Style at Home: Warm metals heating up in design
The other day my niece texted me: “Aunt Mary Carol, I’m having a debate with a friend, and we need your help to decide who is right. Is brass back in style?”
There was a bottle of wine at stake, so I couldn’t let her down. “Yes, brass is back in!” I assured her. Her swift reply: “You just won me a bottle of Prosecco. Only AWESOME aunts win their nieces booze!”
Friends and customers continue to be shocked by this fact as well. After the shiny brass craze of the ’80s, brass fell out of favor for a while, relinquishing its crown to silver. But brass is roaring back into designers’ plans and onto store shelves. Today’s look is oil-rubbed brass, with has the warmth and luster of brass, but not the high luster.
Can I tell you a secret? Brass never went out of style in my heart, or in my home. I’m still crazy about warm metals, like brass and gold. It’s a mainstay in my cottage, and always will be. The quirky chandelier that hangs in my stairwell, leading down to the lower level, is just right in a soft brass finish. In fact, all the photos in today’s blog are of my cottage, which is full of heart-melting warm metals.
When we were renovating our little cottage, and it was time to pick out fixtures, I asked for oil-rubbed brass faucets in my kitchen and bath. He was shocked. Everyone else was committed to silver at the time. But I liked the aged appearance of oil-rubbed brass, and I knew it would contribute to the look I was trying to create in the cottage, that of a house that had been here for decades.
I also shocked the builder when I told him I was A-OK with mixing metals in my home. In my book, the door handles, light fixtures, hinges, faucets and everything else do not need to match. In fact, I like a blend of metal finishes. This is a rule of thumb I follow throughout my home. Check out the photo above, of a collection of art in my cottage. All the frames are slightly different (and showcase warm metal!).
I’m a certified dish-a-haulic, and I love all my dishes with equal ardor. But the antique set rimmed in gold is among my most favorite. I like how they add warmth to my table, especially for winter and holiday dining.
The moral of the story? Don’t be afraid to embrace brass and other warm metals in your home decor. And, don’t ever bet against my niece, or it may cost you a bottle of wine!
This column was adapted from Mary Carol Garrity’s blog at nellhills.com.