You Can Mix Metals in Your Kitchen Design

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Contrary to what you may have heard, there is no need to ensure that all the hardware in a kitchen matches. I find that a combination of metals and finishes provides a much more contemporary and sophisticated look.

I have been using mixed metals for a number of years now – its a great way to blend a little bit of “old world” architecture with a contemporary style. For example, when I design a kitchen in a pre-war building, I like to respect the architecture. So, even if the kitchen has a very contemporary look, I mix metals and their finishes to help achieve a blend of old and new in the space.

There are many ways to seamlessly mix metals to create a subtle blend and to contrast textures and finishes. The most important point to remember is: don’t use two metals with the same finishes together; rather, combine a metal with a polished finish with another in a satin or antique finish for a more contemporary look. An antique satin brass light fixture can be, for example, a lovely contrast to polished nickel silver hardware.

The Etch collection by Tom Dixon features geodesic forms made of digitally etched metal sheets and create a dramatic look when combined in different finishes, like brass, copper and soft silver.

I don’t just design a faucet in one metal and hardware in another; I often mix metals within one component. One of my favorite pieces is a striking custom hood combining polished stainless steel trim with satin brass rivets.

The selections you make all depend on the look you’re trying to achieve. Do you want a soft patina finish in the kitchen? Mixing metals helps achieve that. Recently, I combined satin nickel hinges – just regular, exposed hinges – with satin brass finials on the cabinets. The blending of the two was subtle, and made for a perfect combination.

Pot racks can make a bold design statement and work well to bring the overall space together. This design by Ann-Morris combines polished nickel and brass.

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