Why You Should Embrace Brass

I know what you're thinking: is brass really making a comeback? And the answer is, yes! It really is, and it's back and better than ever. 

If you're like most home owners who bought their homes in the 1970’s through the 1990’s, you have probably spent the last few years erasing all evidence of brass from your home. Brass light fixtures, door knobs and handles, faucets and many accent features of your home suddenly became outdated in the early 2000's. Just like that, brushed nickel and chrome took over. Brass was no longer the finish of choice. But here it is, 2017, and we're telling you that luckily, if you haven't gotten around to replacing those outdated fixtures just, you're suddenly on trend again!  

But why should you embrace brass, you might ask? If you haven't noticed by now, nature is having a huge influence on current interior design trends. The natural elements of stone, wood, glass, and woven materials are everywhere. Metals, being a natural material as well, blend perfectly with all of these elements, especially warm metals such as gold, rose gold, brass and copper. This is not to say that other metals such as brushed nickel, chrome, or oil rubbed bronze are totally out, though. In fact, it’s tasteful to even combine a few finishes together, but this requires balance. Sticking to two finishes in a room usually works well, like oil rubbed bronze and brass, for example. Together, the dark contrast of the oil rubbed bronze allows the warm glow of brass to really shine.

This “new” brass is showing up in a more sophisticated way, in a variety of finishes such as brushed, satin, shiny and matte.  Brass can evoke a vintage glamorous feel, or a rustic and bohemian vibe, depending on what you pair with it. It can be bold or understated, subtle or in your face, muted or loud. It can also go both modern and traditional, which makes it versatile and easy to transition with.

Want to be brave and give brass a try? Here are some good ways to work brass into your existing spaces!

Hardware: Something we are seeing everywhere is brass hardware, from drawer handles, knobs and wall hooks. This can be for a quick style update for your nightstand, your dresser, or even a few hooks on the wall. Paired with warm woods, it really sets the tone of the brass off nicely. Or, go for a contrast with your darker pieces, like black or dark gray. 

In the kitchen and dining room: Once again, updating your cabinet drawer knobs and handles is such an easy way to incorporate a little brass into your life. It's also not much of a commitment, so if you end up not liking it, it's easy to change. Something else we are seeing are brass kitchen faucets and even brass appliances. How about a brass mixer? Or a brass toaster? It might not be your thing, but it can definitely make a statement. And if you're really unsure how you'll feel about brass in the long run, you can add just a touch of brass with cutlery, serving pieces and detailed glassware. Sometimes it really is all about the small details, and this is a subtle way of working brass in without majorly committing.

Lighting: Everyone knows someone who has an outdated brass pendant somewhere in their home. If you've already got one, dust if off and shine it up like new and embrace the vintage style! Update the lightbulbs to LED to make it feel new again. It's amazing what the right lightbulb can do for lighting. Or, look for something new in a modern shape and style and change it up. Brass, especially when used for lighting, warms up the room and gives the space a glamorous glow. There are also a variety of floor and table lamps that can make a statement in both modern and traditional style.

Furniture: Brass is being used as an accent color for furniture pieces, creating a retro glam vibe. Combined with warm woods like walnut, it can feel very mid-century modern. Brass accents can definitely go more traditional as well, depending on the shape and size of the piece. Personally, we are loving the mid-century vibe which is both modern and classic.

Accessories: Still afraid to commit too much to brass? You can find brass accessories everywhere from napkin ring holders, decorative vases, photo frames, sculptural art, and even hints of it can be found in textiles. We are also loving brass used in wall shelf brackets, which is unexpected and just the right amount of brass. And when you’re tired of it, it's very easy to change.

Are you ready to embrace brass yet? It's hard not to love this new take on an old friend. It has such a rich, warm and inviting feel that brings up memories of past trends, that it's sort of hard to really hate it. Check out some of these images below for some more inspiration on how you can incorporate a little brass into your space and as always, don't hesitate to contact Amy Youngblood Interiors!