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How do you coordinate without being matchy-matchy?

peace_rose
13 years ago

Trying to pull all the little finishing details together, and just wondering if thereÂs any schools of thought on how to pull different "finishes" together. I donÂt want it to look like I purchased everything at the same trip to the store (matchy-matchy). One the other hand I donÂt want hodge-podge, like we raided the home improvement outlet!

The focal point of the kitchen is the vintage stove, with a shiny chrome top, like this:

http://www.antiqueappliancecompany.com/1954OKeefeMerrittmodel405.html

ItÂs not a "vintage" kitchen though. WeÂre going for that classic look youÂve seen a zillion times (white cabs, dark grey oiled soapstone laminate, white subway tile backsplash, schoolhouse lighting).

WeÂll be using this chandelier over the dining room table for sure. In the picture it looks lighter than it really is. Whatever it is has a really cool patina thatÂs built up over the years:

IÂm thinking of re-using our current faucet (polished nickel with porcelain):

HereÂs the layout of our project:

So that leaves the hardware/finishes the following up in the air:

- Pendant and Sconce Lighting (leaning toward oil rubbed bronze).

- Cabinet drawer pulls and knobs (leaning toward oil rubbed bronze or satin nickel)

- Doorknobs (leaning toward oil rubbed bronze or satin nickel KNOBS not levers)

Thus back to the original question: can I pull this all together without it being too hodge podge? Is it best to have a variety of finishes?

As always, thank you all so much!!

Comments (27)

  • homey_bird
    13 years ago

    My 2c on this: It is possible to have a variety of finishes. The trick is to keep it to ~3/4 and not more than that.

    Also, you do not have to have dining room tie into the kitchen. Kitchen can have its own color scheme, as can dining room. In order to "tie" them together (since they are open to each other), I'd keep one unifying element like drapes or flooring. Just make sure, in this case, that choices/themes in these spaces are not completely contrasting.

    In your case, I'd NOT make dining table same stain as cabinets. Because IMO both are huge masses of wood and they would overwhelm.

    If this is a pre-existing space then I'd begin by looking at window frame/casing color. That would be one color. Your range is white + chrome so that is another theme. You could either have white appliances or SS since your range has both tones. Your dining table will be third and cabs fourth. Then try to tie all other themes into these. This is just an example of how you should approach it and not a set order.

    Another clue would be your countertop. If you select a natural stone then the colors in the stone offer you a palatte to work with.

    Good luck! Also do run your decisions by this forum. You will receive plenty of help.

    HTH!

  • plllog
    13 years ago

    The thing about combining things is that even though you don't want them to "match" they have to "go". So to make sure that things go you should create a "design story". Make yourself a chart for all of your elements and fill in the various columns. The buttons for the chandelier and faucet were supposed to be checked as green and silver, both mediium value, and both medium sized, but that's not showing up in the preview.

    Anyway, they'll "go" if several of the columns on each item match several of the columns on each of the others, although which elements match may be different. The Crayola Colors is particularly useful, because it lets you reduce complex colors like ORB to brown.

    Rather than going with the dark ORB, I'd consider a lighter color like Tuscan bronze that can also be called a medium.

    Another thing you can do if find a plant or a piece of artwork for an "inspiration" and pull all of your colors out of it, even if they're just tiny accent colors. They'll "go".
    Item
    Actual Color
    Crayola Color
    Line
    Style
    Value
    (lightness of color)
    Size
    Impression

    Chandelier
    verdigris
    Red
    Yellow
    Blue
    Orange
    Green
    Purple
    Black
    Brown
    Gold
    Silver
    squared and curvy
    transitional
    Light
    Medium
    Dark
    Large
    Medium
    Small
    modern,
    shiny,
    patina'd
    Faucet
    chrome
    Red
    Yellow
    Blue
    Orange
    Green
    Purple
    Black
    Brown
    Gold
    Silver
    round and curved,
    high arch
    transitional
    Light
    Medium
    Dark
    Large
    Medium
    Small
    Shiny,
    curvy,
    sleek,
    traditional handles
    Knob 1
    Â
    Red
    Yellow
    Blue
    Orange
    Green
    Purple
    Black
    Brown
    Gold
    Silver
    Â
    Â
    Light
    Medium
    Dark
    Large
    Medium
    Small
    Â
    Pull 1
    Â
    Red
    Yellow
    Blue
    Orange
    Green
    Purple
    Black
    Brown
    Gold
    Silver
    Â
    Â
    Light
    Medium
    Dark
    Large
    Medium
    Small
    Â

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  • amberley
    13 years ago

    I think that the darker ORB is a good mediator of sorts. It works well with most other finishes IMO. Any sort of verdigris (as in your light fixture) would work, as well as brass, copper, or nickel/chrome/stainless. I think that you are going in the right direction- trust your initial instincts.

