Polished brass continues to shine.
Brass, an alloy of two metals (copper and zinc), whose ratio can be modified to obtain different degrees of hardness and aesthetic finishes, was a huge trend for 2013 in all sectors of home design. Highly versatile, it can be used in a wide range of products such as cabinet and door hardware, lamp bases and light shapes, candle holders, picture frames, decorative items, and plumbing fixtures. It is a particularly popular choice these days for bathrooms and the trend will likely continue in the future.
Here are some of my favorite examples of brass hardware:
1. Mandy Milk’s bathroom renovation, Canadian House and Home | 2. John Derian, The Make-Under, T Magazine | 3. Interior: 1 month Makeover, Style at Home | 4. Chic Design Investments LLC
1/ Vintage modern: In Mandy Milk’s bathroom renovation, brass is wonderfully used to pick up an otherwise dark color palate. The brass just works so well here tying in the different colors and shapes of the tile with the dark color of the tub and its vintage brass claw feet. I am absolutely amazed how big this bathroom looks after renovation in contrast to the super small cramped “before” pictures and I think the shiny brass really makes the difference here.
2/ Salvaged vintage: When transforming his NY East Village loft, home decor designer John Derian didn’t seek to hide all the imperfections that made the place authentic. Instead he chose to highlight them by going with an interior design that is understated, worn and vintage. The dark grout between the white subway wall and hex floor tile is a great example. The salvaged vintage brass faucets and fixtures are another. It picks up the space and gives it a bit of richness it might lack otherwise. I love this bathroom so much.
3/ Restored vintage: Canadian TV host Karen Bertelsen and author of the very funny and informative blog The Art of Doing Stuff, had the privilege of using the vintage plumbing that had been carefully preserved in her 170 year old home. Kudos to her for keeping and restoring all the stunning original brass hardware!
4/Bright modern: With the brass trend in full effect, there are plenty of new shiny brass fixtures on the market which interior designers are using to full effect. Interior design company Chic Design (from my home state of Oregon!) used brass in this remarkable bathroom renovation which united 2 attic rooms. Here, the brass makes an already bright bathroom seem even brighter.
Bring on the brass: D-type shower rod in polished brass by Kingston Brass | Brass shower kit from Light in the Box |Keswick Exposed Wall Mount Shower and Tub Faucet by Whittington | Exposed Bath/Shower Floor Entry Set (Brass Gold) from Bunnings | Morracain engraved brass faucet from Laloly Shop
The last faucet above is artisanal hand crafted brass from Morocco available at Laloly Shop. This outlet store in Bordeaux, France has a wide selection of Moroccan ornate brass home decor objects. The items could easily work with a very vintage western styled bathroom or used to add an ethnic bohemian flair (think Bill Willis circa 1979).
Oji Masanori’s Brass Towel Hanger and bookshelf base for Futagami.
Brass can also be simply sublime like the gorgeous products from Japanese luxury brass livingwear company Futagami. I love this statement about Brass on their website:
Brass has long been used in various fields such as metal fittings for architecture, ships, and furniture as it has corrosion resistance property and moderate workability. It has a long history as a material for arts and crafts or Buddhist alter equipment as its texture is gentle with an elegant luster. Brass products gradually change their color over the course of many years due to oxidization. The longer they are used, the richer and subtler they become, dissolving into the human heart and the environment.
Thus, brass is a living product that will age and evolve with time.
Inspired by Roman & Williams’ R.W. Atlas collection for Waterworks, I would love to mix antique brass fixtures with new plumbing components to create a special ”vintage industrial” faucet for our double basin sink.
The Bridge deck-mounted lavatory faucet in unlacquered brass. Photo William Brinson, styling Kate Jordan. Image via Architectural Digest
1940s brass faucets from Lassco | Exposed piping faucet credit unknown
Yeah, I know, that could look like a DIY steampunk project gone wrong, but luckily we have a plumber friend on hand who can help!
- I found some interesting pictures and resources at the site Claw Foot Tub Shower.
- See 650+ examples of bathrooms I think are beautiful on my Pinterest board Bath.