Mixing Metal Finishes in Interior Design

February 27, 2017 10

As a consumer, sometimes keeping up with new lighting styles and trends can be overwhelming. When considering your choices, whether you are renovating or doing a new build, if you rush to change and purchase the newest “in” thing, you may end up regretting your decision. Your best option is to use trends as an inspiration, but not necessarily the deciding factor. When you’re incorporating new lighting pieces into your home, consider your style and take an inventory of your space. Instead of focusing on what’s hot and new, think about how items will look in a few years. One of the most crucial keys to lighting style that could mean the difference between looking timeless and dated are the metal finishes your choose.


Warm and Brushed Metal Finishes are a New Trend

In the past, cool metals, such as brushed stainless steel and chrome, were the most obvious choices for metal finishes.  However, we are now seeing a resurgence of warmer metals such as brushed gold, copper, and black (wrought iron and black-painted metal) to add variety.

Monique Gorda, partner and designer at Canterbury Homes Inc. in the Edmonton area, has clients asking, “Is it ok to mix metals?”  Her answer? A resounding yes!

When Monique was designing the new Canterbury Homes show home in Sherwood Park Alberta, she knew the home had to appeal to a wide variety of people with different tastes. She also knew that mixing different types of metals throughout the home was an emerging trend.

She and her husband wanted to incorporate this trend into the show home so that their clients could see that mixing metals isn’t something to shy away from. They wanted to show their clients that diversity can be liberating, and you can still get a great look without having everything look the same.


You Don’t Need Everything to Match

In the past, the idea was to have matching metals throughout the home: brushed stainless appliances in the kitchen, matching hood fan, faucet, lighting, etc.  Now, there are more options and finishes to choose from, so don’t be afraid of choosing a variety of metals to use throughout your home.

Now that appliances, lighting, and plumbing fixtures are available in warmer metal finishes, you have a lot more options and choices to make. However, you wouldn’t just choose items by how they look on their own. You want to consider the entire space: think about how each item relates to the other elements in the room.

You might think that your appliances, lighting, and plumbing fixtures all need to have matching finishes. But that’s not a hard and fast rule.

Aside from being monotonous, matching everything could get expensive or tricky. Imagine finding beautiful brushed gold light fixtures and then trying to find a fridge to match it.

What is the solution?  Mix your metals.


Mixing Metal Finishes in Canterbury’s Show Home

When Monique was in the “taking inventory” part of the show home design process, she found that she liked the industrial look of stainless appliances.

Next, she worked with Elisabeth Blasner at the Robinson Lighting & Bath showroom in Edmonton where they reviewed the scale of the space, and the amount and type of lighting required. After determining what and how many pieces were needed, the next consideration was aesthetics. Monique wanted to incorporate new metal trends without making the show home “trendy.”

Canterbury has partnered with Robinson Lighting & Bath since 1999 and is a great source of inspiration and knowledge when it comes to incorporating trends with their wide range of lighting and plumbing products.

Canterbury Homes Inc. wanted potential customers to feel that the home was warm and inviting. The use of dark, moody, black light fixtures added warmth and contrast against the cream and grey walls in the dining room.

The kitchen island pendants, DVI Lighting’s Aragon fixtures, made of dark metal, chrome, and crystal are showstoppers. Each pendant is beautiful on its own, but they look even more glamorous when the lights are on — the shadows from the crystals sparkle and dance across the ceiling.

The great thing about black metals is they can be mixed and matched with stainless, copper, or gold to create a layered look.  Many lighting manufacturers are creating a variety of metallic-inspired finishes, which gives you an abundance of choices. There’s no harm in mixing and matching styles as long as you’re happy with the result. No matching required.


Large-Scale Fixtures in Varied Finishes for High Visual Impact

Larger-scaled fixtures are also on the rise, as seen in the show home’s foyer. The Menlo Park 24-Light Chandelier by Artcraft is a three-layered, spherical, clean-lined fixture is over three feet wide and nearly seven feet tall, and creates a dynamic visual impact as you walk through the front door.

In addition to the variety of finishes, this fixture adds variety in shape as well.


How Canterbury Mixes Styles and Finishes

Metal isn’t the only material you can mix or match with interior design. Monique mixed a number of styles and finishes throughout the show home:

  • Matte finished, aged, grey hardwood floor mixed with dark chocolate wood on the ceilings
  • White perimeter kitchen cabinets mixed with a charcoal grey island and dining sideboard
  • Charcoal grey quartz countertop on the kitchen perimeter mixed with an exotic grey marble patterned island
  • Mixed accessories – gold, silver, black, wood, textured organic, glossy, matte, new, old, etc.
  • Black hardware in bathrooms mixed with chrome fixtures


It is the masterful mix of finishes that creates a layered final product.  The choices of interpreting new trends, your style, budget and function will give the space your unique signature. Be bold and a little adventurous, and your home will stand the test of time.


Canterbury HomesThis post was written in collaboration with Monique Gorda of Canterbury Homes Inc. Based in the Edmonton area, Monique and her husband Ian have a shared dedication to quality that has influenced every aspect of their work and relationships with their clients. Their innovative design solutions, quality materials, professional craftsmanship and client-centred service have been at the very centre of Canterbury’s success. Click here to find out more about Canterbury Homes.