Decorating with Brass

Styled as a focal point or as a neutral, brass is the latest to take first place in the race between metals.

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Some textures never go out of style. Marble, exposed brick, natural hardwood and, finally, metal. The latest metal to snag top honors? Brass. Often interchangeable with gold, this on-trend texture adds undeniable class and elegance to any room. It reads as both sophisticated and worldly, but it doesn't sport the massive price tag that often goes along with such adjectives. Not only that, but it boasts more styling tricks and pairings than anything constricted to a color wheel, taking savvy styling solutions to the next level.

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Infuse Immediate History

If the collected look is what you're after, try adding touches of brass as the foundation. Inherently aged and full of natural patina, this texture has a way of bringing an instant sense of history to any space or vignette. Whether your favorite exotic artifacts and books were procured from a European marketplace or the antiques store down the street, brass will help to punctuate a feeling of wanderlust.

Mingling Metals

Metallic accents are the new go-to neutral in town. Like favorite shades of classic black, white, khaki, and gray, brass is one of those magical textures that can easily pair with the color scheme of just about any space, and that includes other metals! For example, look closely and you'll count several different textures in this kitchen. The brass antique pendant arguably steals the spotlight, yet brushed nickel and chrome both make appearances, too. The melting pot of metals works because each is inspired by other areas of the space -- the brass from the valance fabric and the silver from the gray painted cabinetry. As with any neutral, layers of brass accents help to add depth to a room without overpowering it -- the perfect finishing touch.

Think Outside the Frame

Do you tend to associate brass with hard metal surfaces? Well, think again! Although the name inherently brings to mind pieces like antique light fixtures and ornate frames, brass is more than just a metal. It's a color, too! Paint, fabric, and certain types of wood all allow you to layer in this on-trend metallic hue. Here, leopard print and faux-fur pillows pick up the smaller splashes of brass found in the drapery rod, sconces, and artwork. It all makes sense because of the common dusty gilt undertones throughout.

A Savvy Swap

The next time you get the urge to 'go for gold,' consider a hunt for vintage brass instead. If you have a hard time distinguishing between the two metals, one trick is to look closely at the undertones of the piece in question. If the surface looks a little yellow, it's likely gold, and if it's a bit brown, it's brass. Often more affordable than its glamorous metallic counterpart, brass is a simple alternative when craving lux style on a budget.

About Carrie

Carrie Waller is the founder of Dream Green DIY, where she blogs about DIY, design, and life.

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