10 Kitchens That Prove Mixing Metals Is Totally OK

As we’ve been making minor updates to our home to make it more attractive to potential buyers, I’ve wrestled with whether to match our faucets to our light fixtures, our cabinet hardware to our doorknobs, etc. I’m a bit stuck between my own eclectic style and the more conservative look that Brookhaven buyers seems to favor.

There’s no question about where I fall in the mixed metals debate. I am all for it. The key, in my opinion, is to make it look deliberate. Your home shouldn’t look like you’ve been swapping out builder-grade features one at a time and haven’t gotten around to all of them. The goal is to create balance by juxtaposing styles and finishes that complement each other.

A note: Because many appliances don’t come in warm metals (and not everyone can afford a La Cornue range or cabinet-paneled pieces), I generally consider stainless steel appliances to be a neutral. There are some exceptions, but I say ignore ‘em.

We’ve done some amateur metal-mixing in our home, but for a master class, check out these insanely beautiful kitchens:

10 Kitchens that Prove Mixing Metals Is Totally OK (via Glitter and Goat Cheese)

#1: Chrome, Antique Brass and Bronze
Modern kitchen with Hicks pendants in Rue Magazine (via Glitter and Goat Cheese)
With its glossy flat-front cabinets, contemporary chrome barstools, marble waterfall island and mirrored tile backsplash, this kitchen from Rue Magazine could have skewed toward cold and unwelcoming very easily. The antique silver pitcher and bronze/brass Hicks pendants add a lived-in touch. See a few different angles here.

#2: Brass, Bronze and Copper
Smitten Studio Brass and Copper Kitchen (via Glitter and Goat Cheese)
In designer Sarah Sherman Samuel’s recently updated kitchen, she used warm metals exclusively. Again, those and the rustic wood elements keep the mostly-white kitchen from feeling too cold and modern. See more photos here.

#3: Brass and Stainless Steel
Husman Hagberg Kitchen with Brass Accents and a Stainless Pot Rail (via Glitter and Goat Cheese)
With chalky-finish cabinets, subway tile and a farmhouse sink, the overall feel of this kitchen is heading toward country. The stainless steel pot rail (from Ikea!) gives it a utilitarian edge. Photo from HusmanHagberg, via Apartment Therapy.

#4: Silver and Wrought Iron
White and Wood Kitchen from House and Home (via Glitter and Goat Cheese)
Once more, we see a mix of modern finishes (glossy solid surface countertops, a chrome coil-spring faucet) and rustic elements (reclaimed wood shelves with wrought iron brackets, terra cotta pots, wood cutting board). Modern + rustic is one of my favorite kitchen combos. From House & Home’s June 2014 issue, found via SF Girl by Bay.

#5: Brass, Copper and Chrome
Brass, copper and chrome kitchen - photo by Aubrie Pick (via Glitter and Goat Cheese)
In contrast, if you want to mix several metals without losing cohesiveness, it helps to pick one style and stick with it. This kitchen, photographed by Aubrie Pick, uses modern fixtures across the board, which allows for some flexibility in finishes.

#6: Silver and Gold
Philadelphia Modern Bohemian Kitchen by Design Manifest (via Glitter and Goat Cheese)
Luckily for renters, light fixtures and hardware aren’t the only way to mix metals. If you’re dealing with generic builder-grade finishes, add a collected, custom vibe with gold-framed vintage art and a well-loved rug. See more of Naomi Stein’s Philadelphia loft (one of my all-time favorite homes, FWIW) here and here.

#7: Silver and Bronze
Bronze and silver kitchen by Benjamin Dhong Interior Design (via Glitter and Goat Cheese)
For those who think you can only mix warm with warm and cool with cool, I bring you this beautiful kitchen by Benjamin Dhong. The warm bronze cabinet hardware and sconce play well with the putty-colored cabinets and pops of yellow, but the big silver banded globe chandelier takes the otherwise-traditional kitchen to another level. The standout piece would have been a focal point in any finish, but the contrasting metal really draws your eye.

