Warm Metals Melt My Heart

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 at Nell Hill’s 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, which has the warmth but not the high luster of its predecessor.

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 photo above is of the quirky chandelier that hangs in my stairwell, leading down to the lower level. It’s 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. My contractor 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 contractor 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 a warm metal look).

You will find brass and gold accents throughout my home. On the coffee table ottoman in my living room, I mixed a silver tray with a bowl featuring gold leaf.

I’m a certified dish-a-haulic, and I love all my dishes with equal ardor. But this antique set, with its gold rim, is among my most favorite. I like how these dishes 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 décor. And, don’t ever bet against my niece, or it may cost you a bottle of wine!

Next Week … We’ll tour a friend’s beautiful bedroom, inspired by her trip to Italy.