We’ve seen brass hardware making a serious come back in recent years. The resurgence of brass comes in new finishes and styles, much different from the basic shiny brass door knobs so many homes have had at one point. Designer Shaleesa Mize of Little Pacific Design Studio tells us why she loves using brass in projects, no matter what style!
I vividly remember one of the first projects I felt was the perfect opportunity to pull in brass finishes. I was discussing the specifications with the contractor and the minute I said brass, his jaw dropped. He hadn’t seen brass finishes used in a long time, and to many people, it seems like a dated choice. Here’s the thing though — brass is coming back in some of the most beautiful, updated designs of plumbing fixtures, lighting, hardware, and more! It brings the perfect amount of warmth to a space and I haven’t regretted the decision once. From traditional to modern, I’ve found ways to incorporate brass into all sorts of projects. Today, I’m sharing all the reasons I love brass as well as my best tips for blending it into a design concept.
Brass Finish Options
Brass has about a dozen different finish options — polished brass (lacquered and unlacquered), satin brass, and antique brass — just to name a few. Be aware that brass is not to be confused with gold, which can actually have a very different color tone and look! Every manufacturer has its own variation and name for their brass finishes. It’s important to be aware of this when selecting from different retailers, particularly when choosing items that may be close together in the space so they don’t look mismatched. It can certainly take some patience to get it just right by doing initial research or ordering finish samples to prevent mistakes and product returns!
If you’re interested in ordering samples, contact The Hardware Hut’s awesome customer service team, and they can help you out, (800) 708-6649. Some brands offer free or discounted samples, while others do not.
Design Styles for Brass
The finish I select for projects is dependent on the style preferences of the client and home. In general, polished or antique brass seems to work best in more traditional homes. Satin brass is more flexible and can be used in a traditional or modern home. The important factor is not necessarily the finish, but also the shape and style of the piece itself. For example, a brass faucet for a modern home should have sleek lines and an overall feeling of simplicity. A brass light fixture for a traditional home might have some extra detail or curves. For this mid-century modern home, we used satin brass hardware for the cabinetry, but we made sure to look for a style that was minimalist and modern in shape. You can purchase the finger pull hardware here, and the cone knobs here.
Mixing Brass with Other Metals
Still nervous to commit to brass? Dip your toes into mixing metals by adding brass in smaller details, like cabinet hardware. For most designs, I select two metal finishes…a primary and a secondary metal. Mixing metals adds visual interest to the space and brings something unexpected. While brass was not the dominant metal in this mid-century home, it played a very important role in the overall concept. The satin brass cabinet hardware provided warmth and sparkle to each room. When selecting hardware for this home, we loved how the brass elevated the design of the walnut vanities. If we stuck with matte black, the hardware would have practically disappeared!
Bring the Unexpected
Don’t be afraid to change things up and have a little fun! Your finishes don’t have to match, and neither does the style. While we like to keep things cohesive, there are occasions that call for rules to be broken. In this home, the walnut cabinets all looked their best with the satin brass hardware. However, the large built-in cabinets in the family room needed something with a larger scale. We found a satin brass bar pull that was pretty sleek, with gentle curves, but still felt pretty modern. It felt right to change up the hardware, but overall, the design still coordinates with the rest of the home. Design is in the details, and it doesn’t matter where those are found — hardware, plumbing, lighting, or somewhere else. Follow what inspires or excites you, and you are sure to be happy with the results!
For a full reveal of the Helena Residence project shown, you can head over to the Little Pacific Design Studio blog to see the full project reveal and construction process.