Silver toned metals read confidently cool in a provocative decor recently imagined by Alice Lane Interiors. So when debating polished nickel vs. chrome for your finishes, how do you select which is best? Creative Director Jessica Bennett shares the secrets to using cool metals here and in other chic interiors she and her team create. 

Polished Nickel vs. Chrome

Nickel and chrome are both resilient finishes and are created similarly, plated onto brass and polished to a shiny, smooth and mirror-like surface. In the decor debate the key difference is the temperature of their tones.

Chrome is typically colder with a somewhat blueish tint, while polished nickel is warmer and reads slightly yellow. Because of their high sheens, both need to be wiped clean if and when they are handled. Nickel is generally more expensive than chrome and can tarnish over time, but a lacquered finish slows the process. Brushed nickel, a designer favorite, eliminates smudging and fingerprint worries. Chrome is more affordable. If it is damaged, it can dull and any inferior plating can result in flaking, leaving the core metal open to rust.

“N​ickel is always safe, particularly polished nickel because it provides more warmth than chrome. And it doesn’t sway in being universally beautiful, no matter the trend.” 

– Jessica Bennett

Which is the best fit for your home?

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Brad Mee
Brad Mee is the Editor-in-Chief of Utah Style & Design Magazine.