Keys to Selecting Finishes
From oil rubbed bronze to brushed nickel, today’s finishes come in a wide variety of styles to complement any décor. Typically, when we make choices for finishes, we’re making selections for faucets, cabinet hardware, doorknobs and lighting. But when faced with making a selection, the endless combinations can seem overwhelming. Both the best and worst part of selecting finishes is that there is no single rule. However some guidelines can help make the decision-making somewhat easier.
To match or not
One of the most difficult decisions is whether or not to match your finishes. Certainly, matching your faucets, lighting, and cabinet hardware is the easiest. It eliminates the guesswork and the difficulty of deciding what and how to coordinate finishes. Sometimes, though, there can be too much of a good thing. Repetition is a wonderful way to create design unity. But, if every finish is exactly the same, it can create a tedious look with little variation or interest. That’s the downside of matching all the finishes.
For those with more daring, it’s possible to put together different finishes and make your room look fabulous. The key is coordination. If you want to mix finishes, it’s important that they coordinate together. For instance, a bronze lighting fixture that has pewter accents will look wonderful with brushed nickel. Or, if you’re handy with a paint brush, add some soft silver or antique brass accents to a bronze lighting fixture. Or, if your fixture has gold accents, consider using a brass fixture or antique brass cabinet hardware. If you’re decorating in a period style, though, it’s better to stick with one style and finish.
Try some contrast
One of the ways to make your finishes really stand out is to go for contrast. Contrast means pairing two very different finishes to create a more exciting look. A black sink faucet would look wonderful with brushed nickel cabinet pulls or antique brass. Or, pair metals such as brass and copper or polished stainless with burnished brass. Using contrast creates depth and interest and keeps the room from feeling flat and uninspired. It also keeps the room from having an out of the box kind of look.
Brass is back
Yes, that golden standby is back in home fashion again. However, if you have a rustic brown light fixture with gold accents, try adding burnished or antique brass hardware. It’s a fresh look and it will make those gold accents on your lighting pop and look even more wonderful. These kinds of coordinated finishes really look terrific in a traditional, Mediterranean or Tuscan style home. Polished brass hasn’t made the comeback that its antique brass cousin has. But that doesn’t mean shiny is out. Shiny faucets and hardware are often found in upscale hotel rooms that feature spa-type baths. The shiny hardware has a high-end appeal that oozes with that luxury spa feeling. Restorationhardware.com has a terrific selection of good-looking polished fixtures.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match finishes, just make sure they’re coordinated and complementary with one another. Do try to match the styles within a room and, perhaps most importantly, coordinate styles of hardware, lighting and faucets with the style of the home. This is always a winning combination and is complementary to the house and that makes the finish selections look better too. Just for interest, use a hardware set for the front door that is contrasting. This makes a statement that the front door is special. When you’re ready to make decisions about your hardware finishes, be sure to place all the items together at one time. This will help you to be certain that everything looks right and like it belongs together. Besides saving time, it will save you money, too.