Homeowners are a bit more bold about mixing chrome with stainless steel or oil rubbed bronze with brushed nickel. What would you dare to mix with any of these?
Here's a quick guide to get you started on your next project:
Chrome plating on brass or steel that is then polished. It feels similar to a Nickel finish since both have a silver tone, but Chrome does feel cooler. It leans toward a modern vibe and can be mixed easily with Stainless steel, Nickel, White, and Black.
This is sometimes also known as Brushed Nickel. Satin Nickel is Nickel plating on brass that that has been dulled and then coated in lacquer. It feels similar to a Brushed Stainless Steel. Because this finish is not as shiny as a Polished Chrome it tends to be a bit more Transitional and has wide appeal. Again it has a silver tone.
This finish is typically nickel plating on brass. It's then polished. It's like Chrome, but feels warmer. If you want a touch of elegance yet warmth, this is the finish for you. This finish is one of the most timeless.
This finish got a bad rap from the 1980's-1990's as every builder used brass for door hardware and lighting fixtures, but it's really a great metal finish if used in the correct application. Again, less is more with this finish. Like Polished Chrome, it draws attention so be very specific about where you're using it!
OIL RUBBBED BRONZE
This metal finish is chemically darkened to simulate aged bronze. It will have copper undertones and light brown to dark brown hues. It has a earthy warm appeal and has been popular for a number of years now. It mixes well with brass, antiques brass, polished nickel, black, and stainless steel
Copper is an active metal which, when left unprotected, tends to weather through oxidization. Long term exposure to the atmosphere generally results in the formation of a protective gray-green patina. There are chemical applications that may be applied to change the color of the copper or preserve the original copper color. This metal finish is warm, rich, and versatile. I think it will have a wider appeal in the coming years.
Note: Don't forget textures as well. Many metals have various textures like: hammered, brushed, pitted, distressed, etc.
If you're thinking of designing a new space visit a showroom and see these metal finishes up close. It may feel like a bold move, but mixing up your metals can get you exciting results!