Long gone are the days of a strictly silver sitting room or brass-hues-only boudoir. In the age of authentic design, and with an increased desire to have our homes reflect the ways we truly live, we’re pulling away from the confines of antiquated doctrines that simply don’t apply anymore (read: “no white after Labor Day”). Monochromatic metal spaces, though still striking in smaller doses, have become a thing of the past, and designers and homeowners alike are instead embracing a more inclusive approach to infusing mixed metals into their homes. And beyond the embrace, it’s actually become quite chic.
Mixing metals—brass, chrome and copper, to name a few—gives a space depth and dynamism; instead of risking an overly contrived end result, a mixed metal room feels collected and thoughtful and real. Approach layering your metals the way you might an art collection or your daily jewelry mélange: follow that powerful design-minded intuition of yours, take your time and go with what feels right. Just in case you need a little extra guidance, we’ve pulled three real-life instances where the co-habitation of metals give a space that extra sparkle. Start shopping metallics on Sotheby’s Home.
In Large Spaces
This clever, art-forward living and dining room by Meyer Davis is a fresh example of mixed metals supporting a space, not dominating it. A set of brass armchairs—which vibe with the warm velvet sofa and the gold of the art’s frame—along with a silver console, harmoniously co-exist with various natural materials in a space that feels storied yet highly edited. Each piece is just as special as the next, but doesn’t compete against the real pièces de résistance: the incredible artwork. The takeaway: in an open or large space where every item is meaningful, don’t sweat making every single item “match.” Let the common denominator be your stylish eye.
In a Heavy Metal Room
This visually arresting eat-in kitchen designed by Jean-Louis Deniot is a beautiful expression of layered metals. A metallic dream, if you will. The silver custom cabinetry complements the cool-gray hues in the Calcutta marble island and Carrara marble pendants by Lee Broom, which also add a natural element to the pronounced use of silvery metals throughout the kitchen space. Adding that considered touch of warmth are brass stools by Face Design (upholstered with a gray cushion), which serve to ground and add tremendous depth to the space. Deniot’s restrained use of the warm gold hue against the bevy of silvers is stainless (pun very intended) proof that the two metal families are indeed an agreeable, not competing, color story.
In Smaller Spaces
Should you still be dubious about meshing your metals, please be prepared for this charming cozy corner—designed by Benjamin Vandiver—to change your mind. A vignette is the perfect place to play with marrying metals; a concentrated space is often less intimidating than a larger area where the placement of pieces can feel more permanent. In the case of Vandiver’s vignette, it’s an intimate study of how cold and warm metals can and should effortlessly co-exist. Here, a chrome console with brass trim sets the stage for a collected corner of materials: claw-foot shaggy stools with gold legs, a rattan accent chair, and a rich navy and gold wall covering. Each element is intentional but the space feels so natural and eclectic, and telling of the lucky persons who live there (which is also the mark of a thoughtful designer). So let your brasses live with your chromes, and your coppers with your nickels. In this day and age (of design), there’s no reason they can’t all just get along.