Fixture Finishes to Define Your Design

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for Direct from the Designers™

Outfitting your home with the perfect finishing touches is one of the best parts of building! From the kitchen through the bathrooms, and overhead in every room, plumbing and lighting fixtures give you plenty of ways to personalize your space. Regardless of the overall style you’re going for, make sure you choose the perfect fixture finishes to achieve the right ambiance throughout the house. Here are some basics to keep in mind!

Signature Hardware Steyn Spring Spout Faucet in Chrome

The 32” Ortega 70/30 Low-Divide Double-Bowl Stainless Steel Undermount Sink is made of 304-grade stainless steel—the metal of choice for professional kitchens. Paired with a Steyn Spring Spout Faucet in a chrome finish, this sink leaves a very sanitary impression.

Cool Tones

Finishes like stainless steel and polished chrome are very bright and cool. They give off a clean, modern feel that adapts well across design styles, which is why you’ll see them used so often! Most silver-toned metals fall firmly in the cool category, but they don’t have to necessarily—texturized finishes catch light differently, and that affects the hue you see more than the type of metal itself.

If you find yourself shopping on a budget, the least expensive rendition of any single fixture is usually a cool metal, and that’s usually chrome. Luckily, that’ll work well with practically any scheme! If you want to branch out, steel, nickel, and even some black finishes also deliver. As with any type of finish, consider the options against the backdrop of the whole room to determine which suits your style goals.

Park Harbor Thacker Multi Light Pendant

With a glitzy antique gold leaf finish, the Thacker Multi Light Pendant inevitably fills the room with an extra warm glow. The neat hexagonal pattern reminiscent of a honeycomb adds a gorgeous nature-inspired touch as well.

Warm Tones

Copper, brass, and bronze make up the majority of warm toned finishes, and they alone offer so many different looks. For instance, copper is bright and has an exceptional glow in the light, but make that finish an antique version and it’ll come off more traditional and subdued. Brass, a yellower metal, offers a gilded look whether polished or aged. Bronze is deeper in hue, ranging from a medium brown when oil rubbed to near-black when antique. Of course, a gold finish offers a unique, sunny touch if you can find it!

Warm metal finishes are seen most often in Mediterranean and other traditional European designs, where warm metals have been endemic for thousands of years. Their appeal is spreading, though! Many love the look of warm, and especially darker, fixtures in farmhouses that are bright and modern otherwise. Some modern designers like to step away from the cool norm of the style by adding warmer features. These metals work in classic and contemporary schemes alike, but they can be trickier to balance with the whole room, so be sure to ask a professional for help choosing the best tone.

Signature Hardware Isabella Hammered Copper Double Slipper Clawfoot Tub

Want to mix it up with contrast? Consider something like this 72” Isabella Hammered Copper Double-Slipper Clawfoot Tub with Nickel Interior, which flaunts both an antique patina and pop of brightness so many homeowners are drawn to.

Shiny Finishes

Smooth and polished finishes reflect light well, and that makes them stand out. Whether cool chrome or warm copper, the shine draws the eye and can amplify the light in the space. This primarily affects lighting fixtures—the shininess helps scatter light to fill the room more than the bulb(s) could alone—but the effect holds true for everything. If you have a tight kitchen or bathroom, keep it from feeling dark and cramped by outfitting it with some shiny faucets!

Shiny fixture finishes err on the modern side again, but they really look great across all styles. Their practical benefits keep them popular among builders and homeowners alike!

Park Harbor Delia Up Light Pendants

Who says your fixtures need to be metallic? These lovely antique white Delia Up Light Pendants offer a softer look, thanks to their rustic painted finish. The white color helps gently diffuse the light, but different matte finishes will produce a wide range of effects.

Matte Finishes

If you prefer a softer ambiance, matte fixtures could be up your alley. Depending on the shade, they can diffuse light or even stand in stark contrast to it, which gives some lighting fixtures an interesting backlit effect. Texturizing, aging, or otherwise altering a metal finish also changes the color—brushed nickel really brings out warmth that goes unnoticed in a polished finish, for instance—so you might be surprised by what you find!

Don’t forget that fixture finishes also often go beyond metal, but the warm/cool and shiny/matte characteristics still apply. Consider a white enameled cast iron sink compared to a darker one made of granite composite. Think about how any sort of painted finish can completely change how a light fixture looks. As always, look at the whole picture to figure out what works for your design!

Whatever your style, check out the array of fixtures available from Signature Hardware® and Park Harbor™ Lighting. They offer a wide range of products in their catalogs—all manner of kitchen and bath fittings, and indoor and outdoor light fixtures of all types—to serve your needs. And if you need any design advice, go ahead and contact them for assistance! Their design experts can help simplify the challenging task of selecting the perfect fixtures and finishes for your home.

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