Reach for the Brass Ring: Why Brass Fixtures Are Still a Winner
Back in the 1980s, gold-brass accents were everywhere. Knobs. Ornate chandeliers. Door and cabinet hinges. Bathroom faucets. Shiny, loud, and quite proud, the brass of the bygone era quickly dated itself and joined the ranks of blue toilets and colorful shag carpets in the never-again mindset of interior designers.
What attracted us to brass forty years ago still has its pull, and its recent resurgence is proof. That said, today’s brass and gold finishes have learned some important lessons about understated elegance, unexpected warmth, and confident sophistication.
Cool modern homes crave the warmth of gold tones.
Over the three decades that brass was hibernating, it took the cream and tan color palette with it. Every new build and renovation bathes itself in grays, from wall paint to stainless steel appliances and brushed nickel hardware. Homeowners continue to choose painted cabinets over stained wood, and the crisp, cool color palette carries on.
The “brand new brass” comes just in time, balancing today’s popular trends in black and white, charcoals, dark blues, and even pinks.
Will brass be trendy or timeless?
This is a question we get a lot from our clients: Is brushed brass here to stay or will it again fall from fashion? The answer has less to do with trends and more to do with how you use it and how much you love what it does for your home. “What we are seeing today isn’t your grandmother’s brass,” says Jeff McLinden, President at JM Construction. “One of the reasons we tired of the 1980s brass so quickly is because we put it in every room—and its shine constantly caught our attention. Used intentionally, today’s matte brass finishes capture warmth and sophistication in a way that will never lose its luster.”
Embrace brass as you would a signature piece of jewelry. Start with one thing—cabinet pulls, a bathtub faucet, a brushed brass lamp—and see where it takes you. A little brass goes a long way. Let it make a statement, but don’t let it do all the talking.
Where brushed brass really shines: Mixing metals.
If you’re on the fence about brushed brass or matte gold because your entire house is polished nickel, it’s time to lean in. “Brass and gold are the perfect way to pull a different metal into the mix, especially if your home is full of nickel and black,” says McLinden. “The contrast is what lets each stand more confidently on their own—and looks amazing.”
Tell us what you think: Will you hang on to your polished nickel or will you go for the gold?
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