How to Mix Metals in Bathroom Finishes
My modern organic bathroom design is highly impacted by mix metal finishes! When I created my mood board, I knew I didn’t want a monochromatic look. So I decided to add interest with mixed metals. Learn how to mix metals in bathroom finishes with these three simple tips.
Post may contain affiliate links where I earn a small commission on your purchases at no additional cost to you.
Guest Bathroom Finishes
If you missed it, make sure to check out my design board for our guest bathroom remodel. When I am doing a large remodel, I start with a simple mood board. This helps collect my thoughts into one space, visually, so that it is easier to see the big picture design.
One important thing to note in larger remodels is that designs rarely go 100% as planned. As you’ll see from my original mood board, I ended up changing a few things along the way that just didn’t feel right in the actual space.
One of those items was the design for our new bathroom faucets. Another was the knobs and pulls for the cabinetry. And a big change was the final color for the vanity.
Having flexibility in design is important so that your end result is 100% what you want, even if it wasn’t your original plan!
If you ever feel like you have no idea where to start in design, make sure to sign up for my free three module course on how to design your haven!
Today I’ll be sharing 3 simple tips for how to design your guest bathroom finishes.
What is the best finish for bathroom fixtures?
There are so many beautiful bathroom finishes to choose from. Many people prefer to keep their metal finishes all the same color. This can be a beautiful design statement which allows the finishes to be less of a focal point and blend in with the design.
Choosing one subdued finish for bathroom fixtures, rather than mixed metals, gives room for another element to take center stage. Conversely, if you choose a bold finish, it can be the star of the show! It all depends on what elements you choose and how they coordinate with each other for your final design.
The main bathroom finishes available are:
- Chrome or Polished Chrome
- Satin Nickel, Brushed Nickel or Polished Nickel
- Oil-Rubbed Bronze or Bronze
- Brass, Antique Brass, Satin Brass, Polished Brass, Lacquered Brass
- Mixed metals
- Matte black, Satin Black, Gloss Black
- Gold, Antique Gold
Though many designers have a favorite preference for bathroom finishes, I do not believe there is a “best” finish! Each finish option has its benefits and draw backs as far as durability, longevity, trendiness, ease of cleaning and design aesthetic.
The best finish for bathroom fixtures is the finish that you love and fits into your overall design plan!
What is the trend in bathroom faucet finishes?
When I revealed my mixed metal bathroom design I received a lot of comments about mixing brass and chrome. Some loved it and some were skeptical. And that is 100% ok! Most of us are designing for our own homes, rather than a client’s space. So your design is a very personal choice and I fully believe that you should be designing for your family, rather than trends.
The only guarantee about trends is that they will eventually pass away. Shiny brass was once a very popular trend that we now deem from “the 90s”. It feels dated to some. But I would bet that it will eventually become popular again!
Bathroom finishes that have been trending the last few years are black, copper and brass. Nickel and chrome seem to be resurging after a stint of popularity in the early 2000s, and now mixed metals are “on trend”.
Which brings us to my post today!
3 Tips for How to Mix Metals in Bathroom Finishes
First of all, is it ok to mix metals in the bathroom? Absolutely!
The mindset that all bathroom finishes need to be the same color or finish should be tossed out the door. Like I said above, keeping all finishes the same color can certainly be a wise design decision, but it isn’t a rule!
I love the look of mix metal bathroom finishes, as you can clearly see in my recent bathroom remodel.
So here are three tips for how to mix metal finishes in your bathroom design! (Though, these tips can be useful in any room in your home!)
1. Stick to 2 Main Color Families
The first step to creating a cohesive looking design with more than one bathroom finish is to stick to 2 main color families. A color family is simply, one of the above bathroom finishes. In my case, I chose brass and nickel.
Let’s take a look at my bathroom vanity. There are actually four different metal finishes in this space. However, there are only two color families.
