The Neutral Light Fixture Solution

So maybe you’ve got brushed nickel faucets and black doorknobs? Oil rubbed bronze plumbing fixtures and brass curtain rods? Homes used to be decked out with only one metal finish, but now mixing metals is here to stay.

A beautiful example of mixing metals via Jean Stoffer

When choosing a light fixture, you’ll want the metal finish to match one of your existing metals. The general rule (and if you don’t follow it, it’s fine!) is to separate metals by height and keep the same metal finish at each eye level.

So if you have black doorknobs and brass curtain rods, you’d choose a brass ceiling light. But sometimes the formula for mixing metals is not so obvious, and that’s when you’ll want to choose light fixtures without metal finishes.

Many examples of neutral lighting are coastal design styles (hello scallops!). You’ll also see a lot of white or wood lighting in Scandinavian and minimalist interiors. However, there are definitely options for traditional and transitional styles too! Drum shades with no visible metal fixtures work well, and very easy to find these days! Below are some neutral lighting options of all styles:

In this open concept breakfast nook/kitchen by Sand and Sisal, the windows don’t have curtains, and therefore no curtain rods to coordinate with. Right beside are matte black wall sconces in the kitchen. Therefore, if the designer were to choose a metal for the breakfast nook pendant, it should also be matte black, but that might have been too stark for this airy space. They chose a coastal pendant light with a white chain and canopy, and everything pulls together without clashing.

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This bedroom design by Studio McGee has a lot of wood and wicker elements. If you look closely, you’ll see matte black curtain rods and brushed nickel door hardware. When mixing metals you should match metals that are at the same height, so black could have been the way to go for a light fixture. However, this was a beach-themed room, so again we have a coastal light fixture with a white canopy.

Lighting is not an item people change as often as hardware or curtains. The majority of people hire an electrician for lighting installation at a hefty hourly rate, so choosing a metal finish for your lighting can be a big commitment! I hope this guide helps the next time you can’t decide.

If you’re looking for more lighting inspiration, check out more posts here and here. See you next time!