Most trends in design trickle in from fashion. The same goes for the influx of metals of different alloys and sheens, influenced by the mixing of silver and gold in jewelry design popularized by designers such as David Yurman. Mixing your platinum wedding band with a gold Cartier watch is no longer taboo–the same goes for your stainless steel kitchen appliances alongside beautifully patinaed brass knobs. The trick with any mix is the proportions and quality of ingredients.
In a kitchen I recently designed, the vent hood was copper with brass rivets, a brass pot rack held a collection of old copper pots and the faucets and knobs were unlacquered brass (the trick to that beautiful, well-loved patina). Copper played a dominant role while brass was speckled around the room.
Other great combos might be a table set with pewter chargers and serving platters with silver utensils, or an oversized iron chandelier in an entry hall with brass door knobs. And yes, you can use your stainless steel appliances with oil-rubbed bronze or brass fixtures and fittings in your kitchen.
So when selecting accessories, furniture, or outfitting your next kitchen or bath, don’t feel restricted by your choices.
Contrasting or similar sheens are fine together, but try not to combine more than two metals together in the same space to avoid looking like a salvage yard.
Perfectly Paired Combinations:
Copper + Brass
Warm, classic metals that work beautifully together.
Zinc + Nickel
Similar in color but the dull industrial quality of the zinc pairs nicely with the gleam and sparkle of polished nickel.
Iron + Gold Leaf
A perfect mix of humble and fancy, some classic metal furniture pieces are iron with details in gilt.