29 September 2014

And Now We All Love Brass Again

I remember a time when the sight of gold, brass, or bronze made me recoil in disgust. Can you tell that I'm very dramatic? That was when brushed nickel and the other cool metals were the popular kids in decor, thanks to a serious backlash from the cheap plastic/brass fixtures that filled every home built in the 1990's. 

Today's brass has an aged, authentic feel, rather than the bright, plasticky fixtures everyone is now spray-painting ORB.

This whole trendy design game is so cyclical. Who would have thought the warm metals would be so popular again? Perhaps anyone who was paying attention for more than a decade. 

The Huntington Bank Building,  below, is obviously not a trendy new downtown addition. It has been there for nearly a century. I wonder how many decor cycles of gold vs. silver this building has lived through.

I snapped this picture when we stayed in Cleveland two weeks ago for a concert.  

There are no fewer than three of these gorgeous architectural features, standing in a beautiful row: the revolving doors, a standard set of swinging doors, and a grand display window. Why did I only captured one you ask? My impatient hubby was walking at the brisk pace of a six-foot-two-inch tall man, and dragging me behind him.

Otherwise I would have stood beside the brass doors and pet them for a while, all the while purring. 

Maybe hubby knows best. How long is one person expected to stand and watch someone pet a grand historic facade? 

I'm trying so hard to be less dramatic and opinionated about these things as I watch the trends come and go. And I'm learning to stick with my own tried & true style rather than falling for every trend I see. (the chevron curtains stayed behind in Fargo)

But the return of gold/brass/bronze is pulling me in. After passing the gold lamp (below) in Target week after week, I finally gave in. I've wanted this style for the office for a while. So classic and timeless. It was a great price. I caved. Hubby approves. Schoolhouse Electric has a similar version, also gorgeous. Hubby probably wouldn't approve of the price.

I love my thrift store lamps:

I love small details like the antique brass hardware on the jelly cupboard I grew up with. (Side note: I'm thinking of removing the paint from this guy and maybe refinishing in a natural stain. This piece is so old. It was assembled with square forged iron nails, so mid/early 1800's?)

I love this tiny brass container that eventually landed on Maria's mantle:

I love this brass light fixture from Schoolhouse Electric:

This picture made me stop breathing for several seconds:


I wonder what the hot finish will be in five years. Anyone putting money on chrome? 

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  1. I'm struggling with all the brass everywhere---we're about to add hardware to our kitchen cabinets and I want to go with brushed nickel, but keep being told it will look dated from the start. Ah well, maybe in 20 yrs it will be trendy. Yet another reason to choose what you love (if you can decipher what you love from what trends have convinced you to love!). Btw, did you see the gold and silver decor pieces at Target? I thought that was a smart way to blend the past and present trends.

    1. Yes, you have to go with what you love. I love brass because it feels old, like it has a story. But with too much I may tire of it. If you like the look of brushed nickel, go for it! It has a clean, cool, modern feel in my opinion. Target is consistently nailing it! The Nate Berkus line and the Threshold line are fabulous!


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