Ask Estee: Mixing Metals: Do or Don’t?

Some rules are meant to be broken. Our Editor-at-Large shares her tips for using a variety of metal finishes in your space.

promo_ask Q. How do I elegantly mix metal finishes in my space?
Like in fashion, people tend to hang on to outdated rules and swear by them. No mixing metals or metal finishes in your decor? Blasphemy! My rule of thumb: whether it’s fashion or design, things shouldn’t match. They should compliment each other. Personally, I am a big fan of mixing metal finishes in my designs.

Make a Statement: My advice is to pick a dominant metal and then offset it with a contrasting finish to accent. If your coffee table has a brass frame, try using bronze accessories to increase visual interest. Going with a large-scale iron chandelier? Add some brass table lamps. And if your lounge chairs have chrome frames, a mirror with gilt trim can add a collected vibe and make your space feel more “home” and less “showroom.”

Add a Touch of Texture: If you do choose to use the same metal in your room, try using different textures like matte, brushed, polished, or hammered. Doing so adds contrast and depth to your design and allows for the eye to rest on multiple points of interest. When you use the exact same finish all throughout a space, it can become monotonous.

Don’t be afraid to break old rules when it comes to design or fashion. Make your own and do it with confidence!

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Photograph: Courtesy of Windsor Smith

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