It may have seemed like a thing of the past, but it's true: Brass is making a return. Starting with a reappearance of gold decorative accessories, the return of brass is a nice change from the coolness of brushed nickel or stainless steel in lighting, decorative pieces and plumbing fixtures. If you've avoided brass, think again; this glowing throwback might be just what you need to update your decor with an up-and-coming vibe.
SHINE ON, SHINE OFF
The biggest difference between brass of the past and today's brass fixtures is the cheap polished brass "finish" that was so overdone. Genuine brass has a softer patina and warm, natural glow compared to the gold-colored fixtures of past decades. Genuine brass is classic and timeless, even when highly polished.
Today's brass looks new, feels updated and adds a sophistication that's a far cry from 1980s brass. Scout for brass fixtures online or at local home centers. You'll see more options for adding brass than we've seen in the past 25 years. The key to keeping brass looking fresh and new is to embrace the less-is-more approach.
JUST A BIT
Like gold jewelry, brass is better in small doses. A single brass fixture can make a statement, but too much brass will look cheap and dated.
Pick out a single gold light fixture to add a pop of bright color and give your space an added touch of luxury. To give your home a golden glow, try adding a single brass faucet in your powder room for some glimmer and a spark of brightness. Look for places where your brass fixture or accessories will pop.
One of the best ways to use brass, and one that keeps it in check, is to mix it with other complementary metals such as bronze, stainless steel or iron. Try replacing nickel or stainless steel cabinet knobs and drawer pulls with brass versions to dress up your kitchen. Or add an oversized gold light fixture over an island to make a chic statement.
ANOTHER BRASS NEWCOMER
Antique gold bronze, sometimes called "champagne" bronze, is a quieter brass. It still has the glow of brass, but the added touch of bronze makes it instantly fit in almost any decor with any other mix of metals. Look for it in lamps and lighting fixtures.