#8: Gold and Polished Silver
Farmhouse kitchen with gold chandelier from House Beautiful (via Glitter and Goat Cheese)
I absolutely love the bravery that Tobi Tobin employed when she updated her 100-year-old farmhouse’s kitchen. The high-gloss black cabinets modernize the room a bit, but the visible brush strokes keep things cozy. In this case, I think brass cabinet knobs would have taken away from the ornate gold and crystal chandelier. Using polished silver for the hardware and faucet is the perfect way to keep the eye where it belongs. See more at House Beautiful.

#9: Steel, Gold and Silver
Steel, brass and silver kitchen from Design*Sponge (via Glitter and Goat Cheese)
Technically, I think those pendants might be glass, but let’s call them gold for simplicity’s sake. In any case, you certainly wouldn’t expect to see them paired with industrial steel bar stools, but there they are, and I think they look fantastic. The flea market stools, glam pendants and brass deer head give a curated feel to what would otherwise be a pretty typical modern white kitchen. See more of the loft at Design*Sponge.

#10: Brass, Stainless Steel and Bronze
Gray and white kitchen with brass steel and bronze from House and Home (via Glitter and Goat Cheese)
There’s a lot going on in this kitchen: industrial stainless appliances, reclaimed wood shelves, brass bin pulls, a copper colander, a bronze pendant … And you can’t even see the two gold chandeliers over the table in this photo. Somehow, though, it all contributes to a lived-in bistro style that never feels schizophrenic. It helps that the decor is minimal: The shelves are sparsely-styled, there’s not much on the counters, and even the two patterned fabrics in the room (the roman shades, not pictured, and the rug) are tone-on-tone, close in shade to the lower cabinets. Makes you feel like you could pull off a kitchen with about seven different finishes, right? See more at House & Home.

So, what do you think? Would you try mixing metals in your home? What parameters would you use to keep things from looking crazy?

Mid-Century Chinoiserie Rustic Eccentric PARTY TIME

If you’ve seen my home (or my blog, or my Instagram, or my Pinterest…), you know I love me some color. If I didn’t exercise some degree of restraint, I swear, my house would look like one of those massive 120-ct. boxes of crayons that your friend Ashley had and you were always really jealous of because you only had the 64-ct. box and it didn’t even have a good LILAC option. UGH. I digress.

Recently, though, I’ve discovered that you have to draw the line somewhere. My living room is chock full of brightly-colored pillows, super-saturated art, blue and orange lamps, and even an apothecary jar full of fake fruit. But when I brought in our new rug, all of a sudden, it was too much. Now, don’t get me wrong – I love Lalita. But this girl is a Diva with a capital “D.” She wants to be a star – a STAR! She must have all the attention, and if anyone else tries to capture the spotlight, well … she’ll cut a B. Look out for Lalita. I’ve learned a lot from living with that crazy chick.

So, when Chairish asked me if I’d like to pick one of their bold accent chairs and e-design a bright, colorful room around it, I jumped at the chance to try out my new color wisdom. All of the choices were gorgeous, but I fell for the hot pink and warm teak of this Danish Arne Vodder chair.

Danish Teak Lounge Chair Arne Vodder France and Son

I think this chair likes attention, don’t get me wrong – but she’s OK to share it with her friends. She just wants to have a good time, you know? So, I figured it was safe to include some other color, but not too much. This chair deserves to shine.

My style lately has been skewing a bit ’70s, but this chair has such classic mid-century lines that I figured I’d pair it with a few other MCM pieces.

Mid-century eccentric living room inspired by Danish teak armchair from Chairish
(Click image to view larger)

Watercolor painting | Floor lamp | Leather sofa | Tassel pillow | Cowhide pillow | Tulip side table | Chinoiserie lamp | Lamp shade | Live edge coffee table | Danish teak chair | Area rug

This mock-up is full of items I want to buy, so this isn’t very healthy for me, but let’s move past that.