- Polished Nickel (Faucets & Towel Bars)
- Antique Brass (Mirrors)
- Satin Brass (Knobs & Pulls)
- Brushed Brass (Lighting)
Keeping your mixed metal design to two color families brings an entire space together so that it doesn’t feel overwhelming.
While I have four metal finishes in my bathroom, it still feels cohesive because they are in two main color families. Conversely, if I were to have four completely different color families (Ex: black, gold, chrome, oil rubbed bronze) it would feel chaotic and pieced together.
2. Mix Warm and Cool Tone Metals
The next tip is to mix warm and cool tone metals together. Warm tone metals are brass, gold, copper and oil-rubbed bronze. Cooler tone metals are chrome, nickel and black.
My warmer tone metals are brass and the cooler tones are nickel. This creates a beautiful balance which compliments each other, rather than competing.
3. Design Mixed Metals Throughout a Room
The last tip for mixing metals in bathroom finishes is to keep the look moving through an entire room.
If you want to mix metals, then do so consistently. In my guest bathroom we have one room that holds the shower and toilet, separated from the vanity room by a pocket door.
As you can see, I brought my mixed metal (brass and nickel) into the shower room as well. This helps the room as a whole feel like the mixed metals are intentional.
On the other hand, if I were to design all the brass in the vanity room and all the nickel in the shower room, it would feel like two completely different spaces. By mixing your metals throughout an entire space you are bringing the room together in one complete and intentional design.
Guest Bathroom Source Details
I hope that these tips for how to mix metal bathroom finishes have been helpful! Our guest bathroom remodel was so fun to design and I will have more posts coming soon with the following details:
- Shower Renovation Cost
- Designing a Full Height Quartz Backsplash
In the meantime, here are my bathroom sources! A huge thanks to my partners in this bathroom renovation: Signature Hardware, Atlas Concorde USA, and Lakeside Surfaces.
- Quartz Countertops: Monterey Quartz with full heigh backsplash.
- Minette Solid Brass Cabinet Pulls
- Gordes Solid Brass Cabinet Knob
- Dampier Rectangular Decorative Vanity Mirrors in Antique Brass
- Newberry Towel Rings
- Beasley Bathroom Faucet
Shop decorative items via the images below.
- Floor Tile: Reflex line from Atlas Concorde USA in Mercury
- Shower Walls: Eon Carrara porcelain wall tile from Atlas Concorde USA
- Shower Niche: Reflex Mosaic in the color, Night
- Floor Grout Color: TEC Charcoal Grey
- Shower Grout Color: TEC Silverado
- Extra Deep Soaking Tub
- Comfort Height Toilet
- Cooper Tub & Shower Set with Rainfall Shower
Shop bathroom essentials via the images below!
Make sure to subscribe to my newsletters for more design tips, freebies and fun DIY projects! And you can follow along with me daily on Instagram for behind the scenes tips and tricks for DIY projects.
Thanks for stopping by the blog today! Leave me a comment with your favorite mixed metal combination!
Love this and great subject as mixed metals are all the rage:)
We have oil rubbed bronze for all door hardware in the house and stainless steel appliances – would you incorporate brass or would it be too much? I also love black and have iron tables etc.
I love how the bathroom turned out!
Thank you so much! Brass might be tricky to mix with oil rubbed bronze since they are both warmer metals. Some finishes work together but it depends on the hue of your pieces!
I like the brush nickel with the antique brass. Can you tell me what color paint your walls are? I love your niche tile choice. If you had to time the floor in a shower with your choices ( if you didn’t have a tub) would you do the floor time the same as the niche?
My paint color is Shiplap by Magnolia. The floor in this same tile as the niche would be beautiful!
Your bathroom looks beautiful – so calm and stylish! Can you tell me what color the cabinets are? It looks so soothing!
Thank you! It is called Intrigue by Benjamin Moore.
I really like your design style! How do you think chrome sink faucets and chrome shower head will look with brushed gold vanity pulls and light? Do you think brushed nickel would work better?
