By Anna Kocharian

Published on June 7, 2018

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Photography by Laure Joliet

If your idea of decorating with metallics runs to the extent of a floor lamp or hanging light fixture, we’re here to shed some light on why it’s time for you to rethink the practice. Similar to accessorizing with jewelry, one may argue that decorating with an assortment of metallic finishes should follow along with the same guidelines: mixing and matching is to be kept at a minimum and generally, sticking with one specific metal is probably best.

We’re here to debunk this silly misconception, proving that decorating with an eclectic array of lustrous accents is easier than you may think, regardless of your style and space. Ahead, we look to a handful of well-designed spots that boast an impressive take on the concept plus, a few helpful pointers on how to do it right.

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Photography by ADRIAN GAUT

Set a theme.

Establish a thematic approach to your decor scheme and allow that to function as the foundation for the metallic accents that will follow. In this dreamy home, the rustic-meets farmhouse fresh aesthetic calls for bucolic pieces with a slightly modern inclination. Think brass, copper, or a silver patina and pair them with natural woods and handcrafted ceramics.

Within this well-organized shelving unit, the metallics come subtle in form and yet remain an integral aspect of the decorative scheme. Slivers of metal are found within the detailing of a handful of the pieces—pendant, coffee maker, and the upcycled cans utilized to corral flatware—together imparting the shelf with a multi-faceted composition.

Aside from contributing a dynamic layer atop the more one-dimensional finishes, the eclectic mix of metals provides a welcome pop of color and character to the room.

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Photography by NICOLE FRANZEN

Pair by color family.

Polished nickel may stand in as the accent in this well-designed living room, but it’s certainly not the only metallic element used throughout. Note the matte black finish of the steel curtain rods, a finish that is also used in the insert of the fireplace and delicate frame of the mantel’s mirror. Framing the fireplace, a pair of similarly toned, wall-mounted bookshelves further contribute to the dominant hue.

Reserving the nickel and black-toned steel finishes for the primary (and bigger) pieces of the room allows the overall decor scheme to feel all the more cohesive. Alternatively, any contrasting metals—such as the mini brass vase housing the florals—come smaller in size and thus less likely to steal focus from the main metals.

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Photography by LAURE JOLIET

Go minimal.

Mixing and matching metallics shouldn’t have to entail an all-out approach. Sneak in a mix of metal finishes through the less noticeable items of a room. Take note from Rachel Craven’s serene home where silver and brass coexist in an effortlessly chic display. A minimalist aesthetic and neutral palette help establish the ideal backdrop for the mix, standing in as a decorative canvas that encourages tonal experimentation.

Natural materials such as wood and rattan downplay the intensity of a bold brass detail, functioning as a unifying texture that completes the scene.

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Photography by Wynn Meyers

Distract the eye.

When it comes to the bathroom, you may often feel hard-pressed to color-coordinate all the fixtures and hardware. We’re here to put a stop to that. Bring in a nickel or chrome faucet and opt for a stark contrast by designating an antique brass alternative for the tub. Sconces, cabinet pulls, canisters and even organizational trays can emulate the same sporadic approach.

The trick here? Distracting the eye with a decorative element that steals the spotlight from the more minor elements of the room: we’re talking about an intricately patterned wallpaper and a busy one at that. Kim West’s Pinterest-perfect powder room is all the proof you need.

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Photography by Heidi’s Bridge

Keep it below eye level.

Let’s be real, not all of us mix and match metallics by choice. Chances are, you may have either inherited the various pieces or never put much thought into it when buying them in the first place. And since springing for a completely new decorative plan or aesthetic may not be the most practical option here, a little rearranging can go a long way.In a similar vein, try and cluster together the pieces that are complementary in tone. Display them at various points throughout a room, keeping in mind where they will live at eye level. Consistency is key here—namely in ensuring that the similar finishes are thoughtfully set out in relation to one another. In the end, move things around until you find a fit that feels good to your and complements your space.

 

See more inspired metallic ideas:

Metallic Tiles Are Having a Moment
Mix and Match: Metallics
1 Item, 3 Ways: Versatile Wall Plates