I started with a large-scale piece of art, as I often do. This vintage watercolor incorporates all my favorite colors, including some great pinks, so I kept the palette in mind as I looked for other pieces. I knew I wanted to use a cognac leather sofa, because that’s all I can think about at this time in my life, so the West Elm Hamilton was a no-brainer. I brought in some brass and a rustic element with the live edge table, which I’ve had pinned for months (and will never be able to afford). To continue the mid-century vibe, I included my favorite side table ever, a Saarinen in black marble. I just love it so much. Some day, when I have a spare $700 … it will be mine. Then, I had to add in some character with a vintage lamp, because I feel like every room needs a little chinoiserie. The dark drum shade keeps it from skewing old lady, in my opinion.

The old me probably would have thrown multicolored patterned pillows into the mix, along with some kind of bright yellow vase or lamp, but this is me showing restraint. I think the black elements ground the design a bit, lending a little bit of maturity to offset the rainbow-tasseled pillows and pops of pink. I was tempted to use a Beni Ourain – I’m only human, for goodness’ sake – but I needed just a little bit more color, so I found this fabulous aqua Moroccan-esque area rug instead.

So, how do you use color in your home? Do you try and keep it under control, or do you embrace the crayon box?

Our Bedroom Furniture: Opinions, Please!

Friends, I need help. More specifically, I need opinions. Most of the time, I’m pretty decisive about our home decor, but I’m really, really struggling with our bedroom furniture.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know what our master bedroom looks like:

Glitter and Goat-Cheese - Master bedroom with dark furniture

Master bedroom with white beams via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Glitter and Goat Cheese - DIY tufted velvet headboard and wood platform bed

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Master bedroom with black furniture

(PS: Those pictures are old. I have since replaced my white broken nightstand lamp with this one, and swapped out those tacky candle holders on the mantel with some stacks of books. Just so you know.)

You may have noticed that the majority of our furniture is black and appears to be from a matched set. There’s a story behind that.

When I got my first apartment my sophomore year of college, bless my parents – they didn’t take me to Ikea to buy me a bunch of cheap particle board pieces. They took me to Raymour & Flanigan and purchased me the most solid, heavy, sturdy dresser and nightstand you’ve ever seen.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Black tallboy dresser

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Black two-tone nightstand

As you can see, the past nine years have not been kind to these pieces. I mostly blame my cats – those scratches are their doing. They also could probably stand to be dusted more, and maybe I shouldn’t let reed diffuser liquid pour all over the tops of them, but nonetheless, they’re fantastic quality and would be as good as new with some TLC. (Ignore the one random oil-rubbed bronze knob on the nightstand – I’m testing options.)

When Brad and I moved into our first home in Atlanta and had some more space, he took my tall dresser and my parents bought me yet another piece – a much wider solid wood dresser. I had no idea what my style was at that point, so I picked out another two-tone country piece that would match the dresser and nightstand we already owned.

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Black wide two-tone dresser

My dresser styling is sub-par. I know this. Let’s not talk about it right now.

A few months later, Brad and I returned to the store where we got the wide dresser and purchased another nightstand. We couldn’t find one that matched perfectly, so we just picked a black cottage-y style. It’s currently much too messy to photograph (and cleaning it is much too daunting to deal with), so here’s a stock photo I found on the internet:

Value City NJ - Cottage nightstand black
(via)

So, that’s our bedroom set, essentially. My jewelry armoire and our bed are a darker, warmer mahogany-type wood, but for the most part, there’s a lot of black happening. Now that we know what we like, the black is an issue; the matching is an issue; and the country style is an issue. These issues need to be resolved.

