Warm, gold-toned metals have been popping up more and more in modern and contemporary design. In magazines, websites, TV, and vendor websites, there has been a noticeable uptick in its utilization over the past year. Apparently I’m not the only one thinking this either.
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While searching for a few more images for my post, I ran across this Apartment Therapy post from just a couple weeks ago. Despite them beating me to the punch, I still wanted to go through with this post anyway.
I know what many of you are probably thinking: Gold? Brass? You mean the cheap stuff we were so excited to replace the first weekend after closing on our house? It’s back? Not exactly.
Because of the cheap “builder’s special” fake brass door hardware, chandeliers, boob-lights, and other light fixtures used in new construction for so long, there eventually was a big movement toward any metal that wasn’t gold-toned for the past 10 years or so. Oil-rubbed bronze, stainless steel, nickel…it didn’t matter as long as you replaced those fake brass doorknobs with something that wasn’t gold or bass looking and wasn’t on every new-construction home and apartment door in America. (Sadly, we still currently have the fake brass door hardware throughout most of our own house). The outfall of all this in turn made high quality gold and brass items fall out of favor with most people unfortunately as well. They got lumped in, labeled “dated”, and shunned.
However, in the world of high-end design, the use of gold and brass never truly died and that eventually has trickled back down. Fortunately, it isn’t the cheap metal or plastic that is painted to look (sort-of?) like brass that has made a comeback. Rather, similar to lots of other things in recent years, true vintage brass pieces as well as new pieces of high quality have slowly been becoming more popular again.
Let’s provide a few examples. One of the most popular areas to see brass or gold-toned metal used again is in both lamps and overhead light fixtures:
Now it may just be me, but not one of those spaces seems dated or boring or builder-basic to me. There are examples of modern, contemporary, and transitional design throughout those pictures and yet the brass light fixtures all look fantastic in those spaces. One of the things that helps? They are all very well-designed pieces.
Now let’s take a look at another area where warm-toned metals are popping up: accessories, accent pieces, and furniture.
Once again, all of these things can easily seem fresh and work well in even the most modern or contemporary spaces.
Finally, the other great example where warm-toned metals have been popping up a lot is in bath and kitchen fixtures. Take a look at some of these spaces that still look very hip utilizing brass:
One thing I would like to point out with nearly every single one of these examples is this: they are almost all paired with black & white, some form of blue, or some form of green. Gold can compliment these colors very well. So keep that in mind when deciding where to use a brass accent piece.
With all interior design, I always think it is very important to consider each room in context regardless of what is popular or trendy. Different types of metals are used in home decor for a reason. Just because someone may like stainless steel the best in isolation (like me) doesn’t mean that stainless steel is always the best choice in the context of a room. In some cases, brass may be just the color the room needs to give that designer look and warm up the space. Greys, blues, stainless steel, nickel: these are all things that are very popular right now and also all tend to be very cool/cold in terms of design. An accent statuette or simple vase in brass could potentially warm a space up a lot and give it that polished, magazine look.
In our own house, we don’t have any major brass or gold pieces but we have lots of little statuettes or decorative objects scattered throughout. It really catches your eye against the grey, white, and wood backdrops that make up a lot of our house. In other words: we aren’t brass-crazy but I also appreciate when others can use it tastefully in modern and contemporary design. We challenged ourselves to go outside of our comfort zone and use it some as well and it has turned out fantastic in our opinion. You’ll see some of these pieces as we reveal our home or share some of our thrift-shop finds.
Thoughts? Still hate warm-toned metals? Always loved brass?
Follow-Up: Check out the modern brass lamp we snagged.