Mixing Metal Finishes in the Bathroom

By Kate Riley April 5, 2018

My friends, I always have renovation on my mind, and my attention as turned to my master bathroom. The tile and cabinets are too traditional for my taste so I’m budgeting a remodel. It’s not likely to happen anytime soon but it’s on the horizon.

One detail I’m nuts about in bathrooms is the mixture of metal finishes. While I chose all brass for my tiny powder room refresh last year, I did mix chrome and black in the flip house hall bathroom and also in its master bathroom (to be revealed).

There’s no rule that you have to mix metal finishes in bathrooms (or kitchens), but when you consider the examples below, you’ll be thinking about it in your next bathroom makeover. For example, adding a touch of black to a collection of brass is a very good thing, so is mixing chrome and brass finishes.

To follow are examples of successful pairings and the analytical breakdown demonstrating the principle that mixing metal sheens in the bathroom can (and IMHO should) be done.

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First, you can never go wrong with a medley of brass and black or nickel and black. Both work together beautifully. Notice the mixture of brass light fixtures and hardware with black mirrors. This is a no fail classic combination, regardless of the color of the vanity. One bathroom has brass faucets, the other has black ones that play off the black mirror. Both look amazing.

new darlings

 

little green notebook

Reverse the two, now make the mirror brass and opt for black pulls, fixtures, and faucet. Equally amazing combo.

 

mindy gayer

 

sfgirlbybay

You can also mix the silver tones found in chome/nickel with the warmer tones in brass. These two need not compete, they actually can complement each other. This medley works really well when one finish is shiny (the faucets) and the other finished is brushed (the sconces).

 

greige design

Shiny nickel faucets and sconces + matte brass framed mirrors.

 

studio mcgee

Again, shiny nickel faucets and matte brass hardware and sconces.

 

maison de pax

Copper and steel finishes together? Yep, no problem, notice the copper sconces are shiny the mirror’s frame is a brushed finish. Lovely.

 

amber interiors

Copper and black? Fabulous! It’s just as great a combination as brass and black.

 

design stuff

Black hardware is perfect for light or white cabinets, but not a good choice for black ones since the finish would disappear. On black or dark vanities, metallic tones pop against the dark background, but consider even when choosing gold or silver tones for the hardware, adding a black sconce above to play off the black cabinetry.

 

elle décor

 

jaclyn peters design

If you’re committed to one finish with your mirrors and faucets, think about adding a different metal into the mix in just one spot. Like a piece of simple jewelry, the brass sconces in these bathrooms are the perfect polished detail. (Also note the brass strip in the shower, a nice touch).

 

via mattandkimrescue

 

studio mcgee

Why be limited to just two finishes when you can be bold and go for three. Live it up!

Notice how both of these bathrooms share nickel faucets and square brass mirrors, but the top bathroom has brass hardware and black finish sconces, whereas the bottom bathroom showcases black hardware and brass sconces. Nickel + brass + black, yes it works.

 

 

brandon architects

Again, same idea, you can mix three finishes but in this bathroom together with the chrome faucets live black mirrors and brass hardware.

 

crowell interiors

And again, see how the brushed nickel bathtub and sink faucets do pair with brass hardware & sconces, and black mirrors and shower frame.

 

sita montgomery interiors

The lesson: don’t be afraid to mix your metal finishes in the bathroom; it makes the space more interesting and prevents the bathroom from feeling too matchy matchy.

What about you? How have you successful mixed metal finishes in your bathroom?

P.S. You may also like sleek single handle kitchen faucets and budget friendly brass lighting.

5 comments

  1. I’m not a big fan of mixing the metals, especially if the contrast is extreme. I prefer a more unified look.

  2. I love the mix of metals. Makes the room more interesting and many designers say to avoid matchy, matchy.

  3. I’m alllll for the contrast – the black + brass/copper/rose gold is always a winner, but I’m not sold on the metal hue + chrome/nickel. that’s always been one of my biggest pet peeves. chrome is *so* stark next to brass, it just looks so out of place. I’m shockingly convinced on the picture with the wooden vanity and nickel sconces/hardware/faucet with the brass mirrors though!! did love the post :)

  4. We can all be such lemmings when it comes to design. Just because “they” say its “okay” and “so now” to mix metals in the bathroom and kitchen when it was never done in traditional rooms doesn’t mean mixing two metals is automatically better than using one, and mixing three is even better. Sensory overload to the point of barf in some cases. Witness the first pic from New Darlings with so many distracting little brass pieces against all white, with the crowning touch of the white subway tile wall with dark grout that looks as though it’s never been cleaned. (In fact any wall anywhere with white subway tile and dark grout ruins the room for me). The Greige Design bathroom is a very lovely different story, however; a visual treat to me, as are the Studio McGee bathrooms and some of the others. Great post for examples on on how to and how not to do it. I’m not against mixing metals, by the way, as I am doing it in my kitchen and am delighted with the way things are turning out.

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