How to Mix Metal Finishes in Kitchen Design
June 24, 2021

How to Mix Metal Finishes in Kitchen Design

How to Mix Metal Finishes in Kitchen Design


Mixed metals hit home decor big-time in 2018 and the trend has every sign of lasting for a decade or more. In the last four years, we've seen mixed metals expand from a novelty decoration idea to the sophisticated look of modern luxury design. Gone are the monochrome (pardon the metal pun) designs where every appliance and fixture must perfectly match the same metal hue. Instead, elegantly mixed metal finishes add a touch of class and modern art to a luxury neutral color palette.

In the kitchen, bathroom, and even bedrooms the star of mixed metals has risen and is here to stay. Metallic light fixtures and gleaming (or matte) metal faucets don't have to match. They just have to complement each other and create a total artistic look for each mixed-metal design.


Build a Mixed-Metal Color Palette

The first place to start is your color palette. The wonderful thing about mixed metals is that, together, they make a beautiful palette of natural tones. Both matte and polished metals form an array of colors that look beautiful with today's neutral paint hues and natural stone and wood designs. They key is to choose your mixed-metal color palette instead of simply letting chaos choose which elements of your kitchen will feature, silver, copper, gold, or chrome hues.

You can choose a warm color palette of gold and copper or a cool palette of silver, chrome, and blackened matte finishes. Or you can mix, using warm colors to 'pop' from the usual cool palette of kitchen appliances.


Choose a Dominant Metal Finish

Select one metal finish that will be your dominant hue. You might love the idea of a copper kitchen with shining silver gleaming as your accent metal. Or you might adore a burnished bronze kitchen, or know you're starting with a primarily stainless steel design. Once you know your dominant metal finish, you can build the rest of your palette and focus on the mixed metal designs that will best accent the central metal theme in your kitchen.


Select Your Accent-Metal Hues

Now choose your accent metals. Some homes collect every hue of metal finish, but your kitchen should follow a unified design theme to feel professionally put together. Do you like bright polished copper or a darker natural bronze as your accent hues? Choose two or three accent metals that look beautiful together when combined or mixed with the dominant metal finish.


Starting with Stainless Steel Appliances

Many kitchens start with stainless steel as the dominant finish because that's what most polished home appliances come with. You may have a stainless steel finished refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, and oven already in place. If this is true, don't be shy about making stainless steel your dominant color and going with the flow.

You can still embrace mixed metals provided they complement the color of your appliances. This gives you a grand opportunity to accent your kitchen design with openly stored copper and stainless steel pans, for example. You can design a custom oven hood with a bronze finish inlaid with stainless steel wires to bring out that dominant finish as an accent color.

If you really want to change the dominant hue of your stainless steel appliances, you can always have them re-finished with paint, stain, or even contact paper (when safe) to completely reinvent your kitchen's metallic palette.


Striking Metal Faucet Trends

Faucets are among the most often renovated feature in the modern kitchen, in part because they are easy to change out and become a centerpiece of kitchen life. Which metal finish should you choose for your faucet? The latest trend in faucets is stunning metal finishes that stand out in the entire room design.

It's been generally agreed that faucet and handles should match in finish, but your faucet doesn't need to match your appliances or even your light fixture to look amazing. Mirror-bright copper faucets are extremely hot this year and sure to become a bright point in your daily kitchen life using your beautifully shiny faucet. Many homeowners also enjoy the striking contrast of a blackened metal faucet and handles in comparison to an otherwise brilliant mixed metal kitchen design.


Metal Sinks in Mixed-Metal Kitchen Design

The color of your sink can also make an impact. While stainless steel sinks are the norm, a brilliant or anqiqued copper sink is highly fashionable and shows your kitchen has a little something special in the design. Copper sinks are mildly antibacterial on the molecular level, making them easier to keep clean and fresh. They are the perfect addition to a warm-metal color palette in your kitchen or a striking contrast to a design that is primarily stainless steel and silver.

Copper sinks are a great opportunity to make your faucet choice stand out, whether you go darker with an antiqued bronze or brighter with stunning silver fixtures.


Statement Metal Light Fixtures

Light fixtures are one of the leading ways to centerpiece your mixed-metal designs. A metal light fixture that contrasts or compliments your dominant metal finish is the perfect way to announce that your mixed-metal design is intentional and beautiful. Often, a geometric or pendant light fixture can be used to balance your entire kitchen's appearance, continuing a light and airy version of your mixed-metal theme up to the ceiling as cabinet hardware takes it down to the floor.

A striking light fixture draws the eye and can cause visitors to admire how the metal finishes balance so beautifully in your kitchen. An understated metal light fixture subtly adds to the metallic palette you've created.


Cabinet and Door Hardware Enters the Mix

Your cabinetry and door hardware also play a role. One of the best ways to reinvent a kitchen is to repaint the cabinets and change out their handles and drawer pulls. Matching this with your door handles and even the finish of your kitchen (and pantry) door hinges can create a look so complete that the eye hardly comprehends how beautifully balanced your metals are.

Choose cabinetry hardware that contrasts your dominant metal, with dark, matte, or mirror bright finishes that stand out against the current cabinet paint or stain.


Accent with Pots, Metal Artwork, and Metallic Fabrics

Finally, use mobile yet highly visible items like your pots and pans to perfect the mixed-metal balance of your kitchen. In fact, designing in mixed metals makes a kitchen even more welcoming to open shelf storage or a hanging rack of mixed-metal pans. Keeping a diversity of metal cooking implements will look intentionally decorative even though you enjoy different metal pans for different recipes and cooking styles most of all.

Accent a mixed-metal kitchen with metallic artwork as well. Wrought iron panels or polished copper wire scultpures make beautiful additions to a mixed-metal kitchen design - and they're easy to clean if your artwork gets splattered with the occasional pot of sauce.


Looking for the perfect sink for your mixed metal kitchen design? You can find beautiful copper farmhouse sinks and kitchen experts to help hone your mixed-metal design at Fossil Blu. Contact us today to explore your ideal sink options for your next beautiful and modern kitchen renovation.