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The Do’s and Dont’s of Mixing Metals in Your Home Decor

decorating with metal

When you’re redecorating a room, the big questions you’re looking at are what color to paint the space, what flooring to use, and how to pick light fixtures.

But the devil’s in the details, and having the right accessories for your space can take it from drab to fab in a snap.

Adding metal accessories to your room can give the space some glitz and glitter that sets it apart.

There are rules about mixing metals that need to be observed, however.

Mixing metals the right way can make your room seem far more expensive than it actually is.

Read on to learn how to mix metals in your space the right way and come away with a new room you adore.

Metal Types and Finishes

aluminum outdoor furniture

There are a few different types of metal you can use around your home.

Aluminum and copper are great for outdoor furniture and accent pieces, and cast iron can be used for knobs and handles.

Brass and stainless steel look great on mirrors and light fixtures, and bronze statues can make a sophisticated decoration for your home.

There are also a few different ways metal can be finished to change the way it looks.

Antiqued metals are made to look worn and weathered, whereas brushed metals look like they’ve been smoothed over with a paintbrush.

Hammered metals have small dents from pounding with a tiny hammer all over the surface, and polished looks like it’s been finished to a mirror-like shine, while satin is somewhere between brushed and polished.

DO Pick One Dominant Metal

kitchen with stainless appliances

When you’re decorating with multiple metals, it’s a good idea to pick one dominant metal.

This will help unify your space and make your decorating scheme feel cohesive.

When you’re trying to pick your dominant metal, look at what you already have in the space.

For instance, in your kitchen, you may already have a stainless steel dishwasher or stove.

If you get a new refrigerator, get a stainless steel model to match the rest of your kitchen.

Then you can accessorize with a few pieces in copper, gold, or another accent metal.

DON’T Mix More Than Three Metals

When you’re accessorizing, you want to stick to just one or two accent metals in addition to your dominant metal.

Too many metal finishes in one space can make the room feel divided and busy.

You can get away with mixing up to three metals in a space, but if you choose to do that, you probably want to take a different approach.

Use roughly equal amounts of each metal around the room.

This will make things look balanced and varied and can dress up a solid jewel tone paint job nicely.

DO Balance Warm and Cool

green room with gold accesories

When you’re choosing which metal you’re going to use to decorate, you want to mix warm with cool.

Metals like silver, steel, and nickel are cool metals, whereas copper, gold, and brass are warm metals.

You want to accessorize warm metals with cool accents and vice versa.

It’s also a good idea to mix warm and cool colors in your paint job.

Green, blue, and purple are cool colors, and red, orange, and yellow are warm colors.

So if you have a green room, go for copper or gold accents, and if you have a red space, try silver or steel accessories.

DON’T Crowd Your Metals

Too much metal crowded into one space can start to look busy and crowded.

Metals reflect a lot more light than paint, wood, and other finishes do.

They dazzle the eye a little, and you don’t want that effect to get overwhelming.

Be sure to space your metal accents out across your room.

They will give the space a touch of glitz wherever they are without getting too flashy.

Spacing out your metals across the whole room can also help unify your space and make even large rooms feel like a cohesive whole.

DO Use Mirrors

hanging mirror in your dining room

The only thing that reflects more light than metal is a mirror, and you can use that to your advantage.

Mirrors add a sparkle of their own, and they can make a space feel bigger.

They can also double more expensive accessories for half the price.

If you have a brass light fixture over your dining table, try hanging a mirror with a brass frame on one of the walls.

If you’re using three metals in your space, hang a frameless mirror on one wall.

It’s a simple way to double the effect of your metallic decorating and make your space seem deeper and more open.

DON’T Stick to One Finish

Although you should stick to one or two metal types in one room, you don’t have to limit yourself to one finish.

Using different metal finishes can add some texture to your space without making it look busy or disorganized.

It puts the room off-balance just a little bit, adding a jazzy sort of vibe that can elevate the aesthetic of your room.

Try adding a hammered finish bowl to a room where there’s already a brushed finish light fixture.

Or put up some pictures in antiqued frames in your kitchen next to your satin finish refrigerator.

Your room will seem instantly more sophisticated and charming.

Learn More About Mixing Metals

learn more about mixing metals

There are some amazing techniques for mixing metals in your décor that can elevate your space.

Remember to stick to just one or two metal finishes per room, and balance out your warm and cool colors.

Have fun with different finishes, and toss in some mirrors to reflect the gorgeous room you’ve put together back at you.

If you’d like to get more great home décor inspiration, check out the rest of our site.

We have articles about every brand from Pottery Barn to Restoration Hardware.

Check out our DIY articles for some great weekend projects to dress up your space for the holidays.

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