A Guide to Mixing Metals in The Bathroom: Our Powder Room Reveal

Find out how to combine different metal elements in the bathroom to achieve a cohesive mix and match look for your décor.

hot to mix metals in a bathroom

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I’m so excited to finally be sharing our finished powder room makeover with you! It’s been a long time coming. Full disclosure, this project was wrapped up nearly two months ago, but well, life got in the way of me posting all of the details with you. So let’s get on with it!

how to mix metals in a bathroom

This was our sad little powder room when we first moved in almost two years ago. Nothing special, just your plain basic builder bathroom.

how to mix metals in a bathroom

It always bugged me that the bathroom that was used the most in our home was totally lacking in character. Well, that and the mysterious musty smell that was coming from the rotting floorboards around the toilet.

Let that right there, be your lesson folks to steer far, far away from installing hardwood in your bathroom areas. It doesn’t make for a fun project once you’ve sprung a leak.

hot to mix metals in a bathroom

We opted to replace the rotting hardwood floors with a gorgeous brick-like tile option. You can read all about our DIY faux brick floors in this post here. But let’s just say the tile floor project led to an entire room renovation. And before we knew it, we were picking out all new fixtures for our powder room.

how to mix metals in a bathroom

Metal Finishes in the Bathroom

I’m pretty sure I love designing bathrooms most of all. Picking out the hard finishing’s is like adding jewelry to the room, and who doesn’t love a little bling? If you’ve seen the glam powder room we designed for our neighbors here then you’ll know that we went for a chic gold look, and chose to use the same metal finish throughout the entire room.

how to mix metals in a bathroom
Starting off with a creamy neutral base for a touch of sophistication

For our own bathroom though, we wanted to go in a completely different direction. The floors lent themselves to a nice rustic finish, and the creamy white walls with molding were the perfect neutral base. It just needed a little extra contrast with the metal fixtures to really make this room pop.

how to mix metals in a bathroom
All white everything using Benjamin Moore’s Simply White

There are a few good rules of thumb to follow when mixing metals for bathroom fixtures, and they become even more important when working in such a tight space like a small powder room.

Choose a Dominant Metal Color to Anchor Your Room’s Design

It’s no secret that I have a thing for gold when it comes to decorating. I know there are so many trends that come and go with Interior Design, but in my opinion this is one color that remains a timeless classic and instantly elevates any space with a higher end look.

how to mix metals in a bathroom

We chose gold as our primary metal finish to start off the design and sprinkled it through four different key fixtures in our powder room. Why four? Because three items are too few to really create a color scheme in any size room and any more than four would have been overkill in our tiny bathroom.

how to mix metals in a bathroom
how to mix metals in a bathroom

Our sconce lighting, modern faucet, waste can and toilet tray were all a beautiful brushed gold color, almost leaning a hint towards brass without feeling too 80s.

how to mix metals in a bathroom

Create a Design Triangle to Connect the Different Metal Finishes in Your Bathroom Fixtures

After choosing the primary metal finish for your bathroom fixtures, you want to make sure that you spread them throughout the room and try to avoid placing them right next to or directly on top of one another. An easy way to visualize this before you commit to a major purchase, is to picture a triangle with three points connecting your main pieces.

how to mix metals in a bathroom

While I couldn’t fit all the pieces into one photo for you, this picture is a loose example of how to place the same metal finish throughout your bathroom. Both the light fixture and the gold faucet are directly aligned, but broken up with another design element, the mirror, so that they’re not directly on top of one another. And the third connecting point is the brushed gold waste can on the ground to the right of  both the other pieces.

how to mix metals in a bathroom

Having larger items between metals helps to break up the look so that it appears more cohesive and less matchy matchy.

how to mix metals in a bathroom

Combine Metals to Compliment the Primary Finish in Your Bathroom

Next, you’ll want to select one or two more color that will be your secondary metal finishes in your bathroom design. This is sometimes the hardest part of mixing metals in a bathroom. That’s because you need to keep a few things in mind when choosing your fixtures.

Compliment Your Dominant Metal Finish

You might find yourself wanting to stay as close as possible to your primary metal color, it’s a natural tendency to want to match things. But if you want to achieve that effortless cohesive look, you need to aim for contrast instead.

That means combining a metal color and finish that are completely opposite your primary metal.

To give the warm tones of our brushed gold fixtures some contrast, we chose to use a little bit of chrome and satin nickel for the rest of our bathroom design. The cool silver tones complimented the room perfectly.

how to mix metals in a bathroom

Again, making sure to avoid placing these finishes side by side we alternated them throughout the room using chrome for the hand towel and toilet paper stand.

how to mix metals in a bathroom

And the brushed nickel in the new floor vent and door stopper.

how to mix metals in a bathroom

But’s it’s this gorgeous beaded and beveled mirror that really tie both of those cool metal finishes together.

how to mix metals in a bathroom

The brushed nickel tones on the frame of the mirror accent the chrome look of the beveled glass panes.

And to think I almost went with a wood framed mirror in my original design plan here. I love how this room turned out, especially the gorgeous white walls. I actually said to my husband that this room feels so chic now that it belongs in a hotel room, not our house.

how to mix metals in a bathroom
This shaded light fixture though….
how to mix metals in a bathroom

I hope you found these tips for mixing metals helpful. If you did, do me a favor and pin this post on Pinterest so others can find this extremely awesome guide too!

