5 FABULOUS TIPS FOR MIXINGS METALS IN YOUR HOME
After years and years of designers saying that you should not and cannot mix metals I ‘m here today to say… OH, YES YOU CAN! I’m sure many of you who are old enough to remember the brass trend of the 80’s and 90’s and the horror of mixing any other metals with brass! Or in recent years the chrome craze that often left rooms feeling cold and sterile! The design world has finally come to its senses. Mixing metals is not only on trend, it’s sensible! And you should mix metals in your home too. Here are some tips for mixing metals beautifully in your home!
Today’s PRACTICALLY SPEAKING topic comes from some emails I’ve received from StoneGable’s readers! Some of you might need “permission” to mix metals, especially if you are in my age group and can remember that mixing metals was a big decor NO NO once upon a time!
Metallics bring life and sparkle and spark and fun to a room! They can be shiny, dull, burnished, brushed, hammered, polished, antiqued, sandblasted, burnished and glazed. Finishes can be satin, drybrushed, rusted, oil-rubbed, chemically enhanced and more! Metals come in many colors as well. And all this gives a home decor enthusiast so many fabulous choices for our homes!
So let’s mix those metals and do it with style! Here are a few tips that will help you get started.
PICK A PRIMARY METAL
Go ahead and mix golds with silvers, warm metals with cool ones. Just make sure to have one primary metal in a room. Let one metal dominate the others. If you have a big gilded mirror, like I do in my dining room, let it shine! Let gold be the predominate metal and add in other metal accents like the antique silver nailhead on the chairs or the mercury glass candlesticks on the dining room table and the lamp on the buffet!
DON’T OVERDO IT
Mix metals but use an edited hand! You want to think “balance” when mixing metals. Two or three different metals mix well… four or five look confusing! Keep is subtle… nailheads on chairs and tables, a great pair of candlesticks, a fun pillow. Just don’t go too crazy with metallics!
And there are certain metals like copper that are so so pretty, but they like to call attention to themselves. A tad of copper goes a long long way!
THINK ABOUT TEXTURE
Yes, textured metal. Think about hammered, brushed, mercury glass and antiqued metals. Even metals that have a pattern worked or stamped on them add lots of texture! They have tons of visual texture and work happily with other metals.
MIX METALS THROUGHOUT A ROOM
If you are mixing different metals spread them around the room! Don’t clump one metal together in one area. Again, use an edited hand! A little bit here and there works like magic!
HAVE A NEUTRAL METAL
Iron, oil-rubbed bronze and any other very dark oxidized metal should be considered a neutral and looks so so pretty with metals like gold, nickel, brass, stainless steel, and brushed metals! If you like metals consider adding some dark, flat-looking metals to your decor!
Think of them as the Miss Congeniality of the metallic world! Use them more liberally and along side of more shiny metals.
Now you know! Mixing metals is a big ooh la la and yes, please!! So get out that silver and bronze and iron and mercury glass and experiment adding them to a room in your home!
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With so many new decorating blogs popping up, you’re still my first choice with my morning coffee! Thank you for the daily inspiration!
Thanks so much Barbara!
I tried painting a little silver highlight on a gold frame and blended it
….ended up loving the results!~ Thanks for sharing!
I love your candleholders.
I’ve really been enjoying the oil rubbed bronzes and have added some to my decor. It’s helpful to know they’re considered a neutral. I added some to my bath and then wondered if it’s okay to mix them with my chrome finishes. Can you tell that I’m in my mid 50’s? Lol.
YOU GO GIRL!
Thank you, thank you!!! I am redecorating our living room and was worrying about mixing my metals. Always enjoying reading your blog.
