Good news: Mixing hardware gets a solid green light from our design experts, with a few parameters in mind. In fact, when done tastefully, mixing metals can make a home feel intentional and custom. Read four of our top tips to avoid common decorating faux pas.
1.) Go room by room... with consideration of the whole house.
Think of your home like a well-curated dining experience: Each "course" (AKA, each room) can have its own distinct flavor and unique finishes, but the overall meal should feel cohesive instead of chaotic. Mixing finishes adds charm and personality. Just because your kitchen has stainless steel plumbing fixtures, you aren’t beholden to do the same in your bathrooms—but you shouldn’t totally disregard what else is happening decor-wise.
In order to keep your house from feeling like a hodge-podge antique shop, it’s important to “zoom out” and consider the entirety of your home. Do you have an open-floor plan, where most of the home can be viewed simultaneously? Or is your home divided into zones? Think through the flow that a guest might experience—foyer, to kitchen, to powder room, to living room. This mentality can help you transition hardware finishes seamlessly without defaulting to all-matching hardware throughout.
2.) Get a "handle" on doors.
All of a room’s inside door handles should match, but the handles on the opposite side of the door can be different (and match the handles in whichever room the door opens up into). It’s worth considering if it’s a door you prop open—will both handles often be seen in the full context of the room?
For simplicity’s sake, many homeowners find it easier to keep all interior door handles consistent. At the very least, it’s easiest to match all door handles that are on the same floor (i.e., traditional gold level handles for downstairs, matte black knobs throughout upstairs).
3.) Play with warm and cool tones.
More important than finding a matchy-matchy style is to consider the various shades and hues in a room on a scale of warm to cool. Warm metals tend to have yellow undertones (think gold, copper, brushed bronze, and brass). Cool metals are anything with silver tones, like aluminum, stainless steel, or nickel.
Just because you have cool tones in a space doesn’t mean that using warm tones is totally off the table. Sometimes, mixing and matching adds an eye-catching touch to a room! The key is to strike the right balance, and not go overboard. Stick with two to three complementary colors. For example, if you have a champagne bronze bathroom sink faucet, black drawer pulls give an unexpected, contemporary look. Or, if you have a gold mirror prominently displayed and gold light fixtures in your living area, you might use pops of silver throughout your decor to add a bit of contrast.
4.) Make simple swaps where you can.
Refreshing the hardware throughout your entire home can be overwhelming to say the least. Our tip: Upgrade where it’s easiest! Not all hardware can be changed out in a weekend project. Especially in bathrooms, the plumbing fixtures and lighting can be tough to DIY. If you feel obligated to stick to those fixtures, consider adding a complementary texture or tone through easy-to-swap cabinet pulls or a new vanity mirror. Check out our Custom Framed Mirrors for an entirely new look built to your exact specifications. If your mirror is in good shape, but just lacks style, Add A Frame® may be the right choice for you. With 80+ styles and finishes, you'll be able to find the perfect matching or complementary frame style to level-up your space.
Not sure where to start? Consult one of our in-house designers! Get design advice curated for your specific needs—we’re here to help.