How to Mix & Match Light Fixture Finishes: 6 Pro Tips

April 5, 2023


blog categories

Blog Home


Design Tips



design tips
follow @almahomes

Welcome to the Alma Homes blog! Our team of designers and architects share weekly design cheat sheets, product roundups, and frequent updates on our current projects. Enjoy reading!

Design Tips
more categories

welcome home

Selecting light fixtures is a vital part of the design process and one that brings personality and pizzaz to your home. While we’ve shared advice for mixing and matching hardware before, we’re now sharing tips for mixing and matching light fixture finishes. Complementary (but not matchy-matchy) light fixture finishes give homes a high-end look without clashing, but the designer look can quickly go astray if not implemented properly. If you’re not sure where to start when coordinating light fixtures, don’t worry. We have six pro tips to get you started!

Tip #1: Carry The Theme Throughout The Home

When thinking about the design of your house, consider the whole home and how the space feels as you move from room to room. The same goes for lighting. Once you determine the main metal finishes, style, and color palette you want to focus on, carry this theme throughout the home. Don’t just do one standalone light fixture a different color. Make the mixing and matching cohesive, from the entryway to the kitchen, hallways, and beyond.

Tip #2: Don’t Mix More Than 2-3 Metals in One Room

Incorporating four or more metals into one space can make the space feel like a hodgepodge. Our general rule of thumb is to stick to two or three metal finishes per room. This brings variety without being overwhelming.

Warm, modern kitchen with white oak finishes and beige cabinets
#bloomingtonbuild features brass pendants in the kitchen and an oil-rubbed bronze linear pendant in the dining area. The matching white shades tie the two pieces together seamlessly.

Tip #3: Don’t Be Afraid to Mix Metal Finishes…

While the options for finishes are numerous (think polished nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, aged brass, matte black and more), we love mixing and matching a few metal finishes to add visual interest and layers to the space.

When mixing metals, do pay attention to undertones. Think polished nickel and brass; they both have warm undertones that pair well together. When do you mix metals, just make sure you are repeating the finish throughout the room.

Modern French country laundry room with iced blue cabinets
#thelakeloft laundry room pairs warm tones: a brass light fixture with a polished nickel faucet. Shop the sources for this space here.

Tip #4: …But Avoid Mixing Finishes That Are Too Similar

Mixing metal finishes that are too similar, such as polished nickel and chrome, can come off as dull or lackluster. Same with chrome and brushed nickel. Their subtle differences makes it appear as if there are two almost-but-not-quite identical finishes in the same space. Thus, we recommend choosing finishes that contrast or complement each other to create a visually appealing and dynamic space.

Tip #5: Choose Light Fixtures That Have Similar Style, But Aren’t Identical

We love selecting fixtures that have the same design style (think modern, traditional, contemporary, coastal, etc.) with elements in common (like metal finishes) but are still different. One way to do this is by working in other materials like fabric, rattan, glass, or crystal. This way even when colors are different, everything still feels cohesive. See how we pulled this off in #thelakeloft here!

Unsure of your design style? Take our 60-second quiz to discover your personal style here.

Woven chandelier light fixture in dining room with kitchen in the background
Brass finishes tie together the sconces and lantern pendants found in #bloomingtonbuild‘s kitchen with the woven rope chandelier in the dining room.

Tip #6: Use Other Finishes in the Space to Tie Together Light Fixture Combinations

Hardware, plumbing fixtures, and accent pieces come with their own finishes, making them a great way to tie together, complement, or contrast the light fixture elements. For example, you can combine brass fixtures with matte black plumbing or vice versa. And friendly PSA: don’t forget to pick the same color temperature bulbs for all fixtures in a room. If you’re unsure what “color temp” means – learn all about that term and more in our Light Bulbs 101 post.

Modern, minimalist black and brass bathroom
The interplay of aged brass and old bronze in #thelakeloft‘s Jack and Jill bathroom sconces adds depth and intrigue to the space while complementing the matte black plumbing and brass hardware.

Whether you’re building, renovating, or simply updating your light fixtures, we hope these tips help you feel confident and at-ease when mixing and matching light fixture finishes. For more enlightening build and design tips and resources join our email list here or follow us over on Instagram. Finally, thank you for spending your valuable time with us over here in our little corner of the internet. 🤍

Love our website? Use code ALMAHOMESSENTME for 10% off any Tonic Site Shop website template.

leave a comment 

Leave a Reply

What's Your Design Style?

take the quiz

take the quiz! (in just 60 seconds)

Discover your design style so you can start creating a home you love.