“I hate my brass fixtures!” – How to mix other finishes with brass

I cannot tell you how many clients I have worked with who hate their brass fixtures, but aren’t ready to change out every single brass fixture in the home.  In this instance, there is moderation.  We keep some brass, and get rid of most of it.    For example, most clients want to keep are door hardware, shower trim and few  light fixtures… while switching out faucets, cabinet hardware,  remaining light fixtures, & accessories.

The common questions my clients have are:  “Is it ok to mix brass, and other finishes?”  &  “Is brass coming back in style?”   The answer to both of these questions is, YES!  Now, the shiny yellow brass is something most people are trying to get rid of, however there is a new style of brass that is gaining popularity.  This new style is a weathered and antiqued brass.  Check it out for yourself!:

 As mentioned above you can absolutely mix your outdated brass fixtures with other finishes to give your home an updated look, without breaking the bank.  My favorite option, is mixing bronze or black with the brass.   Luckily a lot of bronze and black finishes will have an antiqued look which incorporates some gold hues that pull in the brass element.   Both of these options are going to be more of a traditional or transitional look, so if this is your style, then you should have no problem finding black, bronze & brass items to coordinate.  Here are a few ideas for both options:

Brass & Black

Brass & Bronze

For those of you wanting a modern look, using modern finishes such as chrome, or brushed nickel can be tricky to mix with brass.  Brass itself is a formal finish; the obvious reason for this is the use of gold finishes and gilding for the last few thousand years on ornate furniture and architecture!   You may have seen the 2 tone fixtures with brass and chrome, but unfortunately manufacturers do not sell it much at all… and the 2 toned finish itself is more outdated than brass.    However, you can still mix the chrome and brass as individual elements.  In this instance I would stay away from the antique brass, and embrace the very shiny brass.  Even adding modern chrome fixtures, and updated shiny brass items will create a happy union between the two finishes:

Brass & Chrome

Brushed nickel has a darker and a warmer hue than chrome.  Plus, you can find finishes that are a mix of silvers/golds that are a beautiful mediator between the 2 finishes.   When looking for a goldish-silver, try looking for the phrase ‘silver leaf’, or even ‘mercury glass’.  I love this look because it is traditional, with a modern elegant twist!:  

Brass & Brushed Nickel

As you can see, you have options and mixing finishes can turn out quite stunning!

I currently am working with a client who is upgrading her home, but we are keeping some of her brass elements and adding bronze/black accents and fixtures.  Her project is actually what inspired me to write this blog!   Her home is going to look beautiful when everything is complete, and I cannot wait to see how everything turns out.  Not to mention she is a great client, and it has been such a joy to work with.  I will keep you updated and post before and after pictures!!


Leave a Reply