There are many tried and true rules for home decor that exist for a reason, but a rule against mixing metals is not one of them. Mixing metals adds both a clean and elegant style to any room. The different metals work together to add depth, guiding the eye from the dominant color’s features to the accent colors.
However, mixing metals can often feel daunting. Mixing gold and silver, not to mention all the other metal hues on the market today, can be intimidating. Beyond deciding which metals to mix, there is also the matter of mixing metal finishes. Be it brushed stainless steel or hammered copper, there are many different combinations to choose from.
Luckily, when mixing metals in any room, you don’t have to just stick with metal materials. You can add a decorative art piece with a silver hue or put copper kitchenware on display. Whatever style and color palette you choose, we’ve covered all the essentials you need to know to get started.
Mixing gold and silver
Though fashion rules once dictated that gold and silver could not be mixed, rules like this are now commonly broken, and home decor is no exception. When mixing gold and silver, you are mixing a warm color—gold—with a cool color—silver—and should mix and match the two different hues accordingly.
The key is to pick one metal hue to dominate your color palette, and the other to complement it. This goes for all types of metal, not just gold and silver.
For example, if your kitchen has stainless steel appliances, you can add brass handles for a pop of warm color. Or if you want a silver and gold bedroom, assess the rest of your room’s color palette. If your room has predominantly warm colors like red, yellow, and orange, use gold as your main metal with silver as an accent metal.
Finally, if your room has a neutral palette and is mostly white, black, or both, then you can mix different metals more liberally.
Tips for Mixing Metals
1. Choose one dominant metal type.
To keep things looking balanced, choose one metal type to dominate larger spaces or furniture. For instance, if your kitchen has mostly stainless steel, treat that as your dominant metal and then complement it with cast iron or brass.
2. Mix 2-3 different metals at most.
It is best to stick to one dominant metal with one or two accent metals. If you opt for three different metals, you should distribute them evenly, especially the accent pieces. You can also use different finishes to add variety, such as a lighter silver with a more rustic one.
3. Balance cool- and warm-hued metals.
To make your metals pop, consider adding a warm metal accent to a cool-hued one, such as a touch of gold or copper to stainless steel. Just be sure to use one hue as the accent metal and the other hue as the dominant one.
4. Use mirrors to match the reflective feel of metallics.
To create a mixed metal look throughout an entire room, add a mirror. It will reflect your decor and make the room feel more open. Plus, the mirror complements the depth that metallics give to any room, and even can feature a metal frame!
5. Match metals to your color palette.
If your room has more warm colors, stick to warm-hued metals like copper and gold. If it’s a cool palette, opt for cast iron or stainless steel. If your room has a neutral palette, such as white or black, you can be more liberal with how you mix and match different hues.
6. Use trinkets and accent pieces for a subtle touch.
If you’re concerned about the mixed metals clashing, add small flourishes of the secondary metal color rather than large furnishings. A small sculpture or even silver and gold jewelry on display can add to your mixed metal decor.
7. Space out your metals.
Be careful not to congregate different metals in one part of your room. Spread them out on various horizontal and vertical planes. For instance, if you have a polished kitchen sink, consider adding a light fixture with the same metal to your room.
8. Mix up the metal finishes.
To add an eclectic feel, combine two finishes like polished metal and hammered metal. If you’re concerned by mixing different metal types, stick with one metal, such as brass, and look for different finishes to add variety while still providing a uniform look.
The best part about mixing metals is that it’s an easy way to add a touch of elegance to any room. If you’re just starting out your mixed metal decor style, consider vintage shopping. There’s nothing quite as stunning and versatile as a vintage picture frame or a decorative sculpture to start out your collection!