A take on modern brass - WSJ

LanaRomaOctober 12, 2013

Work and home have kept me busy lately, and my presence on the Net was minimal.

If you remember my thread on colored kitchen appliances, I've got some good news: our old D/W gave up the ghost. We're shopping for a whole new set of appliances! Already found several models in bisque and even looked at a bisque-colored fridge at our Sears store.

There has been talk about brass coming back. I found this article in Wall Street Journal interesting. The side box "What Your Fixtures Say About You" is fun, although they forgot to include black metal and bronze (not oil-rubbed). My home assemblage of metals is chrome, patinated/vintage brass, black metal, brushed nickel and a small amount of copper. Have no oil-rubbed bronze at all - it never appealed to me.

I love the expression "organic modern". While the laconic forms of the past modernist styles appeal to me, the abundance of plastic, vinyl and fake finishes is off-putting. I'm very much into natural materials like wood, metal, stone, ceramic, wool, silk, cotton and leather. I even avoid polyester and steer away from acrylic when shopping for clothes!

Here is a link that might be useful: Going for the Brass

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I don't think it ever went completely out, just like gold jewelry didn't. But young people especially didn't want it. But now it's new and fresh looking after a couple of decades.

I noticed my 27 year old daughter wearing gold jewelry for the first time ever recently. I sell eye glasses and gold details on frames is very big this year. I think we are going to see more and more warm metals in the coming years.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 4:21PM
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Holly- Kay

Lana, nice to hear from you again. You commented on the bronze JennAir appliances that I loved but were discontinued. I ended up with SS.

I am so glad that you found appliances in bisque. Good for you!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 4:53PM
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I have never stopped wearing my jewelry, which is made up of yellow gold, white gold and diamonds, so always a mix of gold and silver colored pieces.

I never liked brass/gold fixtures in a bathroom and still don't. Don't like bronze or black either ... a bathroom has to be shiny and clean, which for me means chrome.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 6:30PM
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Happyladi: It definitely looks like warm tones are making more of a presence lately. Just a normal cycle of trends, I guess.

Holly-Kay: Thank you for your kind comment. DH and I have already decided what models would be right for us. Now we're hunting for the best deal. Oh, the thrill!

Chispa: Same here about brass/gold fixtures in a bathroom. I prefer chrome or brushed nickel in bathrooms, although I could agree that other metal tones could look good with certain decor styles.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 2:14AM
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Did brass in the bathrooms and kitchen in the 80's and it was a huge maintenance headache. My water tarnished the Dornbracht faucets, and waterspots on the basin in the powder room was a nightmare. Had the sink removed, lacquered & reinstalled to eliminate the constant polishing, but use the wrong cleaning solution and you'll damage the lacquer.

The only yellow finish that works around water is gold.

No thanks, no brass for me.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 11:00AM
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I like antique brass...not so shiny but still warm.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 1:22PM
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I noticed that these comments are from designers whose clientele have pretty hefty budgets. It is easy for them to gut everything when fasions change back, so it is easy for them to deride choices like chrome or brushed nickel as "safe" or for people "focused on resale value".

I can see brass in the right setting, and I like brass with some patina rather than the shiny look that seemed to be trying to be gold. I think like chispa - that in bathrooms I prefer a shiny chrome or polished nickel finish.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 2:09PM
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Interesting article. Thanks for posting it, Lana.

Brass clad refrigerators sound awfully pricey.

How do you suppose warm brass will look in the white modern kitchen? I always think of cool white with cool toned fixures/pulls.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 3:31PM
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I think any finish has a potential place in the right bathroom.

Rubinet offers several whites, maroon, aqua and black. Newport Brass, Phylrich, and others offer 20 or more finishes, some of them. I like brass, but it has to be in right house, just like anything else. (Aqua?)

Somebody must be using those, or they wouldn't offer them. There is more out there than chrome, nickel, (ORB, and brass). Maybe the safest thing to do is something that's rarely used.

The question is, why does someone feel the need to redo fixtures just because they speak to a different era? I usually find the shape or style of faucets dates as much as the finish. (And all the "Victorian" or "Early 20th c." styles so common now are probably going to bug people as much in upcoming decades as the white acrylic knob on brass seems to bug people now.) People don't seem to talk about shapes that much.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 3:43PM
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