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Can You Mix Chrome And Brushed Nickel In A Kitchen?

Are you in the midst of designing or revamping your kitchen? One crucial aspect to consider is the selection of finishes for your fixtures and hardware.

Among the top contenders are chrome and brushed nickel, each with their own distinct qualities.

But can these two finishes coexist harmoniously?

According to Houzz, you should not mix chrome and brushed nickel if you’re only using them for faucets in the same kitchen. Chrome and nickel are both silver tones with different undertones, and some say they look awful together. Brushed nickel goes with brushed gold or brass, and shiny goes with shiny. Mixing metals is a popular way to create a collected-over-time look in kitchens, bathrooms, living areas, and more.

So, let’s get started.

Can You Mix Chrome And Brushed Nickel In A Kitchen?

Achieving a cohesive and stylish look in your kitchen when mixing chrome and brushed nickel finishes can be done through various methods.

One approach is by utilizing accent finishing, where one finish is more prominently featured while the other serves as an accent. Another option is to use both finishes in equal proportions, creating a balanced yet unique aesthetic.

Additionally, incorporating a third metal finish as a bridge between the two can add an interesting and unexpected touch to the overall design.

Pros of Mixing Chrome and Brushed Nickel in a Kitchen

Mixing chrome and brushed nickel finishes in a kitchen design can add a unique and trendy touch to the overall appearance. This combination allows for a balanced and cohesive look, while also adding depth and dimension to the space.

In addition, incorporating both finishes provides more flexibility in design options and can help tie together different elements in the kitchen.

Here are some specific advantages of combining chrome and brushed nickel finishes in a kitchen design:

  • Versatility: Both chrome and brushed nickel finishes are versatile and can complement a variety of design styles, from modern to traditional. This makes them ideal for mixing and matching in a kitchen design, as they can work well with different color schemes and materials.
  • Visual Interest: The contrast between the shiny chrome and muted brushed nickel finishes can add visual interest to the kitchen. This can be especially effective when used on fixtures and hardware, such as faucets, cabinet handles, and light fixtures.
  • Durability: Chrome and brushed nickel are both durable finishes, making them suitable for use in high-traffic areas like the kitchen. They are resistant to scratches, dings, and other wear and tear, ensuring that your kitchen will maintain its stylish look for years to come.
  • Complementary Finishes: Using both chrome and brushed nickel finishes allows for a complementary effect, rather than competing against each other. This is especially useful when trying to incorporate different metal finishes in a kitchen design, as it creates a cohesive look rather than a mismatched one.
  • Easy Maintenance: Both chrome and brushed nickel finishes are relatively easy to clean and maintain. Regular wiping with a soft cloth is usually enough to keep them looking shiny and new. However, it’s important to note that nickel can tarnish more easily than chrome, so it may require a bit more attention.

Table Format:

Pros Chrome Finish Brushed Nickel Finish
Versatility ✔️ ✔️
Visual Interest ✔️ ✔️
Durability ✔️ ✔️
Complementary Finishes ✔️ ✔️
Easy Maintenance ✔️ ✔️ (with a bit more attention)

Cons of Mixing Chrome and Brushed Nickel in a Kitchen

While there are numerous advantages to incorporating both chrome and brushed nickel in a kitchen, it’s essential to also consider the possible drawbacks. These may include:

  • Clash of Finishes: Mixing different finishes can be a challenging task, and if not executed carefully, it can result in an unappealing clash of styles. The distinct tinting and shine of chrome and brushed nickel can create an imbalanced look if not combined thoughtfully.
  • Difficulty Finding Matching Hardware: As previously mentioned, the finishes of chrome and brushed nickel can vary slightly, making it difficult to find matching hardware. This can be frustrating when trying to achieve a cohesive look in the kitchen.
  • Limited Options for Other Finishes: While brushed nickel offers a wider range of finishes, chrome typically has a consistent blue tint. This can limit the options for other finishes in the kitchen, such as cabinet hardware or lighting fixtures.
  • Maintenance Challenges: Both chrome and brushed nickel require regular maintenance to keep them looking shiny and new. Chrome is susceptible to water spots and fingerprints, while brushed nickel may be more forgiving due to its matte finish. However, both finishes can show signs of wear and tear over time if not properly cared for.
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Finding the Right Balance Between Finishes

Finding the right balance between finishes is crucial when mixing chrome and brushed nickel in a kitchen.

This combination can add visual interest and contrast to the space, but it’s important to carefully consider various factors to avoid an overwhelming or uncoordinated result.

