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Mixing metal finishes is a fun way to add depth and personality to a space. It also helps a room look more curated – like everything has been gathered over space and time. Plus, with so many metal options to play with, how can you not mix them together! This being said, mixing metals can be tricky and we are often asked by clients what our top tips and tricks are for successfully mixing metals.

If you have been wanting to try to mix your metal finishes, here are our top tips:

Don’t mix and match too much.

The absolute maximum amount of metals we would recommend mixing is three. Going crazy with metal finishes is an easy way to make a space look sporadic, so limiting how many metal finishes you mix to a low number (like three!) is a good guideline for keeping it under control. If you decide to use a third metal, use it sparingly and as a way to draw attention to something, like a cool accessory or a special piece of art.

Choose a dominant finish.

When you start thinking about which finishes you are going to mix, select one as the dominant finish and use it as the base that you mix over metals with. Don’t forget that you can use accessories, mirrors, art, and accent tables to mix different metal finishes into your room!

Mix vastly different finishes.

What we mean by this is, mix warm & cool finishes together or light & dark finishes together. Mixing two finishes that look similar won’t make an impact. For example, black and oil rubbed bronze wouldn’t read differently to your eye if you glanced in a room. In our Refined Urban Abode project, we mixed copper with nickel. They mix well together because one is a very warm tone and the other is cool.

Keep like-items the same metal.

This tip helps things looking organized, even if multiple metals are being used. For example, if you are mixing metals in your kitchen, keep all the light fixtures in the room the same finish as each other and all the plumbing fixtures the same finish as each other.

Choose finishes that speak to you and your style, don’t worry about trends.

If a finish is all the rage right now, don’t worry about having to add it to your home! Just like everything else in design, metal finishes have their moment in the spotlight, but that doesn’t mean you have to partake. Pay more attention to what speaks to you and your design style.

Use duel-tone fixtures to help you mix.

Some plumbing fixtures and light fixtures come with two metal tones. This can be a helpful way to naturally mix two metal tones! A good example of this is our Black & White Bath & Kitchen project. In the bathroom, we used duel tone faucets that are black and nickel and paired them with black cabinet pulls and silver lights.

When in doubt, pair with black.

Because black is a neutral color, you can pair it easily with any other metal finish! Silver and black, gold and black, copper and black… it all looks good!

If this seems like too much for you,

don’t worry! I space looks beautiful without mixing metals. Not mixing metals is a more classic, traditional approach to metal finishes. For example, our Glamorous Glass Ensuite only uses nickel and other silver-tone metal finishes and it looks amazing because everything automatically goes together.

Glamorous Glass Ensuite

XOXO,

RWD

We are BIG fans of using sconces as bed-side lights instead of lamps. Not only is it a super stylish option, but it’s practical too! By using a sconce instead of a lamp, you free up tons of space on your nightstand or open up options for smaller, less obtrusive nightstands (like a floating shelf).

Just like lamps, there are endless style options and many don’t require special wiring work like a pendant would, although we do like this look as well. Pendants are easy to install on a wall, or you can get extra creative and install it into your headboard (there are lots of other examples of this in our “Not your Grandma’s Upholstered Headboard” post too)!

Check out some of our favorite sconces used as bedside lights below:

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What do you think?! Are you ready to switch over to a sconce at your bedside? Let us know below, or over on Instagram!

XOXO,

RWD

The transitional design style is one of the hardest styles to get a firm grasp on… because it’s not really one style. It’s a mixture of contemporary and traditional design, and since there aren’t any strict guidelines on how to execute that combination, no two transitional spaces will ever look exactly alike!

There are, however, a few things to keep in mind when it comes to transitional design, and we’re here to help point them out. So, the next time you find yourself looking at a picture, wondering if it’s transitional, look out for the key aspects listed below!

The picture above is an excellent example of a transitional space. Honestly, we don’t know whose design this is or where it came from, but it’s a picture often seen on Pinterest when searching “transitional design.” If anyone knows the source, please let us know!! Nevertheless, it’s the perfect illustration for what we are going to be talking about.

If transitional design is a mixture of contemporary and traditional design, let’s look at both styles separately, represented within this one picture.

Contemporary

See that smooth wall texture and frameless window design? Both lean more contemporary, and provide the perfect background for the abstract art, solid neutral rug, and clean-lined coffee table and side table. However, the space lacks the overall starkness that’s often associated with contemporary design. Why? Because a few traditional elements have been mixed in, to help soften and warm up the look of the space.

Traditional

The matching floor lamps and the tufted cushion on the chaise speak to the traditional aspects of the design. In addition, although the lines of the coffee table are modern, it’s made of wood – a much more traditional material. The velvet side chairs also call back to more traditional styles. Though they’re less ornate than truly traditional chairs (like the one below), the slightly rolled arms, tapered legs, and nailhead accents add a traditional element, making the chairs a perfect example of transitional design.

This blend of styles is what makes transitional so special… the seamless mix of classical elements with the simplicity of modern styles. We hope this helps you to understand what goes into a transitional space, and to feel more confident when talking about transitional furniture pieces. To learn more about transitional design, read this old blog post!

Curious to see if transitional is your style? Take our free design style quiz here!

XOXO,

RWD

We’ll be the first to admit that furniture maintenance isn’t the most exciting topic in the world… but it is important! If you are buying high quality furniture that will last you years to come (which is what we recommend) you will want to make sure that you are taking care of your investment. So, without further ado, let’s jump in!