This is such a timely post for me. We just updated our home with granite countertops and I wanted to refresh my kitchen accessories without spending a fortune. I decided to pull out some family silver pieces that thad been wrapped up in storage for years and used them for different things such as a utensil holder in my mother-in-law’s silver pitcher, a silver tray for oils and vinegars, etc. I just love the look and it mixes well with my brass lights, etc. I made a nice display sitting on a large 60 yr. old cutting board that my Dad made and placed a silver Revere bowl on it for fruit and a smaller silver compote. A good way to enjoy these family items and mix the metals at the same time. I am so pleased with the look. I call it my rustic/refined look. Thanks for such a great addition to my day.
I am so happy to hear that you are using beautiful family pieces! I think we should lovingly use and enjoy our things!
Beautiful room! Love your blog!!
So glad to hear that mixing metals is now in fashion,I’ve been doing t fr years!Lol I just love the look of different metals and have special items that i love in the rooms that were not the same as the main metal but I kept them anyway. great tips on not overdoing it with many metals in one room.
I’m so glad that mixing metals is allowed now! It makes it so much easier to add my beautiful antiques into trendy pieces in my rooms!
I love love love that you are mixing old and new! That makes rooms so interesting!
Great ideas – I have always been hesitant to mix metals – no more!! Thanks.
Love this post as I have been doing this for a few seasons now! I’m a mercury glass lover and love to use it to add ” the cherry on top ” to my decor and vignettes with it. At least I’m in trend. Ha ha ! Hugs, Dorinda
Love your blog! Thanks for the article on mixing metals. I was one from the old school not to mix metals, but I had a lady from
Ethan Allen come and she mixed some of my stuff with a few new pieces and I loved it.
I love Ethan Allen’s design team. They are very well trained!
I am a 90’s victim! Too much brass … All my cabinet knobs, door handles, etc. You get the picture! I hope I can get them all changed out before brass comes back full force!
Tina, Brass is coming back into style again! What goes around comes around, right? Instead of buying new you can spray paint your brass in any metallic finish you want.
In looking at your photos, it seems as thought the beauty is in the details…AKA- the accessories…
Here’s my “conundrum :
We are going to be relocating and starting our living room nearly from scratch…I have a beautiful brass and glass coffee table (a simple, classic design) and two aged brass ginger jar lamps (also classic). The look I always admire is “Pottery Barn”- can you offer ideas of how to accessorize if the table itself is brass-and- if the dining and living space are combined, what metal would be best for the chandelier or light pendants? This has been puzzling…Love your blog and I, too, love enjoying it with morning coffee!
Hi Beth, It’s hard to give advice without seeing the space and the items you are talking about. I would say that there is probably enough brass in your living room so you don’t want to add another big brass piece. For a chandy, why not try a brushed silver? Or one that has a drum shade. Then I would add a small spiky brass orb to a vignette in the dining room so the brass element is pulled from the living room to the dining room. Add some brushed silver to the living room too. Hope this helps.
I think I will put out my early fall tablescape today…and toss in some metal accents. Inspired!
I always start my mornings with your inspirational post, blessings for a safe and beautiful weekend!
Thanks so much Jacklyn! You too!
Mixing metals have been hard for me also, but your blog inspires me to try different things. You always know how to put things together that look great and that is why I read your post every day.
I think there’s a talent for mixing metals to give decor a collected look. I’m trying, but sometimes it looks hodge podge. Thanks for these helpful tips.
Love how you mix metals. Beautiful!!
Great info – did you move the mirror back to the living room ( I loved the painting and platters you had there) I love to change my decor around but always wonder if I’m breaking a “strict decorators rule”. I can always count on your blog to guide me. Thanks!
No, I used a picture from my vast image library that gave an example of the tip I was given.
Yvonne, you are spot on with these tips! I decorate in the French Country Style and mix my metals. It makes everything look more interesting. You have mixed your metals beautifully! I hope that you have a happy holiday weekend!!!
I love all my metal items and will display them throughout our home, love having morning coffee with you
I love that we can have a cup of coffee together, Linda!
i love how everything has loosened up in the decorating and fashion world, the freedom to express our personality is good for the spirit.
You are spot on Ruby! It’s all about using what we love and expressing our personalities in our homes!
