My Client: “Wow! I just saw the most amazing kitchen! It had navy blue cabinets, marble countertops, white subway tile and gorgeous matte brass accents… I love those gold metal accents, but do you think that’s too trendy?”
Me: “uuuuuummmmm…” head scratch, reads clients face carefully, “maaaaaaybe…”
Seriously, I walk a very fine tightrope between not offending my clients and telling them the truth. That usually means that I have to suppress my inner Julia Sugarbaker and stop myself from railing about the virtues of timeless, classic design.
When I get a request that is filled to the brim with trend, I hit my internal pause button.
To set the record straight, I don’t think marble counters are ultra trendy. Nor do I think subway tiles are trendy. In fact, history tells us that they are a very classic looks. However, navy blue cabinets and gold metal fixtures are BOLD choices and most people would get tired of looking at them day after day.
Looking to the past always gives us an idea of what has staying power and what is trendy. In that case silver tones rule, particularly for plumbing fixtures. As we look back in time, the gold tones come and go, but the silver tones seem to be a constant.
When used as hardware for doors and lighting, gold metal finishes have some staying power, typically the flat or brushed finishes have had a little more staying power. We’ve seen gold metal tones come and go throughout the American Colonial, Victorian, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco periods. The last time brass and gold tones were popular was in the 1980’s and that time around nearly ruined the Baby Boomer and Gