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Don’t be Afraid to let your Insides Gleam

When it comes to decorating, many people find themselves drawn to gold-toned hardware for their kitchen or shiny, silver picture frames everywhere but may wonder if the look is over the top.

There’s a lot of ground to cover between one gold chandelier and Versailles, so no need to be so timid with the metallic accents around the house.

Let your love of gold, brass, silver, iron or other shiny things add a luxe cast to your abode, lifting the spirits and aspirations of everyone who taps the brass knocker on your door and steps inside.

Read the room

First, look at the colors already being used in the room to determine which metallic tones will be most complementary or be prepared to change things if you’re set on introducing a specific dominant metal.

Warmer and earthier tones including pinks, browns, oranges, darker greens and yellows are generally considered more compatible with gold, brass and copper. Blues, grays, whites and blacks pair best with silver and chrome.

Consider each case individually — a canary yellow lampshade on a brass lamp could seem overdone while it would effortlessly warm up a silver-toned base.

Finding focus

If you’re working in a space that doesn’t have any metal accents, start with a statement piece to set the tone.

It could be a silver pitcher and tray in the kitchen, a gold-leaf wallpaper accent wall in the living room or a brass canopy bed in the bedroom.

Then work your way out with complementary but not identical tones, like an antiqued figurine near a shiny gold lamp or a brushed silver photo frame atop a glass desktop supported by chrome legs.

Mixing metal tones within a space is even better, especially if you follow a few principles.

Mixing metals and moods

Combining metallic accents in the same room adds vitality and interest, but it’s best to do it with some intentionality. Choose a dominant tone that will provide around 60% of the shine, and make sure it looks good with the dominant colors of the space before choosing other metals/finishes.

Translating the 60-30-10 design standard to this level often yields a spectacular result. You can also sprinkle several beloved heirlooms or new discoveries around the room too, turning the space into a treasure hunt of sorts.

Double duty

All of these metallic pieces are lovely in their own right, but they also can be used to reflect or redirect light around the room to brighten dark corners, infusing the air with glamour.

Mirrors are the classic example, but try them on unexpected surfaces, like a ceiling. Silver and gold chandeliers, sconces and other light fixtures can reflect as well as add light.

Even subtle touches like gold threads in a curtain or silvery paint in a wall hanging can add a magical glow to the space.

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