Hi Yvonne…thanks for a great tip…I love the look of silvery metals with wood in autumn…such as dough bowls or wood pedestals…Smiles…..Anne
A joy to read your blog with my morning coffee…weekend inspiration !
Love mixing metals!! Especially silver and gold! I also love rose gold! I will be using those in my fall decorating. Copper is also a favorite. I love your useful tips and seeing how you mix them! Thanks, Yvonne!
These are such beautiful examples, Yvonne! I love mixing metals in my home – mostly because I don’t like to commit!
Enjoy your weekend! We are waiting for the storm to travel up the coast and hit us here in NJ…hopefully it won’t be too bad!
I always enjoy your insight. Thank you again for your suggestions. I must say, mercury glass is a favorite of mine and I have to be careful as to limit my pieces in each room.
I so enjoy your postings!
I personally have made a real effort to mix metals in my home. It has been great to help my decorating “relax.” Thank you for these defining tips which are very helpful. Love your blog.
Thanks for the tips on mixing metals – it’s so nice to have some good baseline tips like these. I’ve been slowly adding metals to my decor here and there and I am really loving how they “feel” and look. Thanks so much for some great tips!
Oh, goodness! That is a lot to remember. Lol! I still struggle with mixing woods!!
Thank you for this article. This is something that has bothered me. I now feel better about it and will be experimenting with.
I have brushed nickel fixtures in my kitchen but have a few copper pieces for accents. I’m also considering some black wire light fixtures for an industrial edge. As usual Yvonne your decorating is always inspiring!
Interesting ideas today! We have oil rubbed bronze faucets in our bathrooms. One bath has a muted silver color carved frame around the mirror that the oil rubbed bronze goes really well with. The oil rubbed bronze also looks nice with the mercury glass accessories on the counter top. This is exactly what you said today!
Thank you for the great tips. I love the look and have the confidence to experiment!
Always love your posts. So helpful along with being relevant! Love mixing the metals. Now I won’t just do it during the holidays.
Great tips Yvonne! I will be using them. Thanks
Great tips. Love your blog. It inspired me to get out some of the metal pieces that have been stored away and try mixing them.
I’ve always mixed metasl, subtly of course. I do not have any gray painted walls. I do my own thing because it’s my house, not what the stated “trend” is. Who sets these trends and why do they have so much power. Even in school, most wait before buying new shoes or clothes to see what the “popular” girl wears, because she knows the trend! Decorate from your own tstes.
Your mixture of metals is beautiful and tasteful.
Great tips1 I have always been a metal matchy-matchy kind of girl from door hardware to light fixtures to accessories. I am currently in my black and white phase so I am leaning towards wrought iron which of course has no bling. I will be bold and add some silver. I know, just tip-toeing out of my comfort zone but hey, everybody starts somewhere. Thanks for all your posts. They truly inspire.
Dear Yvonne, Thank you for your encouragement and permission to mix it up! It is a hard to change when one was taught that everything had to be matchy-matchy. You are right that a room is more interesting when there is a mix of metals or woods for that matter. You help make life more interesting!
I have been mixing metals for years. Love the look! All the different colors and textures are beautiful.
Thank you, Yvonne! I started wearing gold and silver together years ago – so, I am totally in with mixing them in a room!
I follow several decorating blogs, but yours is still my favorite! I especially like your Sunday inspiration.
Such an inspiring and informative post. I am old school in decorating and most other things too, but don;t like the matchy matchy look of only using one metal because I have lots of iron and copper accessories. The concept of “neutral” metals totally solves my dilemma. Still fighting the return to brass, but will add some silver and mercury glass to my fall change out. Love your blog.
Great Post!! Loved the “oh yes you can” made me laugh…. Very helpful thank you!!!
Have a safe and great Holiday!!
Hi Pamela, I know!!! You don’t know how many emails I’ve received asking if mixing metals is okay. I want to give our StoneGable family “permission”!
