It’s time to be as bold as brass with your decor as metallics shine in interior design.
Shimmering metallic fabrics won a gold medal for catwalk style this spring and the look also started to dominate our homes.
If you think of brass in with the brash metals of the flamboyant eighties and vulgar set, it’s time to think again. When a noble metallic such as brass is done well it is classic and timeless. The rule is not to go overboard by using everywhere but to use sparingly, in small flourishes, to enrich and balance a neutral colour scheme.
Metallic shades of furnishings, decorative mirrors, artwork and accessories, can all accentuate a room. Metallics also reflect light, adding a tinge of 1920’s and Hollywood glamour to your interiors.
La Marea restaurant at The Tides, South Beach, Miami – designed by Kelly Wearstler – illustrates how sumptuous the use of brass and metallics can be.
Following the popularity of nickel and chrome, the firm favourite for the trendsetters in recent years is a revisit to the glorious warm tones of brass. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc which won’t rust and is easily malleable.
Martha Stewart, who collects brass pieces around the world, told Martha Stewart Living: “People are rediscovering how beautiful it is.”
But rather than the shiny, polished look of days gone by, the most coveted look is literally tarnished. Untreated, unlacquered, rough-and-ready metals are the new style kings – their patina an attraction in itself. These ‘post-modern’ metals can be seen as an offshoot of the ‘shabby chic’ look, which was all about the beauty of faded, imperfect pieces, with their tattered fabric and peeling paint.
If you want to bring out the patina of your metallics, yourself then simply leave them in situ. Untouched brass still start to darken within a month, although you can quicken the process by placing the item in hot water to speed up the oxidation. Too much however, will turn an object black. Also avoid storing an object in newspaper, with its acidic ink. Use flannel bags or acid-free tissue paper.
Designer Mark Holmes explained why he chose brass for his new Minimalux brand to Dezeen magazine.
He said: “Solid non-lacquered brass is a material that ages beautifully to create a rich natural patina but it also has the capacity to be brought back to life and returned to a bright polished shine.
“Part of the attraction in this is the idea that if it is nurtured and taken care of it will last forever – a refreshing concept in this day and age and our present throw-away culture.”
Paul de Zwart, founder of Wallpaper Magazine and UK brand Another Country, explained that brass “has a textural quality that works with oak, particularly for a domestic setting”.
Brass in particular can bring warmth into a room, but all corroded, tarnished metals offer a richness of texture and colour. The contrast between shiny, polished surfaces and patches of patina can make them intriguing, authentic pieces of art and attraction.
The Leaf Mirror from Ginger & Jagger is inspired by autumnal leaves and is available in brass or antique brass. The leaves are created by a moulded cast process from real leaves layered in a concentric convex mirror.
Maya Wall Tile creates a luxurious look, in either brass, semi-brass, dark brass or bronze, or a combination of these metals. Produced by acclaimed contemporary lighting company, CTO Lighting.
For a real sense of Hollywood glamour, the Jezebel Folding Screen features antique mirror and polished brass panels, supported by slender golden pillars.
Created by KOKET-Love Happens, a young brand from the Portuguese company Menina Design Group. Janet Morais is the creative director.
This Steel Plate Wall Light has an early 20th century character and produces a subtle back light while being a piece of artwork in its own right. The steel plate was originally commissioned for a custom superyacht interior, to add to the glam factor.
The plate is in Mayan Gold but the fixture is also available in other metallic finishes. By British design company Porta Romana.
The Big Bea Loveseat is pictured here in Sudden 003, which gives a coppery metallic-style sheen. Constructed in a solid ash frame with lacquered finish, it is available in a wide choice of fabrics. From the craftsmen at Porada.
The Diva Double Chaise Longue was designed by GuillermoT of Ascension Latorre. Evoking old Hollywood glamour, it combines style with comfort and practicality. Pictured here in Series S fabric, it is also available in other metallic shades and sheens.
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