The look-and-feel we’d like to have, ideally, would be something like this:

La Dolce Vita - via Nuevo Estilo - Colorful bedroom with tufted headboard and exposed beams
Via La Dolce Vita

Emily Henderson - The Curbly Bedroom Makeover
(Via Emily Henderson)

In my dreams, our bedroom is eclectic and relaxed. It has personality and style, but in a very calm way. It speaks quietly so that it doesn’t wake us up at night. You feel me?

So, the way I see it, we have a number of options. None of those options include replacing either dresser. The quality is too good and the sizes are too perfect – plus, there’s an emotional attachment. I would, however, consider replacing the nightstands. They’re actually a little too large for the space now that we have a king-sized bed, and while I don’t want our whole bedroom to match, I would like matching nightstands. I think they’d lend some maturity and symmetry to the room (which would be helpful, considering that the windows and beams are completely off-center). I’d love to bring in some mid-century pieces, like these or these. Or maybe Brad could build something! Eh? Eh? Brad?

In any outcome, though, the hardware on the dressers needs to be replaced, and the two-tone look has to go from at least my dresser. The top of Brad’s is harder to see because it’s taller, so I might let the wood top stay. His dresser is never going to completely escape the country look – the shape is too distinctive. So, I’ve been thinking maybe some chalk paint would be the way to go.

If we brought in another color for the nightstands, we could stay black with the dressers, and do something like this:

Somerset Bay - Gloucester Chest - via Centsational Girl
(Via Centsational Girl)

Ciruelo Interiors - Dresser in Amsterdam Green
(Via Ciruelo Interiors

Cirueolo Interiors - Annie Sloan graphite sideboard
(Via Ciruelo Interiors

Or we could paint it a cement-y gray to lighten things up. We could leave the top as-is, like this dresser:

Lucy and Co - Two-tone dresser
(Via Lucy and Company)

Or paint the whole thing, like this one:

The Everyday Life - Dresser in Annie Sloan French Linen
(Via The Everyday Life)

My dresser, on the other hand, is a little more basic, so I think I could skew more modern and get away with it. I’d probably paint it all black, and then I’d love to replace the knobs with these pulls (two smaller ones on each of the top two drawers and one wider one on each of the lower drawers):

Home Depot - Liberty Artesia Drawer Pulls in Sedona Bronze
(Via Home Depot – we also used these on our DIY orchid and gold tray)

If I kept my nightstand, I’d replace the knobs with these, which come from the same set as the pulls above:

Home Depot - Liberty Artesia Cabinet Knob in Sedona Bronze
(Via Home Depot)

I already brought one home to try, and it looks awesome. I still would have NO idea what to do with Brad’s nightstand, though.

So, as you can see, I’m a bit lost. There are too many options and I just don’t know what to do. Help! Would you replace the nightstands? Keep them and paint Brad’s so that they’re both all-black, then replace the hardware? Paint Brad’s dresser all black, or paint it beige/grey?

Please. Leave comments. I NEED YOU. And if you’re interested in keeping up with this thrilling saga, you can follow my Our Bedroom Furniture Needs a Makeover board on Pinterest.

A New Home for My Guitar

I have, in my possession, what I consider to be a very gorgeous guitar.

Ovation Legend in Cherry Burst - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

I decided to take up playing when I was 14 or 15, and on Christmas morning, I came downstairs to find an Ovation sitting on a stand in front of the tree. I thought it was quite possibly the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

I took lessons until I graduated, and while I didn’t possess much natural ability, I loved everything about the culture of acoustic guitar. I had crushes on boys who changed my strings and taught me Copeland songs; I ran in crowds that strummed Dave Matthews and Dispatch around summer campfires; I spent school nights staying up late practicing Dashboard Confessional.

My sophomore year of college, I moved in with my cousin and started spending a lot of time with his friends from Berklee (including my brand-new boyfriend, a certain Brad Fisher). Hanging out with real musicians, I became a little bashful about my own lack of skill, and slowly started playing my guitar less and less. I’m ashamed to say that since then, my beautiful baby has spent most of its time in its case in a closet.

