Over the past three decades, the practice of mixing metals in home décor has evolved from a big no to a definite yes! There are many reasons to experiment with mixing metals—primarily because it’s a great way to get creative with the pieces in a room. The heterogeneous effect can add visual interest and depth to a space. It can also create a look that suggests that your metal treasures have been collected over time for a more realistic and personal feel. While it’s the perfect time to say yes to this method, there are still some Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind.
Choose A Dominant Metal
While mixing is completely acceptable, what you don’t want is to end up with a confusing hodge-podge of visuals in your home. It’s best to choose a dominant metal, and then allow your other choices to serve as accents. When choosing which metal to use as your primary, think in terms of the overall style you hope to achieve, and choose one that works within that aesthetic.
Include a Coordinating Element
In addition to your main metal and your accent, you’ll want at least one piece that includes both. This object will unify the contrasting elements in your space. Wall art, a vase, or sculpture would be perfect choices for your marrying piece. It’s also best for that object to have similarly toned finishes as your dominant metal, avoiding a clash. Any contrast in the room should feel deliberate instead of haphazard.
Keep Color at the Center
So, you’re excited about this new trend, and understandably so! But before you go shopping for those fun new pieces, take stock of your home’s color scheme. Are warm hues a favorite in your space? Colors like red, brown, and yellow come alive when paired with warm metals, like gold, copper, and bronze. Is your home ultra-cool, showcasing colors like violet, blue, and green? Chrome and silver are your new best friends. And don’t forget, iron is a great neutral element. Again, creativity is half the fun of mixing metals, so adding a touch of contrast is encouraged, just stay true to your home’s personality.
Go Metal Crazy
While a few well-chosen pieces truly add character to a space, exuberance with metal can come off more like garage sale chic than classy eclectic. Too much metal or too many types end up competing for attention, rather than cooperation among the elements. A bold statement piece can add drama, but it must allow your room to feel neat and unified, rather than cluttered and at odds with itself.
Forget About Texture
Another way to add personality to your room is to play with textures. Varying finishes add another splash of diversity within the whole, and incorporating three or fewer finishes should keep it simple enough to maintain subtlety and balance. While your main metal and your marrying piece need to coordinate tone-wise, mixing textures in your accent objects brings a rich but lively feel to the room.
Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment
We’ve been told for over thirty years to avoid mixing metals, so jumping in with both feet might strike fear in the hearts of the more conservative decorators. But this new trend gives you permission to do more than dip your toe into the pool. The notion of mixing metals is inherently risk-taking, so be brave and have fun with it. Experiment and play with various pieces until you find the look that reflects your style. This is your space, so be selfish. Let it be all about your vision, and don’t forget to enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
Here at Element Designs, we want to help you create a space that gives you pleasure and peace. With highly individualized attention and numerous metallic finish options for both residential and commercial clients, we aim to forge a partnership in which your design needs are the center. And we aren’t afraid to jump in with both feet.
Check out our inspiration page to help kick off some new ideas!