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Get this look: Brass is back

Published: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 12:53 p.m. CST

Previously eschewed as dated, brass is making a strong resurgence in home design this year. But the trick, as with anything, is to strike a balance. Small touches of brass will make a room feel current, not straight out of the ’80s.

“Brass has an old-wealth, Hollywood-regency sense of glamour,” said interior designer Vanessa DeLeon. “And gold is a hot commodity. Why not infuse it into your space?”

master bedroom

A brass mirror, frames and light fixtures blend well in this master bedroom designed by Tucker & Marks.

As an accent

The key with brass and gold in a room is moderation.

A brass light fixture is a simple addition.

A brass light fixture is a simple addition to this Talianko Design Group dining room.

“You don’t want to use too much,” said DeLeon. ”Do it in small amounts, small doses. You don’t have to put every piece of gold in the room because it’s in vogue. The overall aesthetic should infuse it in the room to make a statement.”

Try brass in:

  • Smaller furniture items — DeLeon suggests a brass bar cart or a coffee table with brass legs.
  • Vases, candle holders and other small accessories
  • Picture frames or mirrors

If you want to make a bigger statement, try wallpaper with metal accents.

gold wallpaper lamp

A gold-printed wallpaper coordinates well with a brass lamp. Design by Vanessa DeLeon Associates.

“They’re doing such great things with metals — gold and brass wallpapers,” said DeLeon. “Just do it on a wall, behind a nook or behind the bed. I did a vinyl gold wallpaper on a ceiling. It was very unexpected, but it made the room.”

Metal mixing

If you live in a newer home, it’s likely most of your fixtures — in the kitchen and bath — are silver or chrome. But if you’re adding brass as an element, you don’t have to commit to changing everything out.

entryway deleon

Antique light fixtures add a mix of metals in this design by Vanessa DeLeon Associates.

“Mixing metals is pretty hot,” said DeLeon. “Even a combo of champagne, gold, silver — it’s pretty striking, and it has lasting power because you’re not putting in all one color.”

The key in mixing metals is to find a commonality between the items you mix. Do an arrangement of photo frames — some brass, some gold, some silver, but each of the same style. Or, try an arrangement of candelabras, all in different metal tones but in the same shape.

The ceiling features a gold print, but the legs of the coffee table are silver.

The ceiling features a gold print, but the legs of the ottomans are silver. Design by Vanessa DeLeon Associates.

You can even mix in gold, silver and brass handles on doors or fixtures throughout a home.

“It’s no longer all matchy-matchy,” said DeLeon.

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