It’s Ok. Go Ahead and Mix Metal Finishes

If you and your partner decide upon white gold wedding bands, does that mean you can only wear white gold jewelry for the rest of your life? Of course not! Though many homeowners seem to feel that because they chose oil-rubbed bronze drapery hardware, they must apply that finish to all other metals in the space. At Hoskins Interior Design, we do not follow this silly rule, and here’s why:

1) Limited Choices Means Limited Design – When you refuse to mix metal finishes in a space you are limiting your design choices enormously. Particularly in spaces like master bathrooms where you must find a large variety of fixtures and hardware, it is next to impossible to find every piece in the same exact finish. Allowing yourself to choose from a variety of finishes will open up many more style and functionality options.

For example, imagine you are designing a kitchen open to a great room. If you plan to have all of your metal finishes match, you will have to not only find cabinet hardware, light fixtures and plumbing fixtures that match, you will also have to make sure furniture embellishments like ormolu or metal caps, wheels, metallic finishes on picture frames, or lamp finials match as well! You will end up making design choices based on just one criterion – finish – rather than on the multitude of rich layers involved in creating a lovely and comfortable space.

2) Matchy, Matchy is Boring, Boring – Just like when you make everything in a space the same color, when you match your finishes you lose visual interest. Your eye is given nothing to rest upon, removing the third dimension. Little if anything in nature matches perfectly. Interior design should have an organic element to it, making things look like they naturally fit together without being forced. A design scheme that focuses on matching everything will look contrived and uncomfortable.

In the dining room pictured above, you will see a variety of metallic finishes. The artwork on the walls has varying colors of gold gilding. The silver pieces on the table and buffet are paired with a gilded finish on the crystal chandelier and sconces, as well as the gilded mirror frame. You most likely did not notice those combinations until we pointed them out, right? All of the elements come together to create an interesting, beautiful and cohesive look without matching each other.

3) There Are Always Exceptions – For every rule we break, we always find some situations where we find it best to follow it. In homes with high ceilings and tall doors we tend to match door knob and door hinge finishes. In this case, the doors are an architectural feature of the space, making the hardware quite noticeable.

Finishes are just one part of the whole design scheme where instead of matching elements, everything is mixed in such a way that they work together. The same is true of metallic finishes. We apply this design philosophy to wood finishes as well, choosing many varieties as they fit into the overall design scheme, not just as individuals elements. Imagine a space where all of the metals are chrome, all of the fabrics are the same shade of white, and all of the accessories are the same shade of blue – BORING! The key to good design is balancing all of the design elements in a space to create a cohesive yet interesting look.

Questions about your interior design scheme? Send us an email or give us a call at (317) 253-8986.

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