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Before you scroll away, let me explain why brass is back. Trust me when I say that I don’t support the use of all brass when I make this proclamation, rather, only the most chic forms of the misunderstood metal will do. I am in full agreement that there is almost nothing worse than chipped and ornate brass bathroom fixtures. Yes, those are dated and hopefully will never be back in style. When I think of attractive brass, I am thinking of a more mellow tone, something with patina and style.
Artists have worked in bronze for centuries, so it might be interesting to think of the metal as more than a way to get running water. The bowl above was done by the famous designer Josef Hoffmann. Though elegant, the hammered nature of the material still reflects the craftsmanship of Hoffmann’s studio in Vienna around the turn of the 20th century. A museum worthy piece like this surely debunks the bad brass wrap.
Another new way to look at brass is through lighting. This mid-century brass sconce is totally modern, is geometric and is spot-on with current design trends.
Another lighting trend that incorporates brass in new and exciting ways is through historically leaning Regency Style. This Hollywood Regency black lamp embodies the classic shape of a traditional lamp but has a slick and shiny design which works beautifully in contemporary homes as well. Lamps such as this look great in pairs on console tables in a foyer, dining room, living room and the classic, dark library.
I mentioned earlier that the kind of brass that remains timeless tends to be more weathered with a sense of age. Usually that is true and we can see that in the above image. I suppose I will slightly contradict myself with the next image, but I have my reasons.
I realized that brass can look great in a revival of 70’s design. This sleek and adjustable brass side table is amazing. It is fresh and modern, but the brass gives it a positive nod to the 1970s living room. That decade is back and influencing fashion and home design. This chic little table has personality.
If I have still not been able to convince you that brass is back, all I need to say is if it works for one of the most famous doors in the world, it should work for you. Give brass a chance.
Photos courtesy of arcadja.com, marymcdonaldinc.com, lampsplus.com, christies.com
Rob is a Los Angeles-based designer who has a background in art history and was an expert at Sotheby's auction house. Formerly the host of "Inside The Auction" for the Fine Living Network, speaker for The Learning Annex and contributing editor for Valley Magazine and LA Bride Magazine, he has spent years bridging the gap between the world of design and the general public.
His design sensibilities are varied and can work in both traditional and contemporary styles. His interiors have most recently been published in Renovation Style Magazine.
I'm gonna pass on this! Not a fan at all. I guess I have too many bad memories from the 1970s! I might use a small accent piece, especially if the brass is weathered and antiqued, but nothing new and shiny.
Your post is incredible, can’t wait for more updates