When I first started decorating my home, I did a lot of research on what the professional interior designers considered the “rules of the game” or “faux pas”. I followed many of them, as I started designing my spaces. One of the rules I incorporated into my decor choices was to never mix metals. You had to choose: either gold, silver, bronze, copper, etc. I wasn’t a fan of gold back in the day (I know, I’ve changed my mind about it since!), so I decided I wanted the silver look all over my house. And so that’s what I stuck to when buying decor pieces.
Fast forward almost 10 years and I’ve totally changed my thinking about this. If there’s anything I’ve learned, particularly in the past year, it’s that rules are meant to be broken when it comes to interior design. I credit a lot of the new thinking to reading “The Nesting Place” by Myquillyn Smith. If you haven’t read this book yet, you should, especially if you are into interior design. She break down the “rules” of decorating and really helps you see any space for what it really is and how to bring your own unique kind of beauty to it.
So over this past year of setting up our new home, reading this (and many other books and blogs), I’ve changed my mind about mixing metals and I’ve decided that I LOVE IT! I actually keep looking for new ways to incorporate different metals into some of my existing designs and spaces.
We bought these Ikea pendant lights that are silver with gold hardware. This was my first official mixed metal piece. And it really set the tone for our kitchen. Next, I decided to try and incorporate some rose gold into already existing pieces in our kitchen. I bought Martha Stewart Rose Gold Acrylic Paint and my hubby painted the bottom 1/4 of our Ikea “Hektor” Pendant light that hangs over our kitchen table. It was a sublte change but adds a lot of dept and texture to a very plain pendant.
Finally, I found all these incredible vintage candle holders at Value Village and I just LOVE how it looks, mixing the brass and silver. If you haven’t noticed, brass has fully made a comeback in the last couple of years and I gotta admit, I’m loving it! It’s not the super shiny brass of the 80’s that’s making a comeback, rather it’s the unfinished, somewhat shiny, patinad look that has designers swooning over it! Martha Stewart calls brass “the poor man’s gold” because it’s very affordable and readily available nowadays. I really find that mixing these metals can take a space from flat and dull to a luxurious feeling, complete with adding in layers of richness.
The good news is, metals are always in style…so you can’t go wrong when decorating with them. They do ebb and flow with the times, some becoming more popular than others, for a moment. If you plan on just decorating with one metal throughout your home, once that metal starts to fade in popularity, your home could start to feel outdated. Like the shiny brass of the 80’s, for instance, it took about 25+ years for that to come back around, and even still, it’s changed in its appearance. So instead, if you mix your metals, you home will always have a fresh and current look.
Here are a few tips to remember when mixing metals in your space:
1. Find pieces that already have metals mixed in it. Take my Ikea pendant lights, for example, they already had both silver and gold mixed together. Really, this was the jumping off point for our kitchen and the look of the mixed metals. There are tons of already mixed metal pieces readily available online or at many decor stores to help you make the look effortless!
2. Use a few different metals in one space, over and over again. Make it look on purpose…not like one random candlestick that was placed there by mistake. You want to be intentional about this, not have it as an afterthought. Step back and really take in your space and start trying to dream of where you could mix up the metals. If it’s in the kitchen, think of maybe mixing up the cabinet hardware or change out the faucet. Add in a copper lamp into your living room or a framed gold print to the wall. The possibilities are really endless!
3. Shop thrifty! Second hand stores are the best places, I’ve found, to find some antique metal pieces. ALL of those candle holders on my kitchen table come from Value Village. There stock is changing daily and you never know what gem you might find…so peek in often! What I also love about buying old/vintage metals, is that they will have a natural patina to them. Silver and brass, in particular, look amazing once patinad.
* Btw, are you wondering what patina means? The dictionary describes it as a green or brown film on the surface of bronze or similar metals, produced by oxidation over a long period. It changes the appearance of the metal to look aged.
Thanks for reading along! I hope you have fun playing around with metals in your home. Go out of your comfort zone and try something new! Don’t be afraid to break the rules, after all, it’s your home and you want to love what you design in there. Add in various metals and have fun with it! You will be adding layers of richness that are sure to last for years to come!
Love & Blessings,