For the past several years in home décor, the clean, streamlined look of minimalism has become immensely popular. The only downside to this pared down aesthetic is a lack of visual warmth and feeling of coziness. You don’t have to start adding clutter to make your home feel lived in; the solution is much easier. Interior designers, real estate agents, and the manufacturers of hardware, faucets, and lighting are touting the universal appeal of brass accents for enhancing a home’s casual vibe.
We’re not saying the bright, shiny brass that was everywhere in the 1980s and ’90s is coming back. On the contrary, it’s time to let those dated pieces go and refresh your living space with today’s warmer brass tones that are muted and soft. According to lighting expert and trend pundit Jeffrey Dross of Lighting by Jeffrey in Cleveland, “I see the pendulum swinging back from Minimalism to [a degree of] Maximalism, where we’re moving into this brushed gold and natural brass [look] for probably the next 15 years.”
1. It provides instant warmth
There is something magical about the feel-good glow coming from brass, much like the comfort of feeling sunshine on your face on a cold day. In popular room settings featuring white and bright sofas, rugs, and walls, a soft brass finish on cabinet and door hardware, kitchen and bath faucets, and lighting fixtures mellows out the harsher edges of today’s Contemporary furnishings. As the home specialists at Realtor magazine noted recently, brass finishes give the home a “warmer” appearance to potential buyers.
A brass finish on the interior of a shaded pendant or dining fixture will also reflect that golden tone downward, adding a warm glow to the table surface as well as to those dining below, almost like candlelight would.
2. It goes with most everything
One of the seldom-mentioned features of brass is that it plays so nicely with others. With today’s kitchen trends for deeply hued cabinets and islands in blue, green, and even black, a muted brass finish complements the other colors without stealing the show.
Even in neutral-toned design schemes, soft brass adds a pop of elegance and an element of sophistication. There’s a casual formalness to these warm, non-polished brass finishes that the ubiquitous metallic silver finishes like stainless steel and chrome don’t always offer.
With the increasing popularity of copper sinks, appliances, and backsplashes in modern kitchens, soft brass accentuates the warm glow of copper handsomely without being too matchy-matchy.
3. It creates a wow factor
One aspect that will not go out of style is the visual oomph that a brass chandelier, pendant, ceiling lighting fixture, wall sconce, or table lamp provides. A flash of brass makes a statement, but it’s up to you on how much attention it brings. The 1980s was about showing off bling, and the shiny look of polished brass suited the era perfectly. It’s 30 years later, however, and modern times call for the understated elegance that a warm and soft brass finish imbues.
If you want the lighting to serve as the centerpiece of the room – drawing the eye upward toward a beautiful ceiling and allowing the furnishings to play a supporting role – selecting a lighting fixture with an overall finish in warm brass or brushed gold will convey instant glamour in a subtle manner.
Looking for even more visual impact? Pairing warm brass with matte black is a popular way many interior designers inject a feeling of opulence into today’s interiors. It’s both dramatic and luxurious at the same time!
For the most versatile accompaniment to your existing furnishings, selecting table lamps, sconces, chandeliers, and lighting fixtures with clean lines and little ornamentation is a sure bet for achieving a modern, fresh look in your home that is also warm and inviting.
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