The art of mixing metals in your bathroom not only gives you a chance to unleash your creativity, but also provides an opportunity for respite to find a permanent residence in your space.
The concept of mixing metals opens up a world of possibilities where brass can live harmoniously with stainless steel, or copper can blend seamlessly with chrome - all of which can bring you back to that time of relaxation. I mean, really? Who says that peace of mind found on vacation can’t be created at home?
For one, it allows for a more customized and personalized space, breaking away from the uniformity and monotony often associated with single metal designs. Though consistency is necessary, this can be demonstrated through other aspects of the design - whether that’s choice of finishes, balance of warm and cool colors, or presence of texture and shape.
By mixing up your hardware, a balanced energy can be achieved through a thoughtful combination of warm and cool tones and finishes. Make sure a hierarchy of finishes is established, allowing you to control where to create the focal point of the bathroom. Once chosen, you can then incorporate other finishes as accents to complement it - again giving center visually to the space.
As much as we wish it was a perfect world, sometimes outside factors can make us feel like we’re forced into a corner - when actually the opposite is true. Whether you have a certain budget, a limited budget of resources or time, mixing metals can give you the wiggle room needed within your design while still maintaining style.
Although there are no hard and fast rules, there are some guidelines to ensure the mix of metals in your bathroom is balanced and aesthetically pleasing.
With so many options out there, it can be difficult to know where to start when selecting metals for your bathroom. Our team at ML Interiors Group suggests picking 2-3 metals that either complement one another through their shared undertones, or contrast between warm and cool tones. For example, if the goal is a complimentary mix of hardware - nickel pairs beautifully with brass and gold because of the cozy undertones presented. Whereas a design that displays cohesive contrast might mix the coolness of chrome with that of a warm brushed brass - giving a rich pop of color and texture wherever desired. Lastly, remember that black acts as a neutral and can make a design look complete.
Though it is tempting to equally distribute each metal chosen, this can actually make the space feel rigid and appear disjointed. Whether you are incorporating a pre-existing metal or starting fresh, choosing one dominant metal for all of your major finishes creates balance and flow as you move from room to room. In this design by Debbie Pratt, the bedroom already had black and brushed brass found in the door hardware and industrial crystal chandelier. These metals were then carried over into the adjoining bathroom to create intentional unity and fluidity between the spaces. In this example, black acts the dominant metal, while brushed and antique brass accentuate the design as a whole. You’ll notice that the positioning of these metals is deliberate, leading us to our next guideline…
The beauty of designing a bathroom with mixed metals is that symmetry can be established through placement. Separating metals by height so that similar items are on the same horizontal plane generates a clean look that is visually pleasing. In this example, designer and CEO Michelle Lynne opted for three finishes- brushed nickel for the cabinet handles on the lowest plane, silver chrome for the faucets and towel rack on the middle plane, and black stand-out hanging lights for the top plane.
In occasional cases, mixing metals on the vertical plane can allow a designation of purpose or bring certain aspects of the design to the forefront or background. Designer Debbie Pratt utilized black to keep the closet in the background of this master bathroom design, which allowed the shiny silver of the chrome hardware everywhere else to take center stage. By separating respective metals into different lines of sight, you prevent one metal from overpowering the other - promoting peace of mind over dysfunction.
Though the allure of mixing metals can feel quite daunting, the chance to experiment in your bathroom design can actually be liberating! With thoughtful application and a keen eye for detail, you can create a bathroom that is both functional and visually stunning - transforming your bathroom into the stylish oasis of your dreams. Remember that the key word is balance, and that the beauty is in the details. So, dare to mix, find the “fun” in the process, and let your bathroom design tell a metallic tale of style and finesse.
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