It’s no secret that brass is back. From hardware to lighting and decorative accessories, this luxurious leaning metal has gained a firm foothold amongst design enthusiasts everywhere during the last 5 years. Regardless of which side of the fence you happen to stand on in regards to this trend, there can be no doubting the brass loving design sprawl that has taken place. It seems to have enamored everyone from your neo-trad trend setters to your vintage loving mid century connoisseurs. Those of you paying attention may have noticed that more permanent fixtures in the home have made their way onto the latest list of things to don a brassy finish.
Given the somewhat close proximity of our last go around with this phenomenon, I must admit it’s not entirely surprising that this option hasn’t been leaping off the shelves in droves, just yet. Many of us are still fresh from the experience of ridding our homes of the last remaining vestiges of those 90’s builder grade fixtures and trimmings, with all the orangey gold shine you could hope for. Not to worry, this most recent and modern take on this recurring brass theme doesn’t have much in common with our last gold laden fling. In fact, they are hardly recognizable as being related when you take finish and context into account.
That’s right — this go around hearkens back to the more Victorian variety of brass fixture adoration, with more muted, almost antique tones, and a definite nod to antiquity in terms of shape and style, yet with a decidedly modern manifestation of these traits. Many of the brands touting a brass finish for their fixture product lines have gone with a matte or brushed finish in similar fashion to how we have seen stainless or nickel most recently. It’s not as bright, certainly not as garish, and happens to have the absolutely modern added benefit of being much less apt to collect fingerprints and hard water stains.
The modern accessibility and functionality of these pieces gets my vote right out of the gate, but is it risky to choose a definitive color for such a permanent fixture in your home? I suppose the shades of silver found in the abundance of stainless steel appliances and brushed nickel fixtures are more common today, are also a specific color, yet somehow over the last many years of society adopting this finish as a general standard, we have rendered this particular metallic a neutral. Will brass fixtures be the next neutral, and will they follow suit by expanding into high end appliances? Or is brass perhaps destined to be kept at arm’s length, and remain solely in the world of hardware and decor with merely a momentary dalliance into fixtures for the kitchen and bath?