Yes, Brass is back. Everything 80's is coming back around in the circle of fashion at the moment (some of which should have been long forgotten), and along with the big earrings that I saw in Christine last week in Melbourne, gold jewellery has had a revival. I dug out my late 80's/ early 90's gold costume jewellery around 2 years ago. At the time, it felt rather daring. Now it doesn't seem even remotely so.

And so too have trends in kitchen design evolved. I posted about the powder room plan a few weeks ago, and noted that I was likely to choose a brass tap, due to the gilt mirror etc. Well, while drawing and redrawing up the plans for the kitchen (almost finished! Just have to present it to my client, Mr AV, who is en route from New York as I type. Hopefully there won't be WW3 over the whole thing), one thing I have been thinking about are the cupboard/ joinery pulls, and the tap. I purchased a tap at the Mary Noall warehouse sale a couple of years ago. It's a Hansgrohe (pretty much the top of the line in tapware) in brushed stainless steel. It cost $600, which was 50% off. I wasn't totally in love with the style at the time, but I thought it was such a good price, that I'd be stupid to leave it behind. Hansgrohe taps are also excellent taps - should last for decades, and it has a pull out pot washing thing on the end of it. Sorry for the poor image quality. It's from the Hansgrohe website. I could use this as the Laundry tap instead.....

But with the evolution of my kitchen research, I've been thinking a lot about brass finishes. The newer brass finish is unlacquered (so not the plastic shine of the 80's) and can also come in an antiqued brass finish. This tap below is an Edwardian tap that has been restored. It's already sold (and couldn't be legally fitted in Australia), but I love the mix of simple lines and old school styling.

The other major trend is to mix metals. This is something that is done in Europe and England anyway, but is gaining traction in the US (and seen as rather daring). I have always mixed metals as I feel it looks right. Too much of the same ends up with matchy-matchy problems, which as I've explained before with colours that match too perfectly, ends up with a showhouse type feel, rather than a layered and comfortable interior.

So, I'm going to have a stainless steel oven, and a stainless steel sink (not a huge choice for something different at any rate), but maybe with a brass tap and brass cupboard pulls, in a modern style. Here are some photos I've found while trawling the internet for inspiration. The first image has door pulls that I like - simple and fairly unobtrusive.

Source: via Adelaide on Pinterest

So, Brass is staging a comeback, with the more clinical stainless steel and chrome will fall a little by the wayside. It certainly won't go completely out - too many Architects love stainless steel for it to disappear (as brass did for the past 10 years), but the new mixing of metals, including pewter and nickel   mean that there's certainly a world of choice out there.


  1. I love the look of using mixed metals Heidi. There was an article in Vogue Living this month about different metals in bathrooms and they looked spectacular. As the writer put it - luxury without ostentation!
    K xx

    1. Hi K, I'll have to go back and re-read my copy of VL. There's been a bit floating around in the design world of late about the trend, and I keep forgetting where I've seen bits and pieces. I remember around 2 years ago seeing a modern style, large shiny gold tap in a bathroom showroom in South Melbourne and thinking yuck. Still would with that particular tap, but the shock of the gold has definitely worn off! xx

  2. maybe this is wrong of me, but I like brass.

    I need to keep more stuff in case it comes back x

    1. You're too thorough in your clean outs FF! I tend to keep all the 'good' stuff, if it's small (like Jewellery). I now look back and think of things I've chucked though and am sad too! xx

  3. We have brass door handles in most rooms but stainless steel taps and cupboard knobs etc. I must admit though it was more by accident than design. Obviously I am before my time in mixing metals....

    When we moved to The Farmhouse it did have three large good quality 80s brass light fittings which I must admit to taking down as they were a bit much for me. Fashion or no fashion. I gave them to an older lady whose husband works for us and she just loves them so that saved me any guilt associated with removing them.

    I do like the soft brass and also copper. I have given up trying to be too fashionable at home. At the end of the day my house sits in the middle of a paddock!

    Hope you are having a good weekend. School goes back here tomorrow. Sigh of relief.

    1. I did that in our house, over 2 years ago too - as it's Victorian, all the door knobs are old worn brass, which I like. The bathrooms I did all chrome though, handles were ignored. I have an absolutely hideous light fitting in the study. It's earmarked for removal, but the chandelier I liked sold (not surprising, I went back to the antique store a year later...) and I haven't found anything else yet. People come in all the time and say how lovely it is, but it's an 80's repro Victorian shiny brass number, and is Enormous. I always feel like it's going to fall on my head when I'm sitting on the sofa. I think you did the right thing in getting rid of yours. There's brass, and then there's brass......
      Enjoy your first child free day tomorrow... I've been so glad that mine have been back, as Mr AV was away in NY all week and I think I probably would have had a breakdown if it was still the holidays!! xx

  4. Agree whole-heartedly and did a recent post of my similar observations. Love your thoughts here. The gold colour seems somehow very 'right' juxaposed with contemporary joinery. Am hoping to add bits here and there with my build too. (Or go rummage in our storage basement where hubby has hidden all his antique treasures!)
    x KL

    1. You're lucky you've got a box to rifle through KL. I used to work with builders who built their whole houses using bits and pieces left over from sites (or removed from them in demolition phase). All sorts of treasures (and some not so treasures too!) xx

    2. Ah, yes. My hubby is guilty of thrifting this way too; with generally good strike rates of success. I look forward to using the four square metres of Black Bisazza tiles one day and our temporary kitchen (in the laundry) is kitted out with a client's old kitchen which was saved from the skip after demolition. Recycling at its best, even though only for a limited period!
      x KL


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