We love hearing clients gasp in awe of a kitchen design or a specific fixture they have to have. It’s love at first sight! The kitchen is the heart of the home and it helps the design process when there is such an immediate response to a certain style or element that catches their eye.
With the current design trends, brass and copper are two metals that strike some of the biggest reactions. It makes sense; these metals add such a unique depth and brightness to a kitchen. Our clients’ gasps are often followed by, “So, what are the rules on mixing metals?”
The truth is, there are no specific rules for a mixed metal kitchen. We know it can seem like a complicated trend to master, so we’ve come up with a basic recipe that will help.
Gather the main ingredients
Every recipe has a key ingredient that binds the various components together. Designing a new kitchen is no different. An overall design scheme is necessary to achieve the right feel for the final product.
Design Scheme: Some examples of popular design concepts include warm and cozy, cool and serene, bright and airy, or bold and dramatic. What fits your style and your home?
Dominant Metal: Great neutral metals are often the central ingredients. Stainless steel, chrome, and nickel are some of the most common metals and are available in a variety of finishes. Typically, “polished” metals have a shinier finish and “brushed” or “antique” metals have a more matte look.
Accent Metal: Finally, we add an accent metal like copper or brass to create texture and visual interest. Blackened steel is another option that looks great in kitchens. We like to see the accent metal in at least two places in a room, since your eye will naturally bounce from the first location of the accent metal to the next.
If your dominant metal finish is polished or brushed chrome, which has cooler blue undertones, that pairs well with blackened metals. If you are using polished nickel, brushed nickel, or polished stainless steel as your dominant metal, those have warmer undertones that compliment brass and bronze. Brushed stainless steel can act as a neutral and pairs well with most accent metals.
Let’s do a taste test
Now that you have a basic recipe to start, let’s apply this to one of our favorite examples of a mixed metal kitchen, pictured below.
Design Scheme: Here we have an overall design scheme that is warm. The wood island base, white cabinetry, wood countertop, tile backsplash, wood flooring, and the veining in the marble all contribute to the warmth of the space.
Dominant Metal: The dominant metal is stainless steel in two finishes for a subtle, elegant look. The oven and range are brushed stainless steel and the two faucets and sink are polished stainless steel.
Accent Metal: The range hood layers the dominant, neutral base of brushed stainless steel, while the brushed brass accent straps add warmth and texture to this beautiful focal point. Once you notice the brass on the hood, your eye will naturally take you to the gorgeous antique brass light fixtures and to the brushed brass hardware on the cabinets.
Garnishments provide the final touch
The final touches really bring the look together. A beautiful chandelier designates the banquette area, which works with the double islands to create a great flow for parties and daily living. On the other side of the kitchen, the gorgeous, mirrored cabinets add extra elegance and brightness near the stainless steel, built-in coffee system. Next to the range are copper accents, adding a small touch of an additional accent metal to complete this mixed metal kitchen.
Tweak the recipe to make it your own
Mixing metals, with the limitless number of combinations of materials and finishes, does not need to be overwhelming. It does, however, need to start with you and your goals for the feel and the look you want reflected in your home. Use this recipe to start, but customize it to fit your own style, vision, and taste. Bon Appetit!!