Mixed Metal Q&A with Interior Designer Christine Donner

_MG_2765One of the most up-and-coming trends on the interior design scene today is the use of mixed metals in appliances and home décor. The mixed metal trend has seen increasing popularity over the last few months, and is expected to make an even bigger impact on the design world in the 2016 year.

Interior designer and specialist Christine Donner from Christine Donner Kitchen Design, Inc. spoke with EuroChef USA about her experiences, as well as the aesthetic value of using mixed metals in kitchen designs.

EuroChef USA: Could you explain what the mixed metal trend is, and what colors are often seen?

Christina Donner: The mixed metal trend adds a layer of interest and dimension to a room.  Combining silver and gold, or chrome and brass, or adding oiled rubbed bronze to existing fixtures will make your kitchen livelier.

Clients often get hung up on choosing one metal for their kitchen – either brushed or polished– like everything should match. But appliances are always a combination of brushed and polished, that element is already in the room. With the new popularity of brushed brass, clients want that look too, but you can’t get an oven in brass – so we find ourselves going with a combination of metals. Relax and pick what you like — just be sure to tell your designer so she makes sure it all works.

EC: How long have you been working with mixed metal designs? Is this a fairly new concept?

CD: For several years, metal trends in jewelry design have been edging towards yellow gold again.  And now you commonly see bracelets and the like with both yellow and white gold, as well as, rose gold. Interpreting this trend into home interiors is fairly new.  It is common for fashion design to be a year or two ahead of interior design.

EC: What do you think has led to the recent popularity of mixed metals?

CD: Home design trends now are increasingly eclectic, and in some cases a bit wild with color and patterns. I think this trend frees people up to mix and match without worry.

By mixing metals, a homeowner can easily update their existing interiors without changing everything. It does lend a fresher look.

EC: What types of homes will benefit from mixed metal appliances? (transitional, contemporary, rustic, etc.)

CD: This can be a universal trend spanning styles, and color palettes. There is a look now for a traditionally designed home to be furnished with very contemporary pieces, and some wild light fixture or art. I think the mixed metal trend is very much a part of that look right now.

EC: Which cabinet, wall and flooring colors are complimentary of mixed metal appliances? (what color should I paint my wall if I want a mixed metal range, or is it more versatile?)

CD: We chose to make the cabinets a very pure white, to brighten the space and not add any other color elements to the mix. The quartzite countertops are very beautiful, Dolce Vita, a blend of white and grays and soft creamy tones. That seemed to pull the mixed metals together.

EC: The Branford Kitchen (images shown within this post) is absolutely beautiful, could you give us some backstory on the design?

CD: This was a maple stain contractor grade kitchen with an island that dominated the space. The kitchen is toward the back of the house, as the living room faces the water. It was dark and crowded. Our task was to bring order and lightness to the space. The room now feels about twice as large, and twice as bright.

We knew the range needed to go on the back wall, directly in the site line from the living room. It needed to be something eye-catching, but it also had work to do. We were concerned with making this kitchen work, with a defined food prep and cooking zone near the range, and a clean up zone nearer the front.

EC: Why did you choose an ILVE in your kitchen design?

CD: The homeowner chose an ILVE not only for its quality, but also because it is a beautiful looking range that certainly draws attention to itself.  We were given a finish sample kit and we played around with it, covering some knobs with tin foil to achieve the mixed metal look we wanted. By mixing metal finishes, the homeowner feels the ILVE is the anchor in the room, from which other design elements were pulled.

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 1.11.37 PM

Kitchen designed by Christine Donner. Images by MaryEllen Hendricks.