Do As A Designer Does

Say hello to “Do As a Designer Does,” our monthly advice column dedicated to answering readers’ burning interior design questions with some of the best brains in the business. Have a question? Shoot us a message on Instagram, or email us at editorial@semihandmade.com for a chance to be featured!

For this month’s installment of Do as a Designer Does, our expert is the acclaimed designer Sarah Sherman Samuel, who has partnered with Semihandmade since 2013. She has created countless enviable interiors—which you’ve probably saved on Pinterest!—and her lines of cabinetry, textiles, and hardware have garnered a cult following. Her latest collaboration with Semihandmade, Quarterline, was released in May.

Question:

Dear Sarah,

I’m working on my master bathroom renovation and have chrome faucets picked out. Is there a trick to mixing metals in a space? 

Thank you!

Steph from Indiana

Answer:

Dear Steph, 

The short answer to this question is yes, there is a trick to mixing metals in any space—and it’s all about balance.

Say you did all chrome metal finishes by the bathroom sink, including the hardware, lighting, mirror, and faucet. And then you picked all brass or gold finishes for the other side, like the toilet paper holder and shower trim. Once you took a step back, you’d probably notice that the room looked off-balance. Think of these materials as if they had weight. If you had all the chrome piled up on one side, it would outweigh the brass. 

In order to achieve visual balance, you’ll want to incorporate metals throughout. For example, you could have a chrome faucet on one side of the bathroom and a chrome towel bar or trash can on the other. Then, you could mix in brass with cabinet hardware and a wall sconce. For the finishing touches, I always like to bring in other materials so that the metal doesn’t overwhelm the design. You could “cut” the metallic with a wood-framed mirror or ceramic sconces, as two ideas. 

This balancing act also applies to color. For instance, if you went with a dark-colored vanity in a stark white space, then that design would also look unbalanced. To resolve this, you can keep the black vanity but sprinkle in dark accessories. You’d still have a bright bathroom, but the design would work together much better. 

Best of luck! 

Sarah Sherman Samuel

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