Yes gold and silver jewelry are now made together.like in a pair of earrings. So makes sense to mix metals but not go overboard!
When I married many years ago, the status quo was “matching” everything. Couldn’t wait to get a matching kitchen set because we made do with an assortment of odd chairs. Little did I know how ahead of a trend I was – now mismatched furniture & accessories is the standard. Mixing metals is part of the current decorating trend. Balance is the key to all aspects of decorating. Thanks for your tips.
I am so happy to see this! I’ve been wanting to mix metals but didn’t feel I could (should). Thank you for “giving permission”!
I guess it like anything else…….too much matchy matchy is no longer the way to go. Thank goodness!
Thanks for the useful tips. I have always liked mixing things up because there’s so many beautiful things out there and I don’t like things to matchee matchee!
Thank you for the permission to mix metals. My house is a hodgepodge of everything from brass to Mercury glass and chrome to brushed nickel. I figure that way there is something I have that is in style. Same with different woods. My oak cabinets are going to soon be painted white which means that oak will make a roaring comeback next year. I am always a day late and a dollar short.
I am riding out the grey everything craze because I just don’t like it, and I know in ten years we will all look back and wonder why.
Love to mix metals and am happy to finally know it’s OK.
Great ideas and suggestions. I have always loved the shiny metals next to dull ones. Thanks for continuing to provide such wonderful and useful things in your blog. Carole
yes! I feel like I now have permission to mix gold with
Keep the good ideas coming. I am currently looking for a mirror for every room, that doesn’t have one, and a few other wonderful things.
I absolutely love the look of the silver tones around the house. You really know how to inspire. This is what I would love to have. But unfortunately, it wouldn’t work with my overall decor. My home has more of a Tuscan feel with the warmer tones. Maybe I could find some gold pieces without it looking gaudy.
Thanks of the stamp of approval for something I’ve been doing myself! In my “old age” (I recently turned 60) I have adopted a new philosophy-I will darn do whatever I like and I have no rules I have taken on mixing silver and gold in my jewelry and my home decor is no exception. I love the idea of using iron rubbed bronze as a neutral and then adding some mercury glass and some gold pieces. I especially love these metals with neutral decor- whites, creams and beiges. That glimmer of the metals give an additional ‘texture’ to my rooms. Another great post!
Love this post on mixing metals in with your decor. Why not?
“Miss Congeniality”. Great analogy
Found this very helpful. Had been planning thinking of replacing some of my brass, but now will relook at how to mix and bring a better balance.
Love the shiny, I’ve noticed the golden hue is appearing in magazines. I love the silver hues myself.
Thank you for making it ok to repurpose loved items that I thought went out of style!
I love your blog!! Love your style!!
Great ideas and blog, like always.
I always love your blog and the information you share especially the inspirational. I couldn’t agree with you more about mixing metals and I think you’ve done a fantastic job of proving it. Looking forward to your next newsletter as usual.
I love to see metals mixed with either black or white wood items. I Thanks for the tips!
I still love crystal in my bedroom and find it works with a mix of gold, silver and bronze. I am too old fashioned for gloss white and chrome!
I’m wondering about the armchairs you have in your living room. Did you paint them? I really like the lighter color and the only ones I’ve come across including the link you provided in the get the look have a darker wood. I have really liked the get the look feature you added by the way; thank you so much for doing that!
i love the mix of the colors and textures. I love mercury glass. Great job.
My favorite is mercury glass and anything rusty and/or with layers of chippy paint. I
I think the key is editing. As you advised pick a predominate metal and sprinkle one or two others.
I liked the tip you gave the post above where the person had a brass coffee table and urn and needed guidance for a Chandy. Your advice gave her options and steered her away from options. Very helpful. I can do touches of brass but not a lot. I usually dig around for “I need something slender and tall here” and one of my old narrow candlesticks works. I was a purist gold fifteen years ago and got sick of it. But now? I even used gold rub n buff on my old dresser knobs and like their pop of color!! Thanks for the good tips.
