Thursday, April 21, 2011

Brassy CAN be Sassy: In Defense of Brass

I know that nobody in blogland seems to like brass and I get it.

I really do.

I can see the sense in painting over stuff like this:

I really, really need to do something with this lamp base.  I love the shape of it, but the brass is too brassy.

Or in changing out door knobs like this:
Not our doorknobs, since we're renting, but they are definitely overly shiny.
And frankly, I'd prefer a $2 plastic one over this sweet baby:

However, there is a time and a place for brass.  Real brass.  The kind you have to polish--or the kind you don't mind looking a little tarnished and old-moneyed.

One of my favorite lamps in our house has a brass base with great patina.  It looks fabulous with the leather club chair's brass nailhead trim.

The thing is that most modern brass has that anti-tarnish coating on it.  It is real brass, but it looks cheap and fake.

It gives brass a bad name.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who heard Bon Jovi when they read that last line...

It might save work, but it never has that mellow, lovely patina of tarnishable brass.  Sure, you might need to polish uncoated brass every once in a while, but it isn't a big deal.  And I think the color and warmth of real brass is worth it.  By the way--click here for a surprising way to clean brass

But back to my point: do you see the difference between these two candlesticks?

See what I mean?  The uncoated one looks classic and classy, the coated one looks like it's trying a little too hard :).

Here are a few style pics to prove my point that brass can be sassy and stylish:
From Elizabeth Dinkel Design
From my house :)
Also from my house--part of my fancy schmancy yet El Cheapo Easter Mantel
From Anna Melnikova Interiors,  Doesn't that brass chandelier look amazing against the peacock blue, the cream and the distressed wood of the table?

From Between Naps on the Porch.  The classic brass kick plate and door hardware just looks right with this lovely, traditionally styled front porch. 

So while I respect every one's urge to cover over their "sassy brassy" whatevers, and I love the look of brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze and chrome as much as the next woman, please save some room in your heart and home for real brass--you just might be glad you did.

What do you all think?  Has brass gone the way of the dodo and the dinosaur, or can it be a part of a stylish home right now?

Linking up with:  

Weekend Bloggy Reading


  1. Old brass indeed... in just the right style of home. Of course smeared in patina, it has such a rich/weathered/I've been passed down for generations feel. Yes ma'am! Happy Easter Erin!

  2. I did a post last year on my love of brass (the good kind not the 80's builder brass).

  3. I think you are spot, shiny brass can be a little much...but the old stuff is nice. I still think I prefer brushed nickel, but I sometimes wonder if that's just the conditioning from blog reading. ;) ;)

    Thanks for joining my Weekend Bloggy Reading party. Happy Easter! :)


Please feel free to comment. I love to read what other people think!