A Designer’s Guide to Fixtures and Finishes

A Designer’s Guide to Fixtures and Finishes

A Designer’s Guide to Fixtures and Finishes

Homepolish designer Maggie Burns discusses her favorite trends in fixtures and walks you through choosing the perfect finishes for your bathroom and kitchen.

When it comes to your bathroom and kitchen, there are unsung heroes that never get the design attention they deserve. Your fixtures—faucets and fixtures can bring a space to the next level. Not only can you choose innovative shapes and more aesthetically pleasing options, you can also mix and match finishes to bring the entire vibe of your space together. We asked designer Maggie Burns to walk us through the options and show us how she’d pull a few looks together.


Copper is a unique and bold choice for any bathroom or kitchen faucets. It naturally changes with time but ages well as it develops a gorgeous patina finish. While this style was previously left to Tuscan and farmhouse styles of design, it is now popping in modern décor and we are loving it’s new look! Bonus: Copper has natural antibacterial properties to scare away any residual bathroom or kitchen bacteria! This style works best as a one man show and can look out of place when paired with other finishes.

Matte Black

We don’t like to pick favorites but if we had to, this would be it! Black faucets are becoming increasingly more popular in bathrooms and kitchens because of their clean, modern aesthetic and their durability. In the past this finish was rather hard to find unless you were willing to shell out the big bucks, but manufacturers have taken note of this trend and it is becoming much easier to find affordable options! Another bonus: this is a great option if you are only replacing one or two fixtures in your space and need an option that pairs will with other finishes.

Polished Nickel

Let’s start by talking Polished Nickel vs. Polished Chrome. They both share the same smooth, shiny finish and add brightness to any kitchen or bathroom. They are versatile finishes that lend themselves to many different styles of design: Modern, Traditional, Contemporary, Eclectic. Polished Nickel, which is nickel plating on brass which is then polished, is warmer in tone when compared side-by-side with Polished Chrome. While some feel that polished nickel is a more glamorous finish, it does come with its fair share of downsides. This finish is susceptible to watermarks and fingerprints (as is chrome) and (unless lacquered) Polished Nickel will naturally tarnish over time- especially in wet environments. These styles can mix well with other finishes, but can look sloppy when used with each other given their similarities. Opposites attract!

Satin Brass

A classic finish, satin brass faucets add a timeless, vintage look to any space. It stems from the Victorian Era and offers a more refined take on the slightly rustic look of brushed brass.

Satin brass and brushed brass are similar in color with the main difference being the tiny brush marks throughout the latter. Satin Brass is less common and slightly more expensive then it’s flashier counterpart (polished brass) but the fact that it is less susceptible to fingerprints and watermarks makes it well worth the investment. This style works great with nickel finishes or oil rubbed bronze!

Inspired to design a space using any of these finishes? Sign up for Homepolish now.