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5 Design Tips for Mixing Metals in Your Bathroom

6 min read
  • Design Trends

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Renovating your bathroom is a big undertaking, but having a beautiful new space to relax and wash the day away is always worth it.

From your showerhead and faucets to your mirrors and light fixtures, there are a lot of metal fixtures in your bathroom. The color(s) you choose for your metal bathroom fixtures can elevate your bathroom. Most people just have one big question:

Does Bathroom Hardware Have to Match?

Urban organic design with bright while tiles.

No, your bathroom hardware doesn’t have to match. There is a common belief that if the metals in your bathroom are different colors or finishes, your bathroom will look tacky, unbalanced, or just plain chaotic. That couldn’t be further from the truth! While it’s possible that mixing metals haphazardly can lead to a less-than-cohesive look, it is possible to mix metals in your bathroom beautifully. Mixing metals is a balancing act and we’re here to help you get that balance right.


Choose Your Dominant Metal

When you chose a color scheme for your bathroom, you likely chose a main color followed by one or two complementary colors. You’ll follow that same process when choosing your metals.

Your dominant metal will account for around 2/3 of all metal fixtures in your bathroom, and will probably be the color of your largest fixtures like your showerhead, faucets, and towel bar(s). Metals with cool undertones, like brushed nickel, stainless steel, and polished chrome fit right into a bathroom with a contemporary design. Metals with warmer undertones, like gold, brass, and bronze, look great in traditional or rustic-style bathrooms.


Add In an Accent Metal

Now that you have your dominant metal, it’s time to choose a metal that will account for the remaining 1/3 of the fixtures in your bathroom. You’ll use this accent metal in your mirror frame, lighting fixtures, and cabinet hardware. While you can choose more than one accent color, we recommend sticking with one. The more colors you incorporate, the easier it is to bypass cohesive and go straight to chaotic.

To choose an accent metal, look for one that complements your dominant metal. This means steering clear of metals in the same color family, like brass and bronze. These are too similar and can look like a design mishap instead of a purposeful choice. Instead, opt for metals on the opposite end of the spectrum. For instance, the warm brown hues of oil-rubbed bronze and the vibrancy of polished chrome really work together to make this bathroom pop!

mixed metals in bathroom


Don’t Forget About the Finish

In addition to the color of the metals, you’ll want to consider your bathroom fixture finishes. Polished metals are shiny and contemporary, while brushed finishes like stainless steel are more muted. Oil-rubbed finishes, like our oil-rubbed bronze, have an antiqued look that works well in traditional or even farmhouse-style bathrooms.

Mixing bathroom fixture finishes is another balancing act, but it will pay off big time. Try pairing shiny, polished fixtures with matte metals for a clean, modern look. For a sleek bathroom, try brushed finishes in complementary colors. Oil-rubbed bronze allows you to see just hints of bronze, so look for other warm-toned metals like polished bronze, copper, or even gold.


Draw Inspiration From the Rest of Your Home

Still not sure what metals to mix? Look to other areas of your house for inspiration!

For the ultimate home decor cohesion, choose the same finishes that are present in other areas of your home. Where else in your home do you have multiple metal fixtures? Your other bathrooms, kitchen, and even your outdoor areas may have metal fixtures for you to draw inspiration from.

mixed metals in kitchen


Coordinate With The Other Materials in Your Bathroom

We’ve discussed making sure your metals complement each other, but it’s also important to ensure they coordinate with the rest of your bathroom. If you’ve chosen a rustic tile floor and an antiqued vanity, stay away from shiny metals like polished chrome and opt for something like oil-rubbed bronze instead. On the other hand, if you’ve chosen a sleek vanity with marble flooring, polished metals will complete your bathroom’s modern look.

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