    Also a good way to tie these two spaces together is with color. For example, if you were to paint the dining room red (just for arguments sake), you could use a few accessories in the kitchen in the same color to reference that color. This will create cohesion as well.

    I think what you have so far will be very nice!

  • peace_rose
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Thanks friends!
    It really helps to think in terms of line, style, value and overall impression. I love that chart!

    Can someone tell me what "ORB" is though? (I gather it's a shade of brown, but when I googled it all I could find was info on Supernatural Orbs) :)

    So let's put the advice so far into practice. Say I were to choose this pendant over the island: http://www.lightingdirect.com/savoy-house-7-9346-1-traditional-classic-single-light-pendant-from-the-classic-schoolhouse-designs-collection/p542161#reviews

    There are 3 options - Old Bronze, Pewter, and Warm Brass. According to the feedback above which would be best?

    And then there's the wall sconces - should I order the same brand so that the globe shape and finish are the same as the pendnats? So many things to consider!

  • plllog
    13 years ago

    ORB = Oil Rubbed Bronze

    It is Bronze, therefore brownish, but very dark.

    Sconce: "Warm Brass and Old Bronze finishes with Pale Cream glass" or "Pewter finish with White Opal Etched Glass"
    The size is 14"diam. x 45"h.

    Color and value are unknown. Style is in the name: Traditional Schoolhouse. Line is straight, round shaft with rippled round globe. Overall impression, for me, is very straight with a complex shaped globe.

    Comparing lighting to lighting, the lines are very different between the chandelier and the pendant, as is the overall impression. The style is different but overlapping. So, in this case, choosing similar color and value would tie them together. With that distinctive chandelier, it'll be a bit harder. I'm most concerned with the globe color vs. the shades on the chandelier. Hard to tell from the pictures.

    The metal on the chandelier looks like brass under the verdigris, but the overall impression is more patina than brass. You could use a finishing kit to make the brass one verdigris, but it's hard to make it look good.

    Alternative: Make it very different from the chandelier and more like the Kitchen. Pewter is silvery, though more on the dark gray side--their pewter isn't quite so dark, but it's very dull. But it is round like the faucet, and the globe is sort of curvy. So one way to tie it to the faucet might be to put in an intermediate finish of brushed nickel cabinet hardware. The brushed nickel is brighter, more like the chrome, but still a non-shiny like the pewter.

    How does the opal globe go with those glass shades? That's one place where I would notice a mismatch--the color of the glass in the fixtures.

    I think this fixture in old bronze would look out of left field.

  • peace_rose
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Wow, I feel like I'm in an Online Design Course - this is so educational! Plllog, your detailed response is just what I need to help me tie this all together! Thank you for breaking it down like that. (I'm also chuckling to myself: ORB should have been obvious to me!)

    I, too, was wondering about the globes vs. shades. I just love our chandelier with the shades, but I also love schoolhouse globes. But I have considered something like this, which also comes in a variety of colors: http://schoolhouseelectric.com/fixtures-detail.asp?FixtureID=23&coll=Classic

    And matching sconce: http://schoolhouseelectric.com/fixtures-detail.asp?FixtureID=52&coll=Classic

    I know the possibilities are endless. But if anyone has thoughts about the lighting especially, I'm all ears. We're running electrical wires now, so honing in on this decision will help lead to the other decision making later on.

  • plllog
    13 years ago

    I don't mind the globes and shades on shape, since you're looking for unmatched, but I'm really worried about the color. If the colors of the glass don't match pretty well it's just going to look weird. The reason this is important is functional, rather than decorative. There are going to be lights shining through them, so if they're up there glowing different colors it's going to be really noticeable, and it might even mean that the light in one part of the room is a different color than the light elsewhere. That's the actual ambient light you see by, not the fixture.

