Mixing metals in your bathroom is a surefire way to give your space an updated, elegant, and luxurious feel. But it can be easier said than done to do it in a way that feels deliberate and professionally designed. We’ve rounded up a few simple tips that can help you achieve the mixed metal look in your bathroom, so that your space will feel cohesive and eye-catching.
TIP #1: SELECT TWO (OR THREE, AT MOST) FINISHES.
This may be the most important part of mixing metals in your bathroom. If you only choose one metal, you’re likely to end up with a cookie-cutter look, instead of the custom designed look that you’re going for. If you choose more than three, it’s bound to look mix-matched—but not in a good way. The sweet spot, according to most designers, is to choose two or three metals to mix in your bathroom. That way, there is enough difference in color and finish to create interest, but it doesn’t feel overwhelming to the eye. If you choose to only use two metals, make sure to integrate them more than one time each into your space. This will ensure that your space feels both complete and cohesive.
TIP #2: SELECT DIFFERENT-ENOUGH COLORS.
If you’re familiar with the color wheel, you know that colors that are across from each other, not beside each other, are considered complementary. In other words, you’ll want to select metal finish colors that are different enough from one another that mixing them feels purposeful.
For example, if you’ve chosen brushed nickel as one of your finishes, you’d want to avoid choosing brushed chrome as the other. Since they’re both in a silver-toned family, they’ll look too similar and make it look like you tried to match but missed the mark. Rather, we’d recommend selecting brass or black to pair with either nickel or chrome since those options are in different color families.
TIP 3: NOTE THE “WARMTH” OR “COOLNESS” OF THE METALS.
Another aspect to consider is whether the metals you choose play well off of each other. While you want them to feel different enough from one another that the mixing feels deliberate, you don’t want them to feel as if they totally clash. For example, polished nickel has a warmer undertone than chrome does. This warm undertone plays nicely with brass or gold, two finishes that also have warm undertones. They’re different, but they pair together nicely, which creates a cohesive aesthetic effect. It’s one of those details that you can’t quite put your finger on if you’re not a designer, but it makes a big difference.
TIP 4: CONSIDER PLACEMENT.
To mix metals in your bathroom naturally, you’ll want to ensure that you’ve placed them around the room purposefully. This means, for example, making sure that your brass elements are mixed in with your nickel elements. It will look off-balanced if you have all of your brass fixtures on one side and all of your nickel on the other. Think through the room’s layout and consider where each fixture will be placed.
TIP 5: CREATE A STATEMENT WITH AN ACCENT METAL.
If you decide to incorporate three metals rather than two in your bathroom, make one of them a statement metal. This means, instead of using it as much as you use the other two, choose one spot to let that metal “shine.” Perhaps you have integrated brass and nickel evenly through the room, but you’d like to add black metal sconces. Those would be considered your accent pieces. We do recommend, however, if you go this route, to make sure that you’ve used this “statement” metal in other spaces throughout your home so that the bathroom design feels related to the rest of your space.
TIP 6: WHEN IN DOUBT, GO WITH DARK METALS.
Most designers consider a dark metal like black to be a neutral finish. It looks classic and beautiful when mixed with brass. It looks sleek and modern when mixed with chrome. It looks equally good when paired with nickel. In other words, black fixtures can help if you’re tentative about mixing metals. Pairing just about any other finish with black should create a beautiful look, no matter the room’s style.