Interior design trends aren’t unlike fashion trends: things that were once considered stylish become outdated, while long-forgotten designs often enjoy a revival. One trend, however, is not only making a roaring comeback; it looks like it’s going to stay for good.
What is it, you ask? None other than brass fixtures for homes. In fact, even the venerable Martha Stewart is a fan of this copper-zinc alloy, as this article from CNN.com relates:
“People are rediscovering how beautiful it is,” says Martha Stewart, who has amassed an impressive collection of brass treasures, particularly trays, from all over the globe.
“I am always searching for new pieces,” she says.
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But shopping for the “mellow metal,” as she calls it, doesn’t have to feel like an exhausting treasure hunt anymore. Thanks to the renewed interest, both mainstream design shops and specialty boutiques now stock brass wares. And with good reason: The metal, an alloy of copper and zinc, is strong; it won’t rust; and it can be forged into a variety of shapes.
According to design experts, people of the 90s favored the aura of cool minimalism that metals like aluminum and chrome lent, which is why brass became passé. Midway into the 2010s, though, folks began looking into the past for design inspirations, and many of them now buy vintage or handcrafted items for their homes. Rotax Metals, which distributes brass sheet metal, says that the alloy’s soft, golden color evokes the warmth and glamor of bygone days, which explains the renewed interest in this metal.
It doesn’t hurt either that brass is relatively inexpensive compared to other yellow metals like bronze and especially gold. Furthermore, one of its major drawbacks, the excessive sheen, has become a non-issue due to advances in metallurgy. Brass used to be notoriously hard to maintain, so products were often lacquered to make them easier to clean; unfortunately, this also made them shiny to the point of being tacky. Now, people use raw brass, which is not only less sparkly, but also develops an attractive patina over the years.
Versatile, glamorous, and affordable, brass is certainly in the midst of a renaissance as more people rediscover its unique beauty. It’s no wonder, then, why many furniture manufacturers and interior designers order items like custom brass extrusions to add a touch of warmth and class to homes.
(Source: Home decor’s hottest metal: Brass is back, CNN.com, January 23, 2014)