Bringing Back Brass: Accessorize with this Year’s Trendiest Material

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Image: Carlyle Designs

When trend forecasts are made early in the year, it’s difficult to know which will take hold. Bright colors, industrial lighting, DIY, and even beige were among the many interior design trends predicted for 2013. Now, six months in, after assessing their merit—brass indisputably comes out on top! Its popularity continues to grow, making it one of the trendiest materials of the year.

First, a quick overview

While it’s difficult to pinpoint brass’s first appearance, experts believe it was used throughout the ancient world, from Egypt to China; although it was seemingly created by accident (i.e., as a byproduct of another process). It wasn’t until around the first century BC that man discovered how to purposely make the metal, an alloy of copper and zinc. Changing the proportion of those main ingredients yields a range of colors. For example, the less zinc present, the more golden the hue.

Brass Home Decor
Image: 1stdibs

Yes, brass had a bad rap, but those days are over!

Like bellbottom pants, it may be difficult to accept the resurgence of brass into mainstream design. Believe me—I understand! I remember when my mother proudly purchased a set of brass lamps for our living room. After a time, a source of pride became a mark of outdated décor. There they sat… year after year, lighting the room, but doing little to add a fab factor. It would take twenty years until I added those lamps to my own stash of décor items, and you know what? I love them! Sometimes, we have to step away from things to form a new appreciation.

Brass Paper Weights
Image: Jonathan Adler

Then again, we are kind of fickle. Prep for the changing tide and accessorize!

Will brass take another nose dive in popularity? It’s tough to tell. While some experts proclaim brass has a timeless appeal, others look to imminent changes in public opinion. In any case, brass is currently hot stuff! So, split the difference and make an investment that you won’t regret later—chic, brass accessories.

Brass Sculpture
Brass Home Interior
Image: (Top) One Kings Lane, (Bottom) Lonny Magazine

How are you incorporating 2013’s brass trend?

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Desiré is a designer, blogger, and lover of all things glamorous. Though primarily a self-taught decorator, Desiré studied at The Art Institute, where she honed a distinct aesthetic largely influenced by the Modern Glamour movement, the theme of her popular design blog, Sukio. Not only is she considered a "closet fashionista," discreetly stashing handbags and shoes whenever possible, but, as an MIT graduate, she’s also an undercover nerd. Fashion, nerdom, and several years as a Washingtonian have combined to shape her unique perspective on interior design.