Musings from a life of chances and changes
Brass Is Back And Beautiful
We all have our passions. I come by one of mine honestly. My mother and grandmother were decorators. They used their coveted Chicago Merchandise Mart card to enter the Kennedy owned mecca for all things interior design to score wonderful furniture and furnishings for clients, friends, and family. As a child, I took the long trip from Skokie into the City, made longer because my mother never drove on the highway, and once inside the Mart, we walked the massive corridors filled with showrooms of every imaginable type and style. Not feeling overwhelmed in that environment was a challenge. But after years of "don't touch that", graduating to "what do you think of this fabric on that chair?" I felt comfortable as an "apprentice" and looked forward to using my own Mart card one day. Even though my career path resulted in my becoming an attorney and later a realtor, I continued to be obsessed with design. I'd scour over every Architectural Digest, House Beautiful and a multitude of other design magazines; I continued to visit showrooms and stores: and I believed I was connected to the latest trends and products. It's now twenty-three years since my home addition and renovation. Trends, like most things, come and go. Although I still think I know quality decorating when I see it, I recently felt like the old proverb about shoemaker's child going barefoot. A new dinner guest remarked that she would change out my brass kitchen hardware for stainless. I'm thinking..."my decorating is so...1993." How can I advise clients how to present their home for sale in the best light if I'm in the dark? Staging is an incredibly important aspect of a real estate sale transaction. Wondering how I could let myself go and in an effort to seem less out of touch I turned to some of the experts in design...I give you my first installment of BergerBroker Doing Design.Now is the time to focus on what is hip, (if that's even cool anymore), as reported by numerous sources. Incredibly my outdated, worn, brass hardware is in vogue. But before I feel all smug and content I need to back this up. Thankfully an article in House Beautiful from 2015 did my job for me when looking at this major trend.
"Keep a sharp eye out for brass to become one of the major players when choosing finishes for lighting, drapery hardware, and kitchen/bath hardware. We've suffered through a long drought of only polished or brushed chrome/nickel for long enough." I'm thinking that suffering from polished or brushed chrome/nickel is a bit extreme, but my brass hardware is not ideal. It is not supposed to be brassy. "This new brass is also a decidedly old one - it's not a highly lacquered brass of the late 1980s. This new option tends to be more of a worn, unpolished brass of the 1880s! Much less Brady Bunch and more Downton Abbey." So I get it...but now I have to make my shiny brass look like it's 23 years old if it doesn't look like that already. Writer Heidi Potter makes sure I understand that it's not my grandmother's brassy style. She suggests that I have to adjust my perspective on what brass needs to look like and that is understated and elegant, not a trip down memory lane.
For many of us, giving up stainless, brushed chrome and nickel would be like me giving up Starbucks. So, if you want to just take it slow and not dive into the brass revival, designer Lee
Robbinsson suggests you use it as an accessory.
Ofcourse not to be outdone Martha Stewart knows the importance of updating tired kitchens and finds brass hardware and a coat of paint a terrific solution.
It not difficult to find beautiful accessories. So who creates metallic metals better than Michael Aram? His handcrafted artistry is fabulous and much of his newest collection in furniture and accessories focuses on golden hues. michaelaram.
As you get more comfortable with the concept, Elle Decor illustrates bringing brass into your scheme without going reflective overload.
It is remarkable that my blast from the past hardware resulted in an exploration of this design rewind. What do you think of replacing stainless with a 21st-century brass statement? Maybe I'll buy those shoes I've been eyeing instead and take another 23 years to think about it!
Judi Berger is an attorney and real estate broker who is blogging as she begins a new chapter in her life.