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3 Tips for Matching Gold Fixtures and Stainless Steel Appliances in a Kitchen Renovation

In 2022, it’s ok to mix metal finishes in kitchen remodels and home projects. Once you begin noticing this trend, you’ll see mixed metal finishes in kitchens ranging from celebrity-designed magazine spreads down to the lowly Ikea showroom.

In this article, you’ll find photos of my gold/stainless steel kitchen and advice on how to mix metal finishes in your home with style.

A luxurious budget kitchen remodel for this small galley kitchen.
Morning sunlight streaming into a kitchen featuring gold fixtures and stainless steel appliances.

Tips for Mixing Metal Finishes on Kitchen Fixtures & Appliances:

1. Be intentional about mixing finishes

Like most bold style choices, the key to mixing metal finishes in kitchens is to be intentional and deliberate. Make a plan and stick to it- if your appliances are stainless steel and you choose polished brass fixtures, make sure all your fixtures are polished brass and all of your appliances are stainless steel. Drawing a clear boundary between how the different metals are used helps create a polished, put-together look.

Drawing a clear boundary between how different metal finishes are used can help create a polished, put-together look.

2. Use no More than 2 Metal Finishes

The second piece of advice for styling a room like a kitchen using more than one metal finish is to use only two metal finishes. For example, if you’ve opted for gold fixtures and stainless steel appliances, don’t deviate halfway through your project when you find a rubbed oil bronze kitchen faucet at a bargain price. Too many different metal finishes can be chaotic and make a kitchen look haphazardly strung together- choosing two metal colors and using them with a clear plan creates a cohesively styled room.

3. Repeat finishes

The third tip for mixing metal finishes in your kitchen with confidence is to avoid one-off occurrences of a particular metal. A copper pot rack in an all-stainless steel kitchen will create a subtle sense of clashing, even if you can’t quite put your finger on what’s wrong, but a set of copper pots on a display in a kitchen with copper-toned natural wood elements can, instead, create a soothing sense of balance. Similarly, if you buy one stainless steel appliance and place it in a gold-fixture kitchen, try to add at least one other stainless steel appliance to visual balance and anchor the space.

A kitchen with gold fixtures, forest green cabinets on the bottom, and a combination of wood open shelving and glass front white cabinets on top.
A stainless steel refrigerator in a kitchen with gold fixtures.

Mixing Metal Finishes in my 2022 Cottage Kitchen Remodel

I don’t consider myself an icon of design, so when I’m designing something- whether it’s an outfit or a new newly decorated room- I tend to play it safe. Instead of taking design risks, I generally play it safe and match colors and finishes in the way we all learned to do a few decades ago: choosing matching and complementing colors. In the case of a modern kitchen remodel, new challenges forced me to experiment with taking a chance on mixing metal finishes.

If you’ve spent any time in design spaces in 2021, you know that brass and antique gold are in, and rubbed oil bronze is out. Stainless steel, ever classic, continues to hover as a durable and affordable finish for appliances.

How, I wondered could I have a kitchen with the gold fixtures I dreamed of without replacing my stainless steel finish dishwasher, range, and refrigerator. And if I replaced them, what the heck would I even replace them with, since gold and brass finish appliances do not exist outside of luxury oddities for the rich and eccentric. This is a question I brought to my IKEA design appointment in October 2021.

Stainless steel appliances paired with gold fixtures in a kitchen with green and white cabinets.

Puzzled by how to embrace the warm yellow tones of an antique gold faucet and drawer pulls paired with my cool gray stainless steel appliances, I asked the designer how other people were working with the combination of antique gold, brass, and stainless steel in modern kitchen remodels.

I knew that I didn’t want to give up the warm tones of the gold drawer pulls, knobs, and faucet, and wanted to tie together the warm tones in my Pergo laminate flooring with the yellow highlights in the reclaimed wood open shelving I’d be using to bridge gaps in cabinets. Gold knobs and pulls, I hoped would be the color-bridge between wood wall shelves and engineered wood flooring.

But what to do about those stainless steel appliances? Especially, since it’s not exactly possible to replace stainless steel appliances with antique gold-front appliances!

When I brought this question to my IKEA kitchen designer, he simply stood up and advised me to follow him. Walking from the IKEA design center into the kitchen IKEA kitchen showroom, we walked into a kitchen featuring exactly the combination I was planning on purchasing: forest green Bodbyn kitchen cabinets with antique gold drawer pulls and knobs. There, in that green and gold showroom kitchen, the designers had chosen to feature a stainless steel refrigerator, dishwasher, and range hood.

Being able to see this combination of antique gold kitchen fixtures combined with stainless steel appliances made me feel much better about my decision to keep my perfectly functional stainless steel appliances through my kitchen remodel and use them in my new green cottage kitchen with gold accents.

Now that kitchen design appointment as far in the past and my IKEA kitchen is installed and amazing, I don’t regret making the bold decision to match the yellow tones of antique gold highlights with the cool gray finish of stainless steel appliances, and fact, they don’t seem to clash at all in the final kitchen installation. What are your thoughts on this design choice? Drop me a comment below to see your advice for mixing metals in a kitchen remodel featured.

Handmade cutting boards on an IKEA Kasker white stone effect countertop.