For some reason, though, lately I’ve wanted to play. I’m terribly out of practice and it’s been doing horrible things to my gel manicure, but it feels like I’m getting back to my roots and I love it. And if I want to keep that up, it needs to stay out of the closet. So, it’s time for my guitar to have a better home.

In the corner of our living room, there’s currently a giant bookcase.

Large wood bookcase in living room - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

It’s in decent condition, but it’s not really our style anymore, and it’s just so big. We’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to get rid of it since we moved in. We even took pictures of it for Craigslist, but for whatever reason, we never posted it. All of our books are on a bookcase in the guest room, so this one just holds random picture frames, vases, and other knick-knacks that could easily be relocated. We have limited floor space downstairs, so when I decided that my guitar needed a new home, the first thing I thought of was hanging it on the wall. And there’s some prime wall space hiding behind that giant bookcase. So it’s time for it to GO.

Once we’ve moved the bookcase, I have big dreams. Brad wants to hang up his bass, too, which I’m completely on board with. When I was growing up, my dad had electric basses scattered all over the house and played them all the time, and I’m eager to hear the familiar sound again.

We want our guitars downstairs so that we’ll play them, not so they’ll look pretty, but since this is a home design blog, let’s look at some of my favorite hanging-guitar inspiration, shall we?

Thomas and Nicole Colbert's living room via Design Sponge

Thomas and Nicole Colbert’s living room via Design*Sponge

Hanging guitars next to navy bookcase by Little Green Notebook

Jenny Komenda‘s old living room

Hanging guitars in Lesley W Graham's bedroom

Lesley W. Graham‘s bedroom

Living room by David Benrud for Pottery Barn - via Apartment Therapy

Design by David Benrud for Pottery Barn, via Apartment Therapy

We don’t have a ton of space to work with now, but ultimately, we plan to replace our couch-end table-chaise situation with one sectional couch which would theoretically not go as close to the wall. And we do need some storage over there. So, we’re thinking of replacing the bookcase with something smaller-scale. We’re toying with the idea of Brad building this piece from The Design Confidential. The guitars would hang over it.

The Design Confidential - Two-door Campaign Side Table

Wouldn’t it be pretty painted white with brass hardware, like this?

So, what do you all think? Since I have an even number of items to hang, I should offset them with some art, right? This is going to be fun!

Lonely Home = House Updates

My husband just returned from a six-week tour, and boy, am I glad to have him back. I didn’t mention this before because I try not to advertise being home alone, but he was out guitar teching and running monitors for our good friends Manchester Orchestra. It was such an amazing opportunity for him and really exciting for both of us, but I have to admit, it was rough for me to spend so much time without my husband. I really, really missed him, and I was just so BORED.

To keep myself distracted (and to take advantage of being completely in charge), I made just a few updates to the house. It cheered me up substantially, and luckily, Brad approves of all the changes. Want to see?

Colorful living room with gold, blue and fuchsia accents - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

The changes might not be super obvious, so for reference, here’s what our living room looked like last fall:

Glitter and Goat Cheese - Colorful living room with framed maps

Some day, we’re going to hide those cables hanging from the TV. I swear.

I finally bit the bullet and picked up the mango wood box frame coffee table I’ve been eyeing at West Elm. I’ve been hoarding gift cards since 2012 (literally) and stalking the table to see if it would go on sale. Finally, there was a 15% off sale for Memorial Day, so I went for it. I picked it up at the store, carried the box inside, and built the thing all by myself. So proud!

