Whether you’re remodeling your kitchen or simply want to switch up the look of your home, it can be tricky to know which metals to mix.

Brushed nickel and stainless steel are two popular finishes in the world of design. They both have unique characteristics that can make a space look polished and stylish. But can they be mixed?  The answer is yes, but there are some things to keep in mind when doing so.

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to mix brushed nickel and stainless steel finishes in your home.

And we’ll also take a look at the pros and cons of mixing brushed nickel and stainless steel. Keep reading for helpful advice!

Can you mix brushed nickel and stainless steel?

Yes, you can mix brushed nickel and stainless steel. While it may not be the most common combination design choice, it can still look great when done correctly.  The key is to find a way to balance the two finishes in such a way that neither one stands out more than the other. 

One option is to use brushed nickel as the dominant finish in the room, with stainless steel accents. For example, you could have brushed nickel fixtures, knobs and handles, with a few stainless steel appliances or decor pieces scattered throughout the space to provide contrast. 

Another option is to use stainless steel as the dominant finish in the room and use brushed nickel as an accent. This can be done with light fixtures, cabinet pulls and knobs, door handles and more.

The trick is to make sure that the two finishes are not competing for attention in the room. By strategically placing each finish throughout the space, you can achieve a cohesive look that is both stylish and timeless.

Pros and cons of mixing brushed nickel & stainless steel


  • The combination of brushed nickel and stainless steel can create a beautiful, modern aesthetic that is sure to add an elegant touch to any space.
  • Brushed nickel provides an understated look that pairs perfectly with the sleekness of stainless steel fixtures.
  • This combination allows you to coordinate different finishes throughout your order to create a cohesive look.
  • Brushed nickel and stainless steel are both extremely durable finishes that will withstand wear and tear over time.
  • Mixing brushed nickel and stainless steel gives you more flexibility in terms of design, allowing you to incorporate a variety of metals into your overall scheme.
  • The combination of brushed nickel and stainless steel adds a touch of sophistication to any space.


  • Brushed nickel and stainless steel can be difficult to match due to their differences in color and texture.
  • The cost of combining both metals may be more than using one metal alone.
  • Brushed nickel and stainless steel may not blend well with other colors or finishes, such as wood or brass.
  • The combination of these two metals can create a busy look and make a room feel cluttered.
  • Some people may find the contrast between brushed nickel and stainless steel too stark for their tastes.
  • The finishes may need to be regularly maintained to keep them looking their best.
  • It may be difficult to find fixtures and accessories that match both metals.

Tips for creating a cohesive look with mixed finishes

  1. Choose a Common Color Palette: When mixing metals, pick a color palette that is consistent across all metal finishes.
  1. Mix Metals in Moderation: When mixing metals, such as brushed nickel and stainless steel, it’s important to use them in moderation. Too much metal can be overwhelming.
  1. Choose Quality Products: Invest in quality products that are built to last and won’t wear down over time.
  1. Use Similar Textures: Incorporate similar textures throughout the space to create a cohesive look.
  1. Balance Light and Dark Finish: Mix light and dark finishes, such as brushed nickel and stainless steel, to balance out the overall look of the room.
  1. Consider Proportion: Be mindful of proportion when mixing metals, as well. If one metal finish is used more than the other, make sure it fits within the overall design scheme.
  1. Consider Your Budget: Consider your budget when mixing metals and make sure you’re buying quality products that fit into your price range.
  1. Talk to a Professional: If you’re still unsure about mixing metals, consider talking to an interior designer or other professional for advice. They can provide insight into the best ways to mix metals without overdoing it.

Examples of spaces that mix brushed nickel and stainless steel well.

  1. Kitchen: A kitchen is a perfect place to combine brushed nickel and stainless steel. This could be done by using a brushed nickel cabinet hardware set paired with a stainless steel range hood, refrigerator or dishwasher.
  2. Bathroom: Brushed nickel fixtures such as faucets, towel bars and soap dispensers can be paired with stainless steel towel racks, shelves and mirrors for a modern look.
  3. Living Room: Use brushed nickel accents such as candle holders and picture frames to contrast against stainless steel furniture pieces like coffee tables and bookshelves.
  4. Outdoor Space: Stainless steel outdoor furniture can be complemented by brushed nickel lighting fixtures or wall sconces for a chic look.
  5. Bedroom: Brushed nickel is a great choice for bedroom accents such as nightstands, lamps and frames to pair with stainless steel bed frames or headboards.

Overall, combining brushed nickel and stainless steel can create a modern and sophisticated atmosphere in any space. With the right balance of the two, any room can be transformed into an inviting and stylish retreat.

FAQs – Brushed Nickel & Stainless Steel Mixing

What metal can you mix with brushed nickel?

Brushed nickel can be mixed with a variety of other metals, including copper, brass, stainless steel and bronze.

However, the overall look will depend on the colors used in each metal and how they are combined. Generally, mixing metals is an easy way to create interesting designs and add visual interest to any space.

For example, combining brushed nickel with a bright, warm color like brass can create an eye-catching look. Alternatively, mixing brushed nickel with stainless steel can yield a sleek, modern appeal. Ultimately, the choice of metals should be based on personal preference and the desired aesthetic of your space.

Does stainless steel react with nickel?

Yes, stainless steel can react with nickel. Stainless steel is an alloy of iron and chromium which also contains other elements such as nickel and molybdenum. When these metals are combined, they form a more corrosion-resistant material than metal alone.

However, if there are any imperfections in the stainless steel alloy such as impurities or scratches, nickel can react with other elements in the alloy resulting in corrosion.

The presence of nickel can also cause galvanic corrosion when exposed to another metal. Therefore, it is important to take precautions when working with stainless steel that contains nickel.

Which is better stainless steel or brushed nickel?

The answer to which is better stainless steel or brushed nickel depends on a variety of factors, including personal preference and budget.

Stainless steel is more durable, but it may not have the same aesthetic appeal as brushed nickel does. Brushed nickel has a warmer tone that can create a more inviting atmosphere in the home, while stainless steel tends to come off as a bit more industrial.

In terms of cost, stainless steel is usually more expensive than brushed nickel. Ultimately it comes down to personal preference and budget when deciding between these two popular finishes.


The answer is yes! You can mix brushed nickel and stainless steel. Brushed nickel and stainless steel are both beautiful finishes that can enhance the look of your space.

When choosing between the two, consider the overall style of your space, how much maintenance you’re willing to do and your budget. With a little care, either finish can give you years of enjoyment.