Monday, January 28, 2013

2013 Design Trend: Brass

Arhaus
I have a new design crush:  brass!
Which makes absolutely no sense at all.
If you've lived as long as I have, you've seen trends come and go, and brass is one of them.
There was a time when I couldn't rid myself of brass fast enough!

Restoration Hardware
But the new resurgence of brass is much different than the 80's and 90's when brass was all shiny and new, not allowed to patina, and considered cheap as years went by.
It was replaced by chrome, pewter and satin nickel.

Shades of Light
The brass I'm crushing on is warm and glows with a wonderful mellow patina.

Like this brass coffee table I fell in love with in the lobby of The Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans.
Yet, there was a time I wouldn't look twice at this!

Restoration Hardware
Now I'm crushing on antiqued brass like this bar cart from Restoration Hardware.
I can just see it all decked out with martini shakers and crystal decanters.


When we bought our home in the late 90's, we inherited a "house of brass."
The previous owners had remodeled it in '93 and every faucet, towel bar, switch plate, door knob, cabinet hardware, hinge and light fixture was brass. 
Although I de-brassed the house then, I can now appreciate my beautiful brass door hardware throughout the house that I left alone.

Although I wasn't opposed the the golden finish itself, it was the shiny-ness of it then.
I replaced the cabinet hardware with antiqued, aged brass...

...and brought in gold accents with light fixtures,

curtain rods,

and gessoed frames.

 Although I still love the elegance of polished chrome for plumbing fixtures, lately I've been noticing brass used more and more in kitchens and baths.

For instance, all the faucets are aged brass in my friend Lisa's home.
No chrome for her!
Which brings me to the bottom line.
Yes, brass is back in a big way.
And, it's ok to mix metals.

What's your take on brass?
Can you love it?


 Or leave it?

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31 comments:

La Dolfina said...

I feel you!
I have been loving brass again and the last few years and have found some wonderful pieces. You should come to the prop shop sometime to shop for brass!
Love Lisa's faucet too!!!

The Comfort of a Safe Place said...

I love brass too! It's so warm and wonderful!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

I love brass, I always have and I am so thrilled that it is making a comeback. Gold and shiny and sooooooo pretty. Time to get my brass lamps out again. Hugs, Marty

for the love of a house said...

I have a new crush on it too! I can't get enough of it and I had once banished ALL brass from my house for years even most of the antique things I had (thankfully I saved them instead of sold them!) I love all the brass faucets I'm seeing! And I agree, you can mix it!
xxojoan

Inessastewart said...

I love brass accents when used well amongst the rest of the decor. It adds charm to a bathroom or extra charm to frame around a treasured painting or photograph. It's a wonderful on antique lighting and, honestly, all parts of the home! I'm happy to see this as a trend for sure, and I'm glad you love it, too.
Inessa Stewart

Marlis said...

Not sure if I can warm up to this just yet. I'm sure about the time this fad fades, I'll be loving it. As for old pictures with the golden frames, I grew up with those and love them because of it. I love your door fixtures,, they are just fabulous and they have a beautiful well worn patina. Oh my front door has a brass opener, just realized that, and I don't love it.. I have some antique French wall sconces that were antiques in the 60's.. maybe I should use those?.. that would be a start! You see, I'm already warming......in baby steps.

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

What you just shared I can definitely love!!

Debra @ Common Ground said...

I agree, don't love the shiny but the aged patina is wonderful, and I didn't get rid of all of mine, although I tried! Love that faucet in the last pic!

LEfting said...

I think we're all tired of the fake brass plating of the 90's, but solid brass is just lovely and can't be compared to the other stuff. I love your brass, it is gorgeous! Warm and luxurious, very nice. Wonderful patina!.

carolyn bradford said...

I'm like you in that I've had a love for brass and then hated it and now I"m loving it all over again! Glad I didn't get rid of all of it that I had! I love the new look of brass and we've gotten some great pieces in at the shop to mix in with our antiques. They look really great together! Have a wonderful week!

Julie Taylor and Danni Greenwalt said...

I'm loving the brass look...I do like silver and love the two mixed. The bar cart from Restoration is great.

gme said...

So glad you brought up this topic. Like you, I got rid of all the shiny fake brass I had in my home. I replaced it with antique brass and love it. I'm so glad I didn't go to the extreme of some of those who spray painted their old brass candlesticks! Just something about a brass candlestick that makes me smile!

dawnineden.com said...