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  1. I hope you’re still checking this after 3 years! 🙂 If so, would appreciate your thoughts on the master bath (new construction) that we’re currently planning. I love Delta’s champagne bronze finish and have chosen that for my shower components. I believe I have found a brushed bronze sliding shower door that matches, however, I’m concerned that it’s TOO much bronze in that one area… I feel like since bronze is on the darker side it can be visually heavy and can quickly become overdone. I’m strongly considering a brushed nickel shower door instead. How do you feel about the shower components and door not matching? I plan to pull in both the champagne bronze and brushed nickel throughout the space as my two metals.

    1. Hi Denise! I like the concept of balancing the warm champagne bronze with nickel. I would contrast one of the brushed surfaces with a polished so that not everything is brushed.

  2. Re doing my guest bathroom- The vanity has Matt black knobs – going to use gold like in the light fixture in your post for faucet, TP holder and hook for towel. What color light and mirror frame would you use ? The flooring will be a charcoal slate , not too dark and the walls a light neutral like white. The vanity is a brownish wood, too a marble with grayish marbelizing in it
    I like the light in your post but that may be too much gold? But if did and used a mirror with black framing , how would that look?
    Thank you!

  3. Hi I remodeled my bathroom with mixed metals and I’m just so unhappy can you give me an idea of what to update to love it? I just don’t love the colors how can I fix it ? Do you have an email I can send you a picture on please?

  4. Hello, I’m glad I found your website since I am dealing with this very problem! We are remodeling our small bathroom in our log cabin with round pine logs on the outer wall and knotty pine tongue and groove on the inner walls. The vanity we are going with is called distressed grey (the sample piece looked more brown, which will add contrast to the pine and bring out the greys and the knots) with antique pewter cup pulls. The quartz vanity top is a grey, white, black with a bit of tan (or I could go with carrara marble.)
    My question is, what color faucet and light fixture should I go with…brushed nickel or venetian bronze? I could use a different color mirror if necessary. Any suggestions would be most welcome! Thank you!

  5. We are redoing our bathroom. The shower including framed doors and fixtures are chrome and we are keeping them. We have an oil rubbed bronze towel holder, toilet paper stand and faucet. Do those work together or should I buy new? The mirror is large and frameless. We would also like to replace the light.

    1. Hi Christine! I’d love to help you out with your bathroom design. Feel free to e-mail me at Martina@thelivedinlook if you’d like to do a quick consult.

  6. What a beautiful bathroom, well done! Where did you find the gorgeous shaded light fixture, it’s absolutely perfect! I’ve been searching but haven’t found one nearly as nice as yours

  7. Hi! Just finding this! I’ve recently paianated my bathroom white- I hv chrome/ silver facets, towel holder and knobs- and shower fixtures- brown wood mirror- I hate.
    How should I change it up!? Help!

    1. Hi Shannon! It really depends on the color of the vanity but let’s say for example mine was painted white or soft gray I might use a soft brushed gold or even a chrome pull.

  8. I like how you said that choosing one dominant metal color for the bathroom is a smart decision to make the bathroom be more organized. My parents want to renovate our bathroom in January and I know my mom likes the look of a zinc-nickel finish. I will be sure to recommend that they find a zinc-nickel provider that can add the finish to the bathroom fixtures that my parents want.

  9. Hi Ariana,

    My bathroom is painted a dark blue. Sink faucet and towel holder are chrome to match shower hardware. To bring in another metal my vanity light is black and aged brass and cabinet knobs are aged brass. Stuck on what metal the mirror should be. Would appreciate any advice.


    1. Hi Kay, It can be a little tricky to determine without seeing the space. Feel free to send me an e-mail with a photo, I’m happy to share my thoughts!

  10. Curious if you think that tile would work on a bathroom floor with white subway tile in the shower? Our shower is white subway walls and hex black and white floor. The rest of the room is about 100 square feet – white tub, and a light natural wood vanity is going in. I fell in love with this tile at the store today and am thinking it might clash but love it in your space!

    1. Awww I’m so glad you love it! It may make the room feel a bit too busy, but you could always use the hex for your main flooring too, and if it’s a smaller pattern in the shower floor you can go larger on the bathroom floor.

  11. Do you think I can have different metals for the sink faucet and the shower finishings? I am looking at doing a brushed gold for the sink faucets and a brushed bronze for the shower head and handle.

    1. Hi Ariana! Mixing light and dark fixtures for contrast is a great way to make a statement in your bathroom. I might suggest looking at a soft matte black instead of the oil rubbed bronze, as it can start to look a but dated these days. Have fun with your makeover!

  12. In our kids bathroom remodel we have new chrome rain shower, tub faucet, handheld and frameless tub/shower doors. I want to bring in another metal color but not sure what to go with? Any advice?

    1. Hi Eva! You can definitely bring in a secondary color as long as you repeat it at least twice in the design (ie. sink faucet and cabinet knobs or hand towel holder). I’m not sure what your colors of the room are but you could go for a soft contrast like brushed nickel or even a more obvious contrast like gold, brass or black. Hope this helps!

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