Kitchen Metals: To Match or Not To Match

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Sometimes I wonder if we are pushing the limits of “things not matching”.  In a good way?  Or not?  Hmmm…

If you grew up like me, everything needed to match.  Dining tables matched dining chairs making them a dining set.  Purses and shoes were color-coordinated match your outfit.  Heck, even eyeshadow was supposed to match your ensemble!  This was just my parents generation and the generations before them.  Matching was important.  When I was sitting on the floor of the antique china store that was closing here, putting together my twelve sets of UNMATCHING china, those sweet ladies couldn’t believe it.  They were darling, and patient!  Because let me tell you, it took me forever to choose the ones I wanted!

Side note:  I was at a retail store a couple of weeks ago, and could not help but overhear two lovely ladies probably in their seventies have the following conversation:

Lady #1:  I was looking through a magazine, and I could not believe what I saw!  You just won’t believe it, Irma.

Irma:  What?!

Lady #1:  Folks nowadays…pause for drama…leave their silver unpolished!  They even prefer it!  Young folks like the look of it!  I saw a table and it was filled to the brim with unpolished silver!  And they were discussing it in the magazine like it was good!  And pretty!  I saw the picture, and my first thought was, someone has been neglecting their polishin’ work, but boy was I wrong, it’s the newest thing.

Irma:  Well, that’s a mercy.  I ’bout rubbed my fingers to the bone polishing my silver every week.  Why couldn’t they make that in vogue when we were young?

Both chuckle.

Delightful, yes?  Things are a’changin’, I guess.

Well, hard-core matchers need to brace themselves.  It has filtered to the kitchen.  (pause for drama)  Yes, even the kitchen has been affected by the need to explore unmatched territory.  And the verdict, in my opinion, is a resounding yes!

Stainless steel, chrome, and brass?  Yes please!

House and Home

House and Home

The kitchen above is so incredible beautiful, I just want to stare at it.  If you are like me, you spend significant time in the kitchen.  With four kids not old enough to be in school, and a husband, and three meals a day (plus snacks), yes, there are definitely some serious hours spent in the kitchen.  It needs to be lovely to look at!  Yet, sometimes I see a gorgeous kitchen, and it feels cold to me.  Hard.  I think a good way to make your kitchen feel more a part of your home, and less a kitchen store model, is to mix the finishes.  Think it can be done without looking crazy?

House and Home

Beta Plus Contemporary Kitchens via Gianetti Home

Source Unknown

House Beautiful

Traditional Home

Witt Construction via Houzz

Katie Lee Joel’s kitchen

Elaine Griffin Interiors

Betty Lou Phillips

Steven Gambrel

House Beautiful

Southern Living

House and Home

What do you think?  Are you in?   Still confused?

Some helpful tips:

1.  If you are not sure where to start, go to your local hardware store and decide which finishes you like.  Choose one of the finishes different from what you have in your kitchen and use it as an accent in your room.  Have brushed nickel hardware but love the look of oil rubbed bronze?  Buy an oil rubbed bronze faucet or an oil rubbed bronze light fixture!

2.  If in doubt, start with polished nickel, and go from there.  Polished nickel has such a warm tone, with gold and silver reflections depending on the light.  If you start with polished nickel as your base, and then choose another metal you love, all will tie together, and you will be happy.

3.  Don’t let your appliances be the boss.  A stainless steel oven or refrigerator does not need to dictate the hardware or plumbing fixtures in a kitchen.  They can be stand-alone elements of a room.

I have been working on a mini kitchen makeover of my own that I hope to share with you soon.  Are there mixed metals?  Of course!  And I am absolutely loving it!  What I’m really pining for, however, is this Viking oven.

Isn’t it fab?  White with stainless steel handle and brass accents.  So wonderful!  It is also wonderfully out of my price range.  Way out.  Crazy out there.  But I’m searching and hoping for a floor model or clearance model to happily come my way.  We’ll see.

So what do you think of this look?  Do you like it?  Would you or have you mixed your kitchen metals?  Tell me what you think!

4 Responses to “Kitchen Metals: To Match or Not To Match”

  1. Robin O December 11, 2012 at 9:33 am #

    Beautiful kitchens! Love that first one. Great topic… I’m always a little unsure about choosing my fixture finishes in the kitchen/dining room. Good tips!

    • Grace December 11, 2012 at 11:22 pm #

      Robin, thank you so much! I agree, I felt so inspired after seeing all of the lovely kitchens! So happy my tips were helpful, please let me know if you need anything else. G

  2. Erin Prais-Hintz December 12, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    I am an artisan jewelry designer and mixed metals are all the rage. I have always played with metals as if they were colors, not metallics. I love copper with silver and gunmetal with brass. And if the hardware in your kitchen is like jewelry for your cabinets then why not? Thank you for sharing these pretty spaces! Enjoy the day. Erin

    • Grace December 13, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

      Exactly, Erin! I love how you put that! Thank you for reading! G