Friday, March 16, 2012

Brass is Back

You may expect to see a pig sprout wings and fly across the sky before you believe a statement like this, but it's true - brass is back! I know a lot of you are thinking you JUST got the dreaded brass out of your house, but fear not, today's brass is anything but drab, overdone and shiny shiny. As we've talked about in previous posts, brass got its bad wrap due to its overuse in the 90's. Overuse and pairing with lots and lots of white. If every house one visited over the course of a decade didn't have this blahhhh combination, maybe we'd think differently, but unfortunately this is the ugly truth. So, brass' reputation has been one that has been hard to shake for many people, but it appears the time has come when the possibilities are many for doing brass right!



We've seen this kitchen a thousand times; white perimeter cabinetry paired with a darker contrasting island. Most of the time you see this look paired with polished chrome, satin nickel or black hardware. While I love that look the addition of the brass hardware, faucet and light fixtures gives this kitchen an edge, something different that maintains the timeless look with addition of some elegance.


This is a bathroom I worked on in 2010 and is one of my favorites to date. This space is very tranquil and elegant. My client is the one who initially wanted to use the polished brass. My first reaction was, "really??" Especially because the cabinetry was going to be a painted white color, hello 1994, I thought. But as the selections for the space came together it became clear the brass added to the richness and warmth of the space.  Plus, today's plumbing, lighting and hardware options have so much more detail than they had years ago, so the brass finish can really enhance the pieces.

For example:

Both of these knobs are from Top Knobs. Notice how the detailing in these knobs is really highlighted with the brass finish. They look heavy and substantial and much more stylish than the brass knobs from the past which had a tendency to be smooth with very little detail.







To me, this is where brass is really cool right now - used with the popular gray cabinetry. It's such a cool contrast, mixing both cool and warm tones. I especially love how the brass hardware in the first picture is almost an exact match to the gold veining in the marble countertop.


Here we are again with the white kitchen! Brass hardware was used in this space, but what I'm really digging in this kitchen is the brass light fixtures and pot filer you can see wayyyy back on the back wall, I think they go really nicely with the funky black and white flooring.

My two cents: One thing I'm not loving about this photo, the sink appears to be stainless. In my opinion you should try to keep all finishes the same. Or, if you are going to mix, you should do so in a way that makes sense. For example, your island hardware is one finish and your perimeter hardware is another. I do not like the idea of having your apron front sink or faucet be a different finish from the hardware and light fixtures that surround it. While there are not many options for brass apron front sinks, I would of gone with a white sink in this space, but that's just me - to each their own!

So, there you have it - brass is making its modernized debut! Good news is, if you are still too scarred by the brass of the past to take the plunge, other finishes such as polished nickel, satin nickel, black and oil rubbed bronze are still relevant and kicking. So, as always go with what you love!

Unless otherwise noted all photos came from google search.

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