I'm with you. I like the warm brass that has a patina. I dislike greatly that 80's bright and shiny brass. I'm just glad that it's okay to mix metals because I can see adding this warm brass to my home.

AntiqueChase said...

I have a new crush too! I had a wonderful brass ship light fixture in my last house and I shutter to think I threw it in the trash via 1994! Man, that was a cool fixture. Who knew?

Sarah said...

Delores, I've always loved all metals. When we purchased our first home, the hardware was pewter. Our home had been built in the 30s and when we wanted to update the bath, pewter fixtures were few and far between. But we found a source and stayed true to the original concept of the home. When we moved into this house, also built in the 30s, the hardware was all brass. So I embraced brass! I like the aged version. Ours is shiny. ;-(

Meg said...

Oh gosh me too. I have brass everywhere now. The more antiquey the better. I think it adds warmth. I am crazy for the gilt frames I see everywhere too. Love Love!

Karen said...

I've been saying brass is back for over a year now...none of my friends believe me :)

I love the unlacquered brass in every way possible...faucets, door hardware, cabinet hardware...everywhere is fine by me. It ages so well and looks better every year. Love it!

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

I posted about brass being a trend recently because I have a brass dining table in our dining room and everyone teases me about it! ;P I love your post, it's more comprehensive than mine. I love the faucets!

Victoria said...

I love the un lacquered patinaed brass. Brooke Gianetti is using it at Patina Farm and it looks so fitting. I still love my polished nickel hardware but I like mixing metals. I have polished nickel and antique brass in my guest bath. The wall mounted faucets like the one you posted are especially appealing to me.
BTW, the Cremona bolt hardware on your French doors is beautiful. Thank goodness you did not rid your house of these.
Best...Victoria

sugarcreek said...

When we renovated our 2nd floor bathrooms 15 yrs ago we did brass everywhere. I had grown up with everyday stainless and to my young eyes shiny brass was the cats meow. By the time we gutted the first floor I was a bit older and styles had moved on and we installed brushed chrome. Slowly we've re-done the upstairs baths. Luckily I'm married to a plumbing contractor! I wouldn't want shiny brass but I like the patina of aged brass. It feels as if it has a story to tell. We did put in full black door handles in our vacation house because I wanted to avoid the debate of chrome, brushed nickel, etc. Matte black is timeless and I can't imagine changing them. Unless it was for the door handles my mom has...round doorknobs that almost appear to be tortoiseshell or polished stone. The house was built in apprx. 1811. Of course she thinks they're old-fashioned!

Marigene said...

What goes around comes around; what's old is new!

Just Spiff It said...

I think brass will always stand the "test of time". I think it always been classic touch in a home. Especially where hardware is concerned. Now, having said that I must confess that I am guiltily of spray painting some of my big brass pots black. Polishing them became too much of a chore!!
Great post.

Heather said...

I love brass with a worn, soft patina. That shiny, cheap builder grade stuff from the 80s and the 90s just doesn't compare.

Carol S. said...

I'm more forgiving of it now. Especially since you said it's cool to be, lol. I bought a couple of large brass lamps for 10 bucks each at a garage sale that I envisioned painting...but haven't got around to it and so far I like the way they look as is. Now after your post, I like them even more!

SALLY said...


LOVE brass. I've never gotten tired of it even
through the stainless and nickel phase. Brass
brings out the warmth of color behind it way more than
silver.

Lisa Odom said...

I know if left my dining room chandelier hanging long enough it would come back in style! HA! My husband will be so glad! I do need to look into distressing or aging my fixture.

vicki archer said...

I might need to love it! So many beautiful objects finished in brass... it's a whole new world...:) xv

Jaybird said...

I love brass...have always used it, so I am right in style ;^)
Blessings to you,
J

Pat Deneen said...

I like the fact that brass is making a comeback. It is traditional and has a warmth that other metals do not have. It is sad that many of us "de-brassed" our homes, especially the bath fixtures. Solid brass spigots are sky high now. Great post.

Pat Deneen said...

I like the fact that brass is making a comeback. It is traditional and has a warmth that other metals do not have. It is sad that many of us "de-brassed" our homes, especially the bath fixtures. Solid brass spigots are sky high now. Great post.

Heather said...

I chuckled when I saw this post as I used that light fixture recently when replacing an old shiny one in a brass bathroom. Now that this house is up for sale I hope a buyer can get over their potential distaste of brass. I am moving and this time will just mix it up and appreciate all metals!

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