Matching Your Existing Fixtures
Kitchens and bathrooms are high-traffic areas. We are walking into or out of one of these rooms multiple times a day. So it’s important when we’re giving our bathroom or kitchen a minor facelift – or a complete remodel –we take the time to ensure their look is pleasing to the eye.
Many homeowners choose to freshen up the look of their kitchen or bathroom by changing out the fixtures.
Fixtures are the finishing touches to any room. They draw all of the design elements together and establish the look and feel. Successfully selected, fixtures can be the make-or-break style elements in your kitchen or bathroom.
As we discuss fixtures here, we’re concentrating on plumbing fixtures, such as faucets, showerheads, handles and accessories. But we’ll also touch on cabinet fixtures (handles and knobs) and kitchen and bathroom accessories, as well as lighting elements.
Where to Begin?
To match or not to match…that is the question that has been debated by designers practically since the dawn of time.
The answer in this case depends on the area being outfitted.
Fixtures for the Kitchen
Your kitchen is the place to get creative and use the same elements in different ways to create a cohesive look that doesn’t look forced.
So, to begin with, what are you matching your kitchen plumbing fixtures to?
First of all, you’re not matching fixtures to your kitchen appliances, which come in white, black and stainless steel. Unless you happen to have 1970s era avocado appliances, you won’t have any trouble matching them with the metal you choose for your fixtures.
The same applies to the kitchen sink. Ceramic basins and stainless steel sinks pair with any faucet fixture metal. A stainless steel faucet is perhaps the easiest way to go, but if you have your heart set on a fixture with an English brass or a matte black finish, be assured they will get along just fine with your stainless steel sink.
According to experts, what you should match your fixtures to is the hardware on your cabinets. Consider not just the metal involved but the style you are trying to achieve. Is your kitchen kitschy or cozy? Traditional or modern? A functional space or one that draws the family together?
Choose your faucet fixture first, then explore your options for cabinetry. You can mix colors and finishes to create a unique look. Pair a chrome faucet with brushed brass cabinet hardware to give your kitchen a little zip. Or break up an all-white kitchen with a brushed nickel faucet, complemented by hardware in darker finishes, like oil rubbed bronze.
Consider your countertops, too. For example, a black countertop complemented by a black quartz composite kitchen sink paired with a brushed nickel faucet create a knockout look.
Just remember that whatever direction you choose, it’s important to ensure anything in the same line of sight as your faucet complements – not clashes with -- the look you’re trying to achieve.
Bathtubs, sinks and toilets are the largest objects in your bathroom, but you might be interested to know they aren’t the most eye-catching. Well-chosen fixtures can make or break the look of any bathroom. So it’s wise not to skim over the choices you make for what is likely the smallest room in your home.
Of course, there are more plumbing fixtures in your bathroom than anywhere else in the house. And they are all usually within close proximity to one another. So it’s important that your fixtures play well together. Otherwise, it can get a bit jarring. Of course, you can always choose fixtures from the same manufacturer to match perfectly. But you don’t have to.
These days, designers often mix metals and textures to create the look they desire. The trick is to use shades that are complementary and don’t conflict. At the end of the day, it’s your opinion that matters – you and your family are the ones who will be spending the most time there -- so go with a look you can live and enjoy with for the foreseeable future.
Whether you’re doing a complete remodel or just want to create a new look, the question of budget is one that always looms large.
So…which finishes are the most expensive? Antique brass, polished nickel and black top the list, followed by oil rubbed bronze. The most affordable options are chrome, brushed nickel and stainless steel.
If you have your heart set on antique brass, you may want to consider using it for your cabinetry rather than for your plumbing fixtures. That way, you can achieve the look you want without breaking the budget.
One popular option is to use chrome plumbing fixtures, then employ black as an accent color in the room’s accessories -- a towel bar or a robe hook, for instance. It’s a great way to break up the silvery sameness and maintain a modern look.
Lighting it Up
Lighting fixtures are another component of any remodeling project that should not be ignored. Whether you are changing out your lighting or trying to match new fixtures to existing lighting treatments, you’ll want to keep it complementary.
In kitchens, you’ll need to take into consideration any recessed light fixtures or island lights. Lighting fixtures are just one more way to enhance the design theme of your kitchen. Bathroom lighting fixtures generally include wall sconces and vanity lights. Their style and finishes should be taken into account when deciding how to update the look of your bathroom.
There are lots of little functional items in both kitchens and bathrooms that can help reinforce the theme of the space. Towel bars, mirrors, paper towel and bathroom tissue holders and robe hooks are but a few of the items to consider when matching your fixtures. They are an inexpensive way to keep a cohesive look going strong.
At the end of the day, matching your fixtures is a purely personal decision that doesn’t have to break the bank. You can always stick with tried-and-true chrome or stalwart stainless steel for your plumbing fixtures. It’s all about what works best for you and your family.