Do I want nickel, brass, chrome?

Do: Find a ‘Foundation’ Metal

Girl's Bathroom with checkered wallpaper and mixed metal finishes in Redmond, WA

Your foundation metal is what you’ll see throughout the space – on your doorknobs, hinges, etc. Then you’ll choose another metal that will act as your accent metal – this one goes in your lighting and plumbing. If you’re going for three different metal finishes, your last can be carefully peppered in with hardware. Following this plan of foundation metals >>> accent metals >>> dash of hardware keeps the look deliberate- the last thing you want is for the space to feel overloaded.

Don’t: Forget About Texture When Mixing Metals!


Remember that metals come in many forms: satin, polished, hammered, matte, etc. Mixing and matching various texture will keep the look intentional and striking.

Mixed Metal Combinations I Like:

  • Matte Black + Brass + Polished Nickel
  • Brass + Polished Nickel
  • Matte Black + Satin Nickel
  • Matte Black + Polished Chrome
  • Polished Chrome + Brass

A Few Ideas For Mixing Metals


Row One: Foundation // Accent #1 // Accent #2 – (On sale!)

Row Two: Foundation // Accent #1 // Accent #2

Row Three: Foundation // Accent #1 // Accent #2

Leave a comment below with your questions on mixing metals in your home!

  1. Grace Braxton says:

    Hello, I’m moving into a new construction home so I am able to choose my hardware and accents before I move in. I like row one, What metal do I use for bathroom and kitchen faucets? All cabinets are white and light wood flooring with some light gray tones

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