Mixed Metals-Kitchen and Bath

Matching or mixing finishes- Do my kitchen pulls need to match my faucet? What about my lighting? How about the door hardware (architectural hardware)?

We get this question a lot-it may be one of the most frequently asked questions both to us and in various online forums like Houzz. Ultimately, mixing and matching is a matter of personal taste. We do know that when done with purpose and taste, mixed finishes on hardware, lighting, faucets, and appliances can create visual interest, a focal point, or define spaces within a whole.

Homes with a strong unified style probably benefit from matching. Whether its a modern home or an arts & crafts bungalow. But most of our homes are a bit of a mix anyway. Particularly older homes, Colonial homes with decades, or centuries, of additions and renovations reflect the styles of many time periods. And we love them for it. But is it ever too much? Are there certain rooms that should and should not match?

The bathroom and kitchen share similarities. Cabinets, faucets, tile, counter tops. In shops and online, kitchens and bathrooms go hand in hand. But what about in your own house? Did you repeat the same cabinets and tile in your bathroom that you used in your kitchen?

Now, some people find a product and love it so much they want to use it in as many places as they can. They buy their faucets all from one line, use the same hardware in the same finish and even request that the powder room vanity top be cut from the same slab adorning the kitchen island. And then there are people who want to keep the two rooms as separate as can be, drawing as little association between the kitchen and bathroom as possible. Because they don’t want to be reminded of what they do in the bathroom while in the kitchen. To them, there is an ick factor.

But is there a middle ground?

bath 1

kitchen 1

There are homeowners who find great solace in using a single finish throughout their house. If everything is, say, satin nickel, then it is a real no-brainer when shopping for door knobs, bookends, salad tongs, faucets, lamps, etc. Satin nickel it is. This approach streamlines the decision process but still allows for variety. The kitchen cabinets may display satin nickel bin pulls while the bathroom cabinets only use satin nickel knobs. There is unity in design, but the actual hardware shape does not repeat. As a result, no direct association is made between the bathroom and the kitchen but the elements still flow.

Another option is to use the same exact hardware but in a different finish. For example, polished nickel pulls mounted on white painted cabinets in the kitchen will take on a completely different look when the same style pull appears in an antique finish on a quartersawn oak bathroom vanity.

Ultimately, it is a matter of personal preference. So, what do you prefer? Do you match your finishes throughout your house or do you like to mix it up? Are your bathrooms and kitchen coordinated or did you purposefully design them to look unrelated? Leave a comment letting us know.

Both the kitchen and bath in the above pictures feature a traditional look, using a 5-piece raised panel cherry door topped with giallo ornamental granite. Sinks, faucets and counter edges differ. Are these looks too similar for your taste or not similar enough?

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