Decorating Trend: Back in Brass?

Over the last week, I have been conversing with a lively forum of redesigners and stagers about how many current trends in design are “coming back.”   It all started with a comment on brass being the hot “new” finish for lighting and plumbing fixtures.  Most of the group was appalled, and were confused as to what to do with that information.  Maybe you are, too!  Maybe you’ve been doing your best to REPLACE all those shiny yellow brass doorknobs and hinges and fixtures – as well you should. 

 

The Dreaded Brass Doorknob

Calm down.  The brass we all have learned to hate is NOT coming back.  Brass is back, but with a different kind of finish.  No more yellow and shiny – think mellow and brushed.  It’s a warm finish that is much better, in my opinion, than the cold brushed nickel that dominated the last decade.

source

 

So all this talk led me to think about other trends that seem, at first glance, to be “coming back” in the design world.  Much like the bedrooms the children of the 70’s (including me) grew up in, wallpaper is everywhere in interior design.  But it isn’t the same – not the same small floral patterns that harken back to those days of Laura Ashley.  The wallpaper of today is about geometric patterns like hexagons, quatrefoil, and chevrons, or overscaled graphic florals.  Or if it is a familiar pattern (like toile), it’s likely in a fresh and unexpected colorway.

 

Wallpaper Is “In”

 

And then there’s avocado.  Young, hip people LOVE the color avocado but the over-40 set cringes at the memory of the avocado green appliances paired with harvest gold countertops in the kitchens of our youth.  Today’s avocado isn’t paired with harvest gold – it’s paired with blues.  And it’s FABULOUS. 

Avocado and Blues via House Beautiful

 

So when someone says something is “coming back” in vogue in the world of design, you may need to take a closer look.  Chances are it is a re-mixed, modified version of the original.  So for those of you who were thinking for a moment that your brass doorknobs are “coming back” so you don’t have to change them afterall, sorry.  And go ahead and chuck those shoulder pads you’ve been hanging onto, too.

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Linda
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Linda

what about leg warmers?…. Also, LOVE the avocado and blue image.

Michelle at Faith, Trust, & Pixie Dust
Guest

Fun post. I hope shiny brass is gone for a while longer! Not ready for that one! I keep telling my clients that wallpaper is back, but they resist more than accept. We’ll see.

Warmly, Michelle

Lee
Guest

harvest gold and avocado = the kitchen in the first house we ever bought. As you can guess there was also green shag carpet everywhere. The former owners must have been channeling Brady Bunch reruns. I like the avocado/blue much, much better!

LiveLikeYou
Guest
LiveLikeYou

Brassy gold door handles and chandeliers…yikes…but other than certain building materials I never notice what’s in and out. I always have my own strong feelings about certain design elements and colors in certain periods of my life. I fear I’m completely missing the trends!

Barbara
Guest

Fun post! It amazes me how trends return new and improved. By the time I replace all the polished brass door hardware in my home, the trend will be back!

Kelly @ JAX does design
Guest

Why did anyone ever think shiny brass was a good idea in the first place!? I’ve been replacing as much of the shiny brass as I can in our house, but still have all the knobs & door hinges. Ugh. I do really like the “new” brushed brass, though. It’s warm and rich, and doesn’t have the brashness of “old” brass.

Kelly
Guest

I am going to be referring clients to this post. You explained the difference of old/new brass perfectly! Great job!

Paula Doelling-Lynn
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Paula Doelling-Lynn

Kristie,

You definitely know how to get to the nitty-gritty of a post. You talk about content that people really are thinking. I like your design and color style. You write super conversationally and it’s hip like YOU.

lee
Guest
lee

I’m 61 the nickel craze never caught on with me however i found brushed stainless euro 9 inch cabinet pulls for $60 bucks for almost 40 ot them… i’m going to slap on 1960s solid wood cabinets painted black on bottom, white on top to suffice as a quick update until other more important projects are done.

Solid brass develops a deep rich patina
One of my favorite pairings is black cabinetry with beautiful solid brass hardware.

Pam Callan
Guest
Pam Callan

Hi, I am one of those people that have “shiny” brass hardware on the doors, fixtures, switch plates, and cabinet hardware from the 90’s. What I have is expensive Baldwin brass not the builder’s grade brass. I have fine dark cherry furniture and cabinets thru out my home and a Colonial Williamsburg influence that is timeless. I do love looking at the trends and colors in decorating. Please acknowledge that there are those of us who will not change from the “ugly” shiny brass to the new updated look and that there is a place for shiny brass always. Thanks… Read more »