How to Update When Your Hardware is All Brass

One of my favorite new clients and her husband just bought a large 1970’s home with TONS of potential. The architecture and floorplan of the home is amazing, but because it was built in the 1970s, there are a few quirky things we are going to have to work on.

boob light in entry

before 

While I love, love, love the wood parquet in the entry, the massive boob light just has to go.  It threatens to impale their small children whenever they run through this space.

boob light

big, scary boob light

All of the hardware in the home – door knobs, hinges, light switches – are currently brass.  And this beautiful chandelier in the dining room has an antique gold finish.  My client asked if we should replace the chandelier below, and I said NO!

antique gold chandelier

antique gold chandelier

 

I knew there was a way to bring my client’s home up-to-date without ripping out all the light fixtures and existing hardware.  Last week, we spent some time shopping for lighting and decided on this updated fixture for the entry, except we ordered it in a different finish – winter gold.

entry lighting fixture

new entry lighting from Graham’s Lighting

The finish you see in the photo is an iron one – winter gold is a blend of gold and silver (some call it champagne), and it will work beautifully with the existing hardware in her home.  The finish looks like this:

winter gold finish

winter gold finish on Capital Lighting pendant

While gold finishes are trending, they are a bit different than the cheap gold finishes we saw 1970 through 1990.  The new gold finishes are a bit toned down, or else they are full-on brass that are paired with so much modern that you know it was chosen on purpose to make a statement!

gold brass lighting trend

via Pinterest

So don’t despair if your home is filled with gold doorknobs and antique brass chandeliers.  You can update the whole look by changing out a few of your dated light fixtures with those in a winter gold finish.  And PLEASE, start with replacing the boob lights.

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Angela
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Angela

Just curious, as I am in the midwest and surrounded by oak, would you still recommend a winter gold finish to update brass?

beth lester
Guest

Love the new lighting!! I haven’t heard of winter gold, so I will check it out. Thanks.

Kathie Leier
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Kathie Leier

If your client is willing to sell her “boob light” reasonably, please ask her to get in touch with me.
Thanks you.

Jil Sonia Interiors
Guest

I saw that Winter Gold finish on a website lately and wondered what it looked like in real life!
Thanks for sharing, I think this is a super idea to make use of existing brass in client’s homes!
Love it. Also, can’t wait to see what you do with this home 🙂

Linda
Guest

yup, the boob lights really date a home. Even though my house was built in 2000 there were boob lights in every single room. UGGH!

Kate
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Kate

Interesting post – BUT it would have been actually helpful to suggest painting rather than replacing for those of us not on unlimited budgets.

Bethany
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Bethany

What about the shiny brass door handles and hinges from the 80s? Brass is being shown in all the decorating magazines again. I have them, don’t like them but worry if I replace them with silver tones, in a couple of years everyone will be returning to brass again. In a few years will everyone look at the dark-oiled, brush nickel and chrome like we’re currently disliking the shiny brass?

Kathy
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Kathy

I think the light would have looked better if the interior wasn’t so light, so maybe it is perfect for Kathie or someone else. I assume you are selling cheap since you hate it so much!

Kathy
Guest
Kathy

Unlacquered brass has a nice mellow patina but needs to be polished once in awhile or it will eventually turn to something like hand-rubbed bronze. If you have solid brass, the bright lacquered finish can be removed, but most hardware from the 80’s is plated, and removing the lacquer would remove the finish, so painting can be an option. Most new finishes on hardware, such as Antique Brass and Hand-Rubbed Bronze, are actually painted in the factory, and will eventually wear or chip off.

RitaEmilia
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RitaEmilia

To me the new chosen chandeliers are a lot creepier than the the “scary” boob tube. Although modern they actually look like something from an old Vincent Price horror movie. And, would they really go with a beautiful dental crown molding? To me it is the parquet floor is both visually intolerable and “dates” the home. Lastly, everyone in our cul de sac has brass knobs and we like them. By the way, if the lady from Canada changes her mind on the “boob” light, my neighbor would like it. Although, I see them still in most current catalogs from… Read more »

ritaemilia
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ritaemilia

To me the parquet floors are visually intolerable and truly date the home. Also, would the beautiful dental molding be appropriate with new chosen modernistic chandeliers? I do not like the chandeliers that you have chosen. A bit banal. We do not understand the problem with brass hardware. All five houses in our cul de sac have them and we do not mind them. Why do you call them dated? My next door neighbor would also like the “boob” light if the lady from Canada does not desire to purchase.

Molly Morris
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Molly Morris

I’m not convinced! I still hate my brass door knobs and I have the ugliest brass faucet with the plastic “crystal” knobs. The plumber quoted me $2,000 to change it out since it would involve new holes in the tub, etc. Might be easier to just replace the whole tub. UGH!

kelly
Guest

I just had a client purchase a similar light- Capital Lighting fixture orb. Beautiful light and color! Thanks for posting.

Karen Coyle
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Karen Coyle

I am not so happy with the brass door knobs in our recently purchased (35 yr. old) home. We are looking to replace with the lever-type handles, and wondering if oil rubbed bronze or antique brass would have more “staying power”? Thanks for any help you can give.

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[…] have a few hideous and dated light fixtures? One of my favorite finishes for new light fixtures is WINTER GOLD. Mixing metals is a hot trend, and because it’s kinda between gold and silver, winter gold […]

Sheri
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Sheri

Most of my fixtures are winter gold. The door hardware is brushed nickel throughout the house. My question is, what finish hardware would you use in the kitchen. The perimeter is a rich brownish glazed cabinets. The island is cream glazed with the darker perimeter color. All appliances are stainless. The sink is white fire lay with typhoon granite counters. I want the handles to be the jewelry of the kitchen and for them to stand out on both finishes. What finish would you go with?

Sheri
Guest
Sheri

I am not a really a fan of shiny hardware. Would satin nickel or a weathered nickel copper work?