    What color are the shades on the chandelier? Light amber? Bone? Not white, I think? It's hard to tell from the photo. They look different from the cream in the first one you mentioned. I'd be hesitant to introduce another color in the glass, like the stripe in the second one does. If the background color matches, it's possible, but it adds another element that's different where you're looking for elements that are the same. Rejuvenation has a finish called "old brass" which might look good with the metal of the chandelier but the shade is glossy opal, which is a shiny white.

    On the other hand, if you found a pendant with a simple frosted flared tulip like the chandelier has, you could vary the color more. It's a trade-off.

  • peace_rose
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    I would call the color of the shade "needs to be dusted" :)
    It's actually opaque (or lightly frosted).

    I'm glad you pointed that out about how the shade will affect how the light appears/glows. It's these sort of subtleties that do make such a big difference.

    But I'm beginning to see how this ties together. Like if I go for a tulip shades in the chandelier, the pendants and sconces the don't need to necessarily "match" but they do need to "go". (I don't mean to put words in your mouth, but this is making more sense to me). So thanks!

  • bmorepanic
    13 years ago

    The faucet falls under the heading of practical decorating to me. I had that faucet! I can say this with feeling - get a new faucet!

    A decent, under $500, new faucet with have better functionality and style characteristics than that beastie. Have fun with link below - matches your range.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Dishmaster

  • Circus Peanut
    13 years ago

    One word of advice re. shades, if you are considering pendants: I originally ordered the classic downward-facing open schoolhouse shades on my pendants over the sink run, but wound up returning them for closed tulip globes -- didn't like the open bulb hanging so close to my rapidly-aging eyes. I got the fixtures from Schoolhouse and the globes from Rejuvenation, as I recall, or vice versa...? Both are swell quality.

    Oh! And I too have a white/chrome O'Keefe & Merritt, albeit slightly older than yours. I've got a stainless fridge across the way and it works pretty well. If you've got the faucet close by, you might consider trading in the polished nickel for chrome, since those are two finishes that can sometimes clash by being close-but-not-quite. And the OKM chrome is very shiny shiny. (If you need your top/grill re-chromed, or burner grates re-porcelained: email me, I have a great reference.)

    I'd tell you to avoid satin nickel, since that's a pretty jarring modern finish compared the the brass/bronze of your other items, but perhaps I'm biased since I dislike satined metal. I do love a dulled dark patina with the shiny chrome, though. Works for me with all my copper patina (knobs, counters, faucets) and the stove. :-)

    Depending on your brand, also check out Venetian Bronze as a finish; it's a medium dark tone that won't go as blackened as some versions of ORB.

  • lascatx
    13 years ago

    I agree with buehl about the faucet, but more than that -- I'm wondering where your fridge is.

  • plllog
    13 years ago

    Isn't that the fridge next to the DW, under the TV?

    Re the faucet, if you like your faucet don't feel pressured to change it. But I wouldn't plan any room to match a faucet--they do sometimes need changing, whereas good pulls and lighting fixtures, for instance, rarely do. I figured you showed the faucet because you like the look and wanted to make the shiny chrome look go with the patina chandelier thing.

    Re the chandelier, the "dust" shades then are a frosted white? If so, the globe on the first schoolhouse pendant you showed us, on the pewter color, would probably work. That's an etched white. The trick, then, would be making the pewter work, or else one of the other finishes if you can get a replacement globe.

  • plllog
    13 years ago

    So there's another few useful columns you can add to your chart: Warm/Cool, texture and Contrast.

    In general, red and orange are warm colors, as well as most browns, golds, and all of the orangy yellows. Some deep violets are also warm because they have a lot of red in them. Don't worry about the yellows and purples on the edges--just look at them and choose the first word, warm or cool, that comes to mind. The cool colors are blues, greens, green-yellows and most purples.

    Texture is whatever the surface is like: Shiny, matte, rough, stripy (could be corduroy, combed color, or anything with lines), speckled, bumpy, ridged, satin, polished, etc.

