The rule for bathroom decorating has always been to coordinate finishes. But to achieve something that is more unique and elegant, often expanding past the ordinary will give you more unique and interesting results. It is a good idea to play with the idea of mixing bathroom finishes and we as home owners have a myriad of finishes to choose in search of faucets, cabinet fixtures and towel bars. With careful planning, mixing finishes is not only possible but can really give your bathroom a unique and elegant feel.
In order to get finishes to work together, it’s helpful to find coordinating elements that will compliment them. For example, a shiny porcelain bathtub, toilet and sink fixtures play against a matte finish tile and against a satin stainless tile inset into the shower and backsplash of the sink. The sparkle of the polished bath fixtures pops rather than blending in — which is what satin finish plumbing fixtures would have done. The bright chrome finish adds life to the room and makes a dynamic statement.
Floor tiles with soft satin steel buttons at each corner bring a nice highlight and shower accent tiles together for a cohesive look that unifies the whole room. The contrast between the satin design elements and the polish of the bathroom plumbing fixtures gives the bathroom a certain balance that keeps it from feeling bland. Had the fixture finishes been satin, the bathroom would have missed some important design zip that gives this bathroom standout appeal.
Another way to mix finishes successfully is to keep all the plumbing fixtures in the same finish, such as polished nickel, and then select lighting and cabinet hardware in a satin finish. When done right, mixing two distinct finishes looks upscale and uniquely fresh. It is not recommended to mix more than 2 finishes however; adding too much can look disjointed and thrown together in a sloppy manner.
Is it possible to mix different colored finishes such as bronze and nickel? It is if you have a third unifying element, such as tiles or wallpaper that reference both colors. Another way to carry this off is to create a visual focal point by selecting a unique finish for a standout fixture, such as a tall lavatory faucet for a vessel bowl sink. In this instance, both the sink and the faucet become much more noticeable than if the faucet matched the finish of the rest of the plumbing fixtures. The faucet would look especially good if it were a completely different color finish than the remaining plumbing fixtures.
It’s not written in stone that metallic finishes must match — and sometimes it looks better when they don’t. So be daring and experiment.