Do’s and Don’ts For Mixing and Matching Lighting Fixtures

September 8, 2022

Today, the selection of lighting options to choose from seems nearly infinite. Browsing through the lighting section of any store has the potential to overwhelm you with options, especially if you’re currently in the process of remodeling and re-designing your home.

Choosing the right lighting is incredibly important when decorating a space. The same room can look vastly different with good lighting versus bad, and if you’re decorating your space, that can really put the pressure on you to make excellent choices.

Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list of do’s and don’ts to help you make choices that you’ll love for years to come.



Be careful mixing metal finishes. It can be done, but make conscious choices!

For example, don’t go completely wild on the finishes. A good general rule of thumb is to stick to no more than three finishes for a space to keep it cohesive.

You should also try not to choose materials in the same color family as each other. If you pair nickel and chrome together, it will most likely come off looking like you weren’t quite able to match and were hoping nobody would notice.

You definitely can mix gold and silver, or a shiny silver with a satin brass– just be intentional about it.



Go in without a plan.

You should have a general idea of the kind of vibe you want your space to have. If it’s an open-concept area, like a kitchen that opens into a dining space, you should aim to create a seamless transition between the two. If two parts of the same space are vastly different, it has the potential to be jarring and distracting.

Before you get to the store, create a moodboard for your space and compile visuals that you like. You don’t have to copy someone else’s room– and, in fact, you shouldn’t– but you can take inspiration from all kinds of sources. Even just taking note of color palettes and textures you like can help you make informed design decisions.



Look at everything together. If you’ve chosen a variety of fixtures for your space, make sure you have the chance to evaluate how they all work together before you make the commitment to installation. Something that seems like it should work might look different in reality


Try to keep the same shape throughout.

 For example, if you’re putting together an open-concept kitchen/dining/living area, you might choose some industrial-inspired pendant lighting for the dining area. Choosing a different industrial-inspired pendant fixture for the kitchen area might seem like it will look cohesive, but it will most likely end up looking like an unintentional mismatch.


Consider the final effect.

Having a plan for your furniture arrangement and decor will help you make informed lighting choices. If you’re planning to include a big, attention-grabbing painting or sculpture, you might want to choose fixtures that will complement the piece rather than distract from it or even overwhelm in combination with it.


Be afraid of contrast.

Choosing contrasting lighting fixtures can add some interest and even drama to your space. Deliberate contrast is the antithesis of the unintentional mismatch effect created by using too-similar finishes or shapes. Why not choose an industrial drum-style ceiling fixture along with softer, prettier lamps?


 Remember that it’s your space, and you can do whatever you want with it.

Just because a style is trendy right now doesn’t mean you have to love it. You’re allowed to make design choices that feel best for your home, even if someone else doesn’t like them.

At Kaufman By Design, we’re here to help you make choices you’ll love for a lifetime… or a few years, if you want to switch it up sooner. 


To get started, reach out to our design specialists with a message, give us a call, or stop on by. We look forward to working with you!