I think either would work! Both are a great pairing of cool and warm tones.
Hi Sarah! Beautiful bathroom, I really like the mixing of metals as well. Working on a bathroom refresh myself. Honey oak (90’s) vanity which cannot be painted (sigh) so I am incorporating matte black pulls, towel bars. Will be replacing the countertop, looking at white/cream background with faint grey veining, possibly some gold flecks to tie in the oak cabinet; chrome faucet for sink and shower. We are looking at MirrorMate to frame the mirror as it’s glued to the wall and we really don’t want the expense/hassle of all that’s involved in removing the mirror. What color frame would you go with for the mirror? Wall paint will be Revere Pewter. Thanks for your input, I always value your opinion.
Sounds like a black frame would go well! It would coordinate with the pulls and make the chrome pop!
Love it.thank for sharing！！
Recessed installation supported, saving space to get a greater visual experience in the bathroom
Love your blog. I’m wondering if you would mix oil rubbed bronze with satin nickel in wet room along with either shiny gold or matte gold for vanity fixtures and faucet?
I would probably stick to two metals. Oil Rubbed Bronze would pair well with an antique gold. Or nickel with a warm gold. 🙂
Thank you so much for this article. I am struggling for finishes in my powder room. I am using brushed nickel and brass finishes. I’m finding there are many different brass finishes. I was thinking all my brass finishes have to match, but you are saying that it’s okay to use a satin brass, brushed brass, etc. in the same space. This makes me feel so much better. I am using a brushed nickel faucet and a light fixture that has both brushed nickel and a satin brass. My cabinet hardware said satin brass but it is more shiny. What do you think if I used either a brushed brass or antique brass for a round mirror and the towel bar and toilet paper holder. Brushed nickel would only be on the faucet and light fixture combo. Any other advice for matching brass would be really appreciated. Oh, and my new vanity is a midnight blue and walls will be SW Allibaster. I enjoy your blog! Thank you so much!!
That sounds lovely! I’d try to stick to similar brasses. Often brushed and satin brass look very similar, so I don’t mind mixing them. But doing a shiny brass with another type of brass might be too much. Since different brands use different terminology for their brass, I’d just recommend buying a sample if you can’t see it in person and trying to match them as close as possible to the cabinet hardware. 🙂
I love the towel/robe hooks! Can you tell me where they are from?
Those are actually a DIY! I just took existing hooks and spray painted them and then attached them to these decorative wood pieces I had.
Which wallpaper did you use? It is super cute!
Oh thank you! You can find it here: https://amzn.to/3SrLPT3
Did you install the 3 light sconces over the mirrors upside down? The photo you share for sources goes to Amazon which shows a fixture with the shades facing down rather than up? If som- very cool idea.
Lovely bathroom and great advice on mixing metals. Many folks already unknowingly do this – in their kitchens!
Yes! It can actually be installed both ways. I liked it facing up best!
I am re doing a bathroom as well. I have chrome in shower and sink faucet. I like the fresh feel. My plan was to do the vanity light and pendant light in chrome but now thinking mixed metals. Is black considered cool? Thought a chrome/black finish. My cabinet color will be SW Peppercorn. Floor tile is darker shades of grays, blues, terracotta color ( not able to change floor). Would I be better off going brass. Wall color is SW online
Would love your input
Sounds like a fun remodel! If you’re doing chrome, I think black would be a nice option. It sounds like most of the finishes are darker and with the peppercorn cabinets, black lights would work well. You might try doing a milk glass shade to soften the look!
Is it possible to do 2 different finishes for the bathroom fixtures? Meaning the sink faucets are in a brushed nickel, and the shower faucets are in a black in the same collection? Reason being the countertops are black and it looks strange with the black faucets because they don’t stand out. The bathroom sconce is brushed nickel, black framed mirror and the cabinet hardware is a 2 tone handle and pull with the black and brushed nickel.
Yes! I think that would look great.