Ideas For Inspiration: Mixed Materials for your Home

Categories: Design

In 2020 and into 2021, many of us found ourselves spending much more time in our homes than normal. Leading to many of us wanting to redecorate the space that we started living in, working in, schooling in, cooking in, and working-out in. So we gathered some ideas for inspiration for those of us who are still thinking about and planning that long-awaited remodel project. 

When redecorating your home, it’s easy to focus on choosing the right appliances, the color of the walls and cabinets, and the right sized and colored furniture. While that’s a great start, there’s so much more to it–especially if you want the holy grail of design–something that feels fresh and modern yet won’t be outdated next year. 


modern clean kitchen with stainless steel and wood

The solution? Mixing materials. 

If you’ve ever spent time flipping through a home decor magazine, HGTV, or spent some time in a friends’ beautifully designed home, you probably noticed contrasting colors, textures, and materials that all together created a deep and character-filled space. 

Why is mixing materials important? 

Maybe you’ve seen a kitchen with exposed brick walls, warm wood cabinets with sleek glass faces, and even mixed metal finishes for the hardware. The space looked great and like it was just inviting you to sit down and enjoy a home-cooked meal. That’s the magic of mixing materials. 

“Although there’s nothing wrong with creating a space using all the same materials so everything matches, mixing materials is a tried and true way to add depth and character to your kitchen.  You can be adventurous or subtle.  Mixing materials can inject personality and define work areas in your space.  Whether your style is traditional, contemporary,  farmhouse, industrial or anywhere in between, learning to mix materials is the key to creating an inviting home.”

– Kate Marchisio, HomeScapes Designer 

Here are a few simple mixed material tips to consider as you start designing. 

Be Balanced 

First things first, when you choose to mix materials, start with finding a few materials that you like and use them as a foundation throughout the room. The key here is balance. Too much of anything becomes too bland and tired, but too little of any one thing starts to become chaotic. Choose the 3-4 materials that could create the entire room, then start working in contrasting materials that you like and work well with the primary material. 

Combine Contrasting Textures with Wood 

Wood is inherently a warm and inviting material that serves as a great choice to use as the grounding foundation to your visual aesthetic. But an entire kitchen or bath that is made of only wood will look tired, stuffy, and cramped. Using contrasting textures is a great way to help brighten and lighten this warm material. Consider sleek metals, simple and clean glass, or smooth and shiny tile to effortlessly introduce an organic-meets-modern look into home. Or pair your wooden base with rough and organic brick, light and smooth marble, or rough and textured tile to elevate and differentiate your space. All of these contrasting materials are subtle and neutral enough in color to blend together beautifully to create some truly stunning effects.

Choose your Dominant Metal

When choosing to mix metals in your interior, it’s important to choose one color and finish that is dominant throughout. First decide between gold, silver, bronze, or a rose-tone metal and then if polished, brushed, matte, waxed, or lacquered is your choice to match your aesthetic. Once you choose that primary metal, pair it with one or two other hues of a similar finish to complement, without overpowering, the look. For example, brushed chrome cabinet fixtures with a chrome refrigerator can easily be combined with dull brass cutlery and a dining ware set with brass trim to add a small touch and nod to the different metals. 

Today, people are very interested in sinks with different finishes—brass, copper, stainless steel, porcelain, etc. An interesting idea may be to start with a focal point of the room. If you plan on placing the sink in a prominent area of the room that your eye will immediately be drawn to, decide on what finish you want the sink to be and then decide on the rest of the kitchen or bathroom’s metal finishes.

Play with Pattern

When choosing patterns, you have a wide variety of materials to choose from. Floor tile, backsplash, upholstery, accent pieces, sometimes even countertops all may have some pattern element to them. So choosing different materials for your kitchen or bath remodel may be overwhelming when you think about how many different patterns you may have to decide between and play with. For example, if you choose a flowing circular element within a backsplash, a rigid square pattern for your floor tile may clash. Choosing multiple patterns for one space can be hard and you can very easily go overboard; patterns clash when you don’t know a few simple pattern tips, so let’s go over them: 

    • Pattern size: The most important rule in pattern matching is to combine small patterns with large. When patterns are too similar in size, they compete with each other. Taking a large, soft pattern and combining it with something intricate usually offers balance. 
    • Pattern color: Coordinating the color of the pattern is important when trying to mix and match. A design rule called 60/30/10 states that 60% of the room should be a dominant color, 30% should be a secondary, and the last 10% should be an accent. When pairing, choose patterns that draw on the same color scheme. Designs should have a subtle balance of color that match your planned aesthetic. 
    • Pattern theme: Mixing patterns can truly bring a room to life. If the style is focused on geometric shapes, choosing a large square pattern with a small circular pattern creates a nice contrast. 

open concept mixed material kitchen

Mixing patterns can come alive in more ways than just choosing rugs and throw pillows. Your kitchen backsplash can be a complement pattern to the floor tile and countertops. Overall, balance and restraint is key when mixing patterns. It’s recommended to incorporate a maximum of four patterns into any one defined space, as well as break up the patterns by using plenty of neutrals in between.

Match Different Design Styles

Dark with light; busy with simple; craftsman with modern. Sometimes all a room needs is a slight tweak to make the largest impact. Whether it’s placing a mid-century modern vanity with a sleek and modern mirror in the bathroom, or hanging a vintage chandelier over an oversized cement island in your kitchen, combining different finishes can create a layered appearance that contributes to the overall design dynamic.

Have fun! 

The best thing to think about when designing your space and choosing different materials to incorporate is your unique personality! Especially after we’ve all been through a global pandemic, the importance of ‘impressing’ your neighbor or mother-in-law with your home’s design has gone completely out the window. When you allow yourself to have fun and shine through your decisions, your home becomes yours and a reflection of you and your life. Bring in that pattern you fell in love with when you traveled to Barcelona, incorporate the seaside, nautical aesthetic that you grew up with, or simply make it tailored to you so it functions just the way you and your family naturally do. Using rules like balance, contrasting textures, and different patterns is a great foundation to let your personality shine through your design. 

“I’m thrilled when a new client comes in and wants to be daring. When someone is willing to push the design a little, we can help them pull it all together. I love to see my clients let their personality shine through.”

– Christine Carey, HomeScapes designer 

With the endless variety and choice in the market, it can be challenging to decide what your foundational elements are going to be, or what finish metal would look best with the type of wood you decide. That’s where our designers come in. 

CCL Homescapes Design Center & Showroom provides you with a space to see different layout styles, open and close different cabinet choices, explore color and texture choices while talking to our designers on how to cost effectively optimize your unique space. Stop by the showroom or call for a consultation.