Here are some helpful tips for successfully mixing these finishes in your kitchen:

  • Select a dominant finish: It’s essential to choose one finish as the dominant element and utilize the other as an accent when mixing finishes. This will create a cohesive look and prevent any conflicting design elements.
  • Consider existing elements: Before deciding on which finishes to mix, take into account your kitchen’s current elements such as cabinets, countertops, and backsplash. You want to ensure that your chosen finishes complement these features rather than clash with them.
  • Incorporate accent finishing: One way to mix chrome and brushed nickel is by using accent finishing. This involves incorporating one finish for larger elements like faucets and cabinet hardware, while utilizing the other for smaller details such as light fixtures or drawer pulls.
  • Be patient: Achieving the perfect balance between finishes takes time and patience. It’s important not to rush into mixing finishes without carefully considering how they will work together in your kitchen.
  • Stick to a cohesive theme: The overall theme of your kitchen should also play a role in determining which finishes to mix. For example, if you have a modern and sleek kitchen, combining chrome and brushed nickel can add a touch of contrast without detracting from the overall design.

Incorporating Both Finishes in Equal Proportions

When it comes to incorporating both chrome and brushed nickel finishes in equal proportions in your kitchen, it’s important to keep a few key tips in mind for an effective design.

Here are some suggestions to help you achieve a balanced and cohesive look:

  • Start by choosing a dominant finish and using the other as an accent. This will create a visual contrast while maintaining overall cohesion. For example, you can have chrome cabinet handles paired with brushed nickel faucets.
  • To fully incorporate both finishes throughout your kitchen, consider mixing and matching them in equal proportions. This can be achieved by selecting hardware pieces that combine both finishes, such as a cabinet knob with a chrome base and brushed nickel top.
  • Pay attention to the undertones of both finishes. Make sure they are either similar or complementary to avoid any clashing or off-balanced elements in your kitchen design.
  • Consider the overall style of your kitchen. For a modern or contemporary kitchen, chrome finishes might work better as they have a sleek and polished look. On the other hand, for a more traditional or rustic kitchen, brushed nickel finishes can add a warm and inviting touch.

By following these tips and incorporating both finishes in equal proportions, you can achieve a balanced and visually appealing kitchen design. Keep in mind the importance of balance and coordination to create a cohesive look.

Using a Third Metal Finish as a Bridge

Integrating a third metal finish into your kitchen design can act as a bridge between chrome and brushed nickel, establishing a harmonious and visually appealing appearance.

This can be accomplished in various ways, such as incorporating lighting fixtures, appliances, or decorative accents with a contrasting metal finish.

The third finish should complement both chrome and brushed nickel, while also seamlessly blending in with the overall color scheme and style of your kitchen.

Furthermore, utilizing a third metal finish can introduce layers, depth, and texture to the space, preventing it from becoming bland or repetitive.

Maintenance Tips for Mixed Finishes in a Kitchen

Proper upkeep of a kitchen with both chrome and brushed nickel finishes involves utilizing appropriate cleaning techniques and finding a harmonious balance between the two finishes. Here are some maintenance tips to assist you in keeping your kitchen looking its finest:

Use a mild soap solution

To effectively clean both chrome and brushed nickel surfaces, use a mild soap solution.

Soak a soft, clean cloth in warm water with a squirt of detergent and gently wipe the surface. Rinse or sponge it clean with water and thoroughly dry it.

Use an old toothbrush for tight spaces

For hard-to-reach areas and crevices, utilize an old but soft toothbrush dipped in soapy water to access those spots that may be challenging to clean with a cloth.

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Use baking soda for stubborn grime

For tough grime like dried toothpaste or food, sprinkle a bit of dry baking soda on the sponge or toothbrush.

The gentle abrasiveness of baking soda will help loosen the mess.

Rinse and buff dry

After cleaning, make sure to rinse the surface with water and buff it dry with a clean cloth to prevent unsightly water spots or streaks.

Can You Mix Chrome And Brushed Nickel In A Kitchen-2

Find balance between the finishes

When incorporating both chrome and brushed nickel finishes in a kitchen, it’s vital to find a balance between the two.

Choose one dominant finish and incorporate the other as an accent or use both finishes in equal proportions throughout the space.

Consider using a third metal finish as a bridge

Incorporating a third metal finish, such as brass or copper, can aid in creating a cohesive flow between chrome and brushed nickel in your kitchen.

By following these maintenance tips and finding the right balance between finishes, you can effectively uphold and enhance the appearance of your kitchen with mixed chrome and brushed nickel finishes.


In conclusion, the combination of chrome and brushed nickel in a kitchen design is not only feasible but also highly recommended.

These two finishes possess versatile qualities that seamlessly integrate with various styles and color palettes. Their sleek and modern appearance makes them a perfect fit for contemporary kitchens, while their contrasting shine and matte texture add dimension to the overall visual appeal.

Not only do they exude sophistication, but they are also resilient and effortless to maintain – making them an ideal choice for a busy kitchen. By achieving the right balance between these finishes and incorporating a third metal as a bridge, you can create a cohesive and visually captivating look in your kitchen.

While there may be some potential challenges, the benefits of mixing chrome and brushed nickel far outweigh any drawbacks.


Josefa R. Hoyle, the creative force behind Grace Built Home Improvement, is a seasoned in-house writing specialist with over 15 years of expertise. Armed with a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the University of Louisiana, she is renowned for her unparalleled skill in crafting top-tier content within the realm of home improvement.