Living room with abstract art, West Elm box frame coffee table and Lulu and Georgia Lalita rug - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

You may have noticed that I chose not to keep the overdyed rug I got from Rugs USA. In case you haven’t been keeping up with this saga, here’s the summary: I ordered this rug during a sale, but when it arrived, it was very clearly this rug. I called customer service, and I was informed that Rugs USA’s policy does not allow exchanges – even in the event of company error. Despite the fact that I was sent the wrong product, it was on me to photograph the rug I received, file a formal report, wait for a return shipping label to be emailed to me, and then package and ship back the rug. In the meantime, the company would not be able to send me the correct item. I would need to wait for my return to be processed, and then I would be issued a refund. With said refund, I could decide whether to re-order the original product. What if the rug was no longer available? What if it was no longer on sale? Too bad, they said. I was told on the phone originally that Rugs USA would set up a UPS pickup. When I received my shipping label, I asked about the pickup, and I was told that this wasn’t possible.

Honestly, the whole thing was absolute nonsense. I know a lot of people have been thrilled with their purchases from Rugs USA, and the sales are great, but this company could not care less about their customers. If you get the right rug and you like it, fantastic. If not: Lord help you. Once I started Googling, I found countless examples of other customers who had gone through a similar experience and vowed never to shop at Rugs USA again. I’m joining their numbers. I opted not to re-order the fuchsia rug, and instead, I bought the rug I’d wanted all along: the Lalita rug from Lulu and Georgia. I’d passed on it originally because it was a little bit more expensive, but now that I have it, I can see that it was worth every penny.

Lulu and Georgia Lalita rug and West Elm box frame coffee table - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

The quality is beautiful, and the colors are crazy-vibrant.

Close-up of Lulu and Georgia Lalita rug - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

The 5’3″x7’6″ is obviously a bit on the small side for our living room, but there was no chance I could afford anything bigger (and I think the color would probably be overpowering in a larger size), so once we ditch our wall-to-wall carpeting, I’ll probably layer it over an 8×10 jute rug. By the way, I know the rug is supposed to go underneath the front legs of the sofa, but have you ever tried to lift a sofa and simultaneously move a rug all by yourself? It ain’t easy, my friends. I’ll have to get Brad to help later.

Colorful living room and dining room via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Did you notice the new woven yellow tray? It’s Nate Berkus for Target, and they only have it in pink and green on the website now, but I’m sure they still have the yellow one in stores. The plastic coral one that used to be there wasn’t jiving with the rug, and I’m trying to bring in some more natural textures, anyway. I love it!

I already posted about our new Moroccan end table (also made of mango wood, like the coffee table) from TJ Maxx and the vintage gold mini-cabinet from DuPre’s, but I feel that they deserve better quality photos.

Moroccan mango end table from TJ Maxx - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

I’m not so sure about the shade of orange on that coral lamp anymore. There’s plenty of orange in the new rug, but it’s a bit lighter and brighter. I might need to tape off the base and give the orange part a coat of spray paint. Maybe in a pale yellow?

Our mini-cabinet is currently hanging out by the front door. It looks a little odd, now, but I think it’ll be better when the living room and hallway aren’t separated by different types of floor.

Colorful living room with Lulu and Georgia Lalita rug - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Vintage gold brass cabinet - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Don’t mind the mess in my hallway that you can see in the reflection. Yes, I move things out of sight and throw them on the floor when I’m taking pictures. You do the same thing – I know it!

I didn’t change much in the dining room, but I did take the sheepskins off our ghost chairs for summer and bring in a lot of plants from our deck. They looked beautiful out there, but I wanted to have a little more control over the amount of watering the succulents got.

Blue and fuchsia dining room - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

Gray and gold Ikea Rast hacks with succulents - via Glitter and Goat Cheese

I’m a little embarrassed that I forgot to move the paper towel under my succulent bowl before I took this picture. I also haven’t re-glued one of the brass corners that fell off our Rast dressers. Oopsies.

So anyway, that’s about it. I’m really starting to love our downstairs, but I still can’t wait to replace our shlubby old sofa and get some hardwoods in there. Can you picture it?! It’s almost there!

Have you made any late-spring updates to your home? Tell me about ‘em!