    So then there's contrast. That is, list which elements the item in question has a strong contrast with. The stronger the contrast, and the more contrast there is, the more "drama" your room will have. You might decide to go for less drama, or full on bang between the eyes. Writing down what your contrast points are can be helpful. You have most of the major contrast qualities on your chart, so filling in this column isn't really hard.

    For colors the strongest contrast is between complementary colors on the opposite sides of the color wheel. That is, when you have one of the primaries (red, yellow, blue), then the secondary (green, purple, orange) made up of the two other primaries is the biggest contrast. Makes sense, because it uses all the color that's not in the primary.

    Red --- green = blue + yellow
    Blue --- orange = yellow + red
    Yellow --- purple = red + blue

    For the neutrals, black/white is an obvious contrast pair. Most browns are in the red-orange family and complement blue, but if you're staying within neutrals you can complement browns with gray. For the metalics, gold is a warm (reddish) yellow and silver is a bluish gray, so gold and silver are fairly complementary as well.

    So your main contrasts are color, temperature, value, texture, size and shape (round, square, skinny, wide, lumpy, flat).

    For your coordination, pick large things for the strongest contrast, like the counters vs. cabinets vs. floor, and smaller things like lighting and hardware for less contrast, and you should be able to make everything go together.

  • lascatx
    13 years ago

    LOL -- ok, now I see a place that might house a fridge.

    Part of my reason for replacing the faucet is that it looks like it has seen a fair amount of use already. I have found that things dealing with water sometimes don't go back just as they were -- you could have to deal with some leaks -- and then you can still expect repairs as the parts wear.

  • plllog
    13 years ago

    Oh! Good point, Lascatx! I reused the bathroom faucet sets that came with my house, and they're still fine after 9 years, so that didn't occur to me.

  • peace_rose
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    I've been gone most of the day, so I'm just popping back in real quick here...

    Yes, that's the fridge next to the DW. We bought a Samsung stainless fridge last summer that has given us a lot of problems. I'm seriously considering returning it because it's still under warranty. In that case I might just go with a white fridge and DW instead.

    As for the faucet...I like the style of the one in the picture, but I won't plan the kitchen around it! I figured we could install it until we found "the one". I was thinking that the shiny chrome would go with the chrome on the stove, too.

    The shades on the chandelier are not white; rather they are opaque; not totally see through, just a little bit frosted.

    Circuspeanut, we probably will need to re-chrome down the line, as well as replace the thermostat. So I will keep that in mind!

    The tutorial about color is really helpful. I'm one of those people who "know it when I see it" but picking out the individual components stresses me out. Thank you so much!

  • plllog
    13 years ago

    Okay, they're opaque. But opaque what? Not white. Sand? Bone? Ecru? Beige? Honey? Camel?

    If you can put a name on it, it'll make it soooo much easier!

  • peace_rose
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    I guess the shades don't really have a color; when you run your hand on the inside they are smooth. But the outside has a texture that is lightly frosted. It makes me think it's just a variation of clear glass. I've looked in stores and haven't really seen anything like them. The glow that is emitted is soft and natural, which is one of the reasons I like this fixture so much. A friend of ours was remodeling his bungalow and decided not to use it and gave it to us - I think it's an antique but I'm not sure. Thanks for bearing with me on this one!

    I'm also intrigued by CircusPeanut's suggestion of Venetian Bronze. I do like that finish, but most of the venetian bronze fixtures I found online were for the bathroom. Does anyone want to guess which of Schoolhouse Electric's 6 finishes comes closest: http://schoolhouseelectric.com/fixture-finishes.asp (Assuming it's going to be matte or estate bronze).

  • plllog
    13 years ago

    Clear glass as in green? Or is it actually white? I don't mean painted or anything. What's the color? If you had a black piece of paper and were painting a picture of it, what color would it be?

    Have you looked at Rejuvenation? They have a finish called "old brass" which I think might look really good.

    Of the Schoolhouse finishes, I think the Estate Bronze might be best.

    My reason for both of these is warm, non-shiny and medium value.

  • bmorepanic
    13 years ago

    Faucets aren't always interchangeable. That is a three hole faucet with a sprayer. If you later decide on a single hole faucet, with or without a separate sprayer, you're left with a lot of leftover holes.

