Metal Finishing Trends for Around the Home

One of the easiest ways to revolutionize the look and feel of your home is to change its metal accents: your cabinet pulls, your sink faucets, your light fixtures, your furniture legs and the like. The metal in your home catches the light and draws the eye, so changing these details can help give your home the exact aesthetic you desire.

The only question is: Which metal finishes do you choose? Here is a guide to all the trending metal finishes available, so you can select the finish that fits your home.


Many interior designers attest that brass has “attitude,” meaning that it is one of the more visible metal finishes you can include in your home. Indeed, yellowy golden and gleaming, brass commands attention, giving your home some extra character and warmth. Because brass has been a popular and luxurious-looking metal throughout the ages, including brass in your interior design can help ground your aesthetic in tradition, even if you have a more modern style. In the mid-20th century, lacquered brass was immensely popular because of its bright, lasting shine, but today, you might opt for a “living” finish to your brass accents that will allow your brass to develop a natural patina over time.

Stainless Steel

One of the most common metal finishes in the home, stainless steel won’t win you many style points but will be a practical choice for some of the most highly used items in your home, especially if you have children to consider. Stainless steel is easy to clean and difficult to scratch or dent, so it works well for appliances, faucets, doorknobs and more. However, you should not expect much character to come from your stainless steel fixtures, as they are likely to blend into the background of your interior design.


While you might describe nickel as a shiny silver finish, if you look closer, you might see that this metal has some attractive warmth that is lacking in other silvery metal options, like chrome or stainless steel. Even better, nickel can seem to shift in color based on lighting and perspective, which gives it a moodiness that you might appreciate in some of your interior spaces. There are two types of nickel finishes to choose from:

Polished. Polished nickel can be more expensive, but it is easier to clean and can be eye-catching in glamorous spaces. You might opt for polished nickel on larger and more visible fixtures, like polished nickel chandeliers or kitchen faucets.

Brushed. Brushed nickel tends to be more durable, but it usually blends into spaces instead of standing as a statement piece. You might use brushed nickel on appliances you don’t want to notice, like brushed nickel ceiling fans.


The third and least expensive metal finish option, Chrome remains a popular choice for those eager for a cool-toned sparkle. Exceedingly shiny, chrome catches the eye and adds extra glitz and glamor to any space. Though chrome easily collects and displays dirt and grime, it is equally easy to clean and is relatively durable. Like stainless steel, chrome works in almost any space, but unlike stainless steel, chrome does not fade into the background.


Copper is relatively rare in interior design — for a few good reasons. Copper is exceedingly expensive, and it can be difficult to care for. Copper ages especially quickly, developing a minty green patina that probably isn’t what you are hoping for when you install rich, warm copper in your interior spaces. To keep your copper looking coppery, you will need to clean and polish it regularly or else consistently coat the copper in wax to limit its exposure to the air. However, you have the time and budget, copper is a unique and undeniably gorgeous addition to interior design.

Oil-rubbed Bronze

Like copper, bronze tarnishes easily and does not look particularly attractive when it does so. Thus, if you want to incorporate bronze in your home, you must use oil-rubbed bronze, which is a deep, dark brownish black that has some metallic gleam. Oil-rubbed bronze perfectly mixes modern and traditional; used in many Mediterranean interior aesthetics, oil-rubbed bronze has an old-world feel, but because dark metal finishes are definitely in style, they also look hip and new. Even better, this metal does not show dirt or grime, so upkeep on oil-rubbed bronze is minimal.

- by Matt Watts