I have several metal candle holders I like to mix in among my other pieces. Love decorating advice and encouragement.
I’ve always loved the look of mixed metals (when it’s done right)…thanks for sharing your fabulous style and beautiful home. I always look forward to reading your blog..be it home decor, tablescapes or recipes!
Great tips, Yvonne – thanks for sharing! I especially liked that you pinpointed on the one photo the use of the different metals and how they worked in your home. That created such a visual and was very helpful! I’m transitioning my decor today to fall, so I’ve just gotten some additional inspiration to add in metallics, as well!
Thanks for your post. I’m currently remodeling my kitchen and dining room. I love using metals but often wondered about mixing them, i.e. facets, cabinet hardware, lighting and accessories. Your post will help me with my choices.
This has been so helpful, Yvonne. I have paired mercury glass with pewter looking lamps and it looks pretty. The warmth of the oak antique washstand softens and warms the coolness of the tabletop. Having no decor training, I can only go by what is pleasing to the eye. Thanks for encouraging us to find our own way, using your wonderful tips to guide.
Always love to hear what you have to say. Down-to-earth and always on target.
Great topic, Yvonne! Mixing a couple of metals here and there in accents is pretty easy…
I start second-guessing myself about mixing the bigger stuff: door hardware (knobs/handles, hinges), light fixtures, and sink hardware… What’s your guide on those?
I really learned a lot in this post. Thanks so much. I love metals and now feel free to mix them up. I also love those white chairs and the planter that had texture which was on the table. Great post.
Happy Fall Y’All….Lots of good ideas here!
So glad you addressed mixing metals. Yes, I think I am in your age group and have been fretting about this. I love my brass and don’t really want to phase it out. I have brass lamps very similar to yours that my husband brought home from Korea. Are you by any chance a military spouse??
Hi Delphine, my dad was in the Air Force and brought the brass lamps home from Japan where he was stationed remote. I grew up with them and a few years ago my mother gifted them to me. What a treasure!
Love metals! ! Love your home !!!
Used to be you couldnt put blue and green together either!
Change is good!!
I love mixed metals. I am glad to learn that my black wrought iron baker’s rack is considered a neutral.
So happy that mixing metals is no longer taboo! I love all the different shades of metal and often mixed them before it was popular!
Yes!! Thanks for the validation! I’ve been doing this for years! It’s good to get validation from someone who has such exquisite taste! Enjoy your blog so much!!
Perfect timing, Yvonne!! I was just about to hit the purchase button on some black metal orbs when I saw your post. They were $41 each and my $1 embroidery hoop/flat black spray paint versions look just as trendy and I could fill the house to the ceiling for the same price! Best of all, the little set screw on the hoop keeps them from rolling off the table.
This is great new, thanks for permission! I’m going for it!
What about copper? It provides so much warmth for a room and can be mixed with other metals. Love your thoughts on mixing copper with other metals.
I have been rereading your ideas from 2016. I am truly enjoying them. I love the idea of mixing metals. I love the patina from aged metal, to me it adds warmth and character. My question is what is the best way to paint brass? Everything I have painted starts to peel almost immediately.
I am so glad to have your blessing to mix metals. I almost hesitate but now I know it’s a good thing.
As always, great information!
Fabulous as always.
I really enjoyed hearing mixing metals are in. I agree one would not want to add too much, or your home may look like a metal museum. I really love Bronze. I would be interested in your opinion of mixing bronze figurines with Fused Glass vases?
Thanks for the great advice in mixing metals.
What a lovely piece if you can find them. I think they would be more of an object d’art so they can be mixed with any metal and style.
Hi! I’ve been looking everywhere to figure out if you can mix iron and oil rubbed bronze. I already have iron predominantly in my family room but am thinking I would like oil rubbed bronze to be most of my kitchen. Do you see this being a problem?
I think you should mix a little iron and oil rubbed bronze together in each room. Mixing metals is a great way to add interest to any room!