Mixed Colors of Hardware in a Bathroom


As time passes, decorating rules change and mutate to accommodate new style preferences. Interior decorators freely mix different woods, periods and styles in the same room, and now professionals combine dissimilar metals in bathrooms. From the cabinet knobs to the towel bars, blending two or more metals can add oomph to the space.

Why the Mix Works

  • Uniform metals create a formal tone, but contrasting metals evoke an eclectic, casual or vintage vibe. The juxtaposition generates energy, visual interest and a timeless feel. Antique gold knobs can work with chrome fixtures just as oil-rubbed bronze shelves can serve as a foil for nickel lighting. If you’re worried about pulling off this look, use no more than two different metals, and keep an even mix. You don’t want one lonely bronze item in a room with 15 chrome elements.

Dynamic Duos

  • Using different materials frees you from design constraints. If your favorite faucet only comes in chrome, you can confidently work it into your design scheme. You can also save money. Chrome faucets usually cost less than their oil-rubbed bronze cousins; by reserving bronze for the inexpensive accessories, you’ll get the best of both worlds. Too many silver-tone objects can make a room seem cold, but too many antique gold or bronze pieces can overwhelm the eye. Combining warm and cool metals brings balance to the space.

The Law of the Jumble

  • Because personal preferences vary, a jumble of materials may not appeal to future buyers. Finding the perfect blend requires practice. Although satin nickel and chrome have a similar base color, using the two next to each other doesn’t always work; the combination looks as though you tried to make an exact match but failed in your endeavor. For best results, mix materials that are very dissimilar, such as bronze with chrome or antique gold with chrome.

Find a Formula

  • By sticking with a systematic design plan, your mixture will blend seamlessly into the room. Use an even quantity of each metal throughout the bathroom. Try using one material for your accessories, mirrors and cabinet hardware and another material for the faucets and lighting. Create a consistent scheme; for example, don’t use one bronze towel bar and one chrome towel bar. Instead, select the same metal for all towel bars, towel rings and toilet paper holders. Because of its bright shine, polished chrome attracts the eye, but the finish could steal some thunder from the other metals in the room.

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  • Photo Credit KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images
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