Rugs and Carpets

First of all, we always recommend pairing an area rug with a rug pad. Rug pads not only help keep your rug in place, but they also help to extend the life of your rug.

It’s usually recommended that you vacuum your carpet in the direction of the pile around once a week; twice as much in high-traffic areas. If there’s a spill, the important thing is to act as quickly as possible. For wool rugs, dilute the area with water and use a clean cloth to firmly press down. Blot the area until the stain is removed. Do not rub, and if the stain is not gone, hire a professional.

For rugs that take special care (silk, viscose, linen, and even some wool rugs), do not vacuum with a beater bar and do not apply stain repellent treatments. Also, in the case of a spill on one of these rugs… don’t. BUT, if it happens, hire a professional to clean.

Bedding and Linens

Bedding should be washed in warm water with half the amount of gentle laundry detergent recommended. Wash with like colors and dry on a low heat setting.

Expect linens to shrink with each wash, especially linens made of natural fibers. Generally, very large pieces of fabric or very high thread count linens are not pre-shrunk, and are likely to shrink 4-10 percent depending on the fiber. It’s best to dry linens on a line, but using a dryer on the proper settings will be fine. Do not dry linens on too hot of a setting, and remove them from the dryer promptly to reduce wrinkling.

Washing and drying your linens properly should eliminate wrinkles. However, linens made of natural fibers might need to be hit with a steam iron. You will notice that as fine linens age, they become softer and wrinkle less!

Upholstery

Spills should be blotted immediately with a clean, dry cloth. If a stain occurs, test out a mild soap somewhere hard-to-see on the piece of furniture to make sure it doesn’t discolor or shrink the upholstery fabric. Then, attempt to remove the stain. If the stain remains, hire a professional.

Upholstered furniture needs to be vacuumed on a regular basis with special attention on the arms and seats, and cushions should be flipped and rotated regularly if possible. Cushion covers and arm caps should not be machine washed, because it will destroy the backing. Bring them to a professional upholstery cleaner if it is needed.

Metal

Clean stainless steel regularly with water and soft soap. Never use any corrosive products, solvents, or aggressive abrasives, solutions containing chloride, or metal brushes to clean. Instead use a clean, soft cloth. A Scotch Brite Stainless Steel Cleaner is also appropriate to use, except on polished stainless steel.

Copper only needs to be washed with soapy, lukewarm water. If there’s a protective coating on it, don’t use a polish on it. If there’s no protective coating, it can be polished or be left to patina.

Polished Chrome is very durable, but needs to have water wiped off of it with a clean, soft cloth to prevent water spots. Mild dishwashing soap or a chrome polish can be used to clean, but never use scouring pads or abrasive cleaners.

Polished and satin nickel are best cleaned with water or mild dishwashing soap and dried with a soft cloth. Chrome polish can also be used and rubbed with the grain of a brushed or satin finish. Never use scouring pads or abrasive cleaners.

Brass and bronze pieces are often given an aged look, or age naturally. To clean, use a mild liquid detergent and a soft cloth. Heavy, periodic cleaning can remove the natural aging or change the character of the finish. Do not use metal polishes, bleach, vinegar, WD-40, solvents or any other chemical or abrasive cleaning agents. To darken oil-rubbed bronze, apply ‘Renaissance Wax’. Test a small, unseen area before proceeding to treat the entire item.

Gold-plated items scratch easily. Clean with warm water and dry with a chamois. Gold can be discolored by perfumes in soaps and lotions and if that happens, clean with a soft brush and rinse with warm water.

Aluminum can be cleaned with a soft soap, but avoid using an abrasive or aggressive product or sponge.

Wood

Keeping wood furniture looking pristine is not an easy task. Humidity, temperature changes, knocks and scratches can happen daily. To avoid damage, don’t place furniture in damp areas, which can encourage rot, pests or harm the finish and glues. It’s also important to keep wood furniture out of direct sunlight. Not only can it affect the finish, but it also chemically degrades the wood. Dust and aerosol sprays are also harmful.

If your wood furniture becomes stained by grease or food, do not polish over the stain! Use a little diluted vinegar to wet the surface and rub vigorously with a cotton cloth until the grime is gone. Dry quickly with a clean cloth.

There are certain ways of moving furniture to ensure they do not become damaged in the move. Move tables by the apron or legs instead of the top. Chairs should be lifted by the seat rail, not the arms or crest rail. Lift large pieces of furniture instead of dragging them.

Use mild, soapy water to clean painted surfaces and dry immediately with a clean soft towel. For eggshell sheen lacquers, avoid waxes or polishes.

If your wood furniture becomes damaged, consult a professional about how to fix it. In most cases, it can be fixed!

Stone

Quartz never needs to be sealed and is cleaned with water and a mild detergent. Granite should be sealed every 2 years to prevent staining, and cleaned with water or a cleanser made for natural stone. Marble is easier to stain or scratch and should be sealed annually, and cleaned with water or a cleanser made for natural stone. Slate can be cleaned with water, and most suppliers recommend the use of a protector. Do not use harsh or abrasive cleaners, bleach, or acidic products on any stone materials.

We hope this is helpful! Let us know if there is anything specific you have questions on that we did not address.

XOXO,

RWD