    The holes are either in the sink deck or in the counter material. If you're paying an fabricator, you'll pay for each of those holes to be drilled. If the holes are in the counter, you'll need to replace a section of the counter if you go for a faucet with a different number of holes. If they're in the sink deck, you'll need those little round cover plates.

    On the decorating front, the faucet you have is a late 1800's wannabe developed in the 1990's. It doesn't look like an older faucet would.

    As shown in the picture, that particular faucet accumulates crud around the base and around each handle that is practically unclean-able. (not criticizing you!- just the faucet design) I could be wrong, but the spray head on yours looks like it's plastic.

    So, I'm begging you to look around and not just throw it in because you're tired of making choices.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Whitehaus outlet store

  • plllog
    13 years ago

    I just saw a name for a glass shade and am wondering if that's what your chandelier has: Parchment.

  • peace_rose
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Could be. What it really reminds me of is vellum paper - the glass is definitely clear glass, with just enough "vellum" frost on it that you can't quite see through it. If you hold your hand right up to the glass you can see the lines on your fingers and the color of your hand. If you hold your fingers an inch behind the glass, color comes through but you can't make out detail.

    There's another detail I was thinking of: do you think the prep sink faucet should match the finish on the main sink faucet?

  • plllog
    13 years ago

    I think the decision on whether to match the faucets depends a lot on what else is going on, and their relative locations.

    Because you want to mix things up so much, I'd suggest that you print pictures of all the things you just love and cut them out so there isn't any white space (that is, leave the setting or background, but cut the whole picture out). If you can, make them big enough that you can easily see the details.

    Draw a simple layout on posterpaper and place your pictures in their relative spots on the layout. That'll help you visualize where things go.

    When you have enough for most of the things you need, faucets, pendants, knobs, tiles, etc., you can sort through them and choose out the ones that look best together, then choose everything else you need to fig the group you have.

  • peace_rose
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    What a great idea!
    It feels good to finally get this far - this is the fun part. :)

  • growlery
    13 years ago

    I say -- don't overthink it.

    I'm definitely an "I'll know it when I see it" person and it has served me well. Don't apologize for it.

    I really like your patinated chandelier, your comfortably used faucet (it's got some style!) the stove -- it's relaxed, no-fixed-decade. It's no time to get uptight about finishes!

    I'd say you have a good sense of your own style. TRUST IT. Don't choose a finish you don't like just "to be consistent" or because someone told you you have to.

    I have polished nickel, antique brass, new unlacquered brass, old filthy dirty brass, stainless steel, black forged iron -- and a few other things I can't remember in my kitchen. It all gets along.

    In fact the more things you put together, the better it works, because it's not like you have a big beige room with 23 satin nickel handles and one polished nickel one. You have a rich crazy quilt/gumbo of elements and no single dominant one, but your good taste has selected each, and they get along because you know when they don't.

    I agree with Circuspeanut that some finishes just attract too much attention to themselves, and they tend to be the more modern ones like satin nickel and ORB. But if you love them, and they work in your particular mix, then go for it.

    Did you look at the Schoolhouse Lighting custard line of shades? Just a thought.

    Something to consider is that Schoolhouse, and probably some other companies too, may have options not listed on their Web sites, and may be able to make you up a custom fixture. So if you see something on their site that is very close to what you want, but in just the wrong finish, or the chain isn't right, call or e-mail and ask if that thing can be changed. I did, and the cost was like $30 extra for my particular alteration. It's always worth asking.

    Good luck!

  • peace_rose
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Funny, before starting this post I probably would have chosen satin nickel and ORB! I didn't know that either one is known for attracting attention to itself. (But this is exactly the sort of thing I wanted to know). Therefore, even though you advised to follow my heart, I'm likely to keep that advice in the back of my mind. So if I had to narrow things down at this point I would choose:

    - Estate Bronze for the pendant and sconce lighting (because it's non-shiny and medium value)
    - Chrome Kitchen faucets, to mimic the shinyness of the stove.
    - Still not sure about the door knobs and pulls, but I'm leaning toward something non-shiny and medium value

    So we've got non-shiny lighting fixtures and shiny faucets and stove. How about that?

    ps - I knew when I took the picture of that faucet that you all would notice how much it needed a good cleaning! :)

  • plllog
    13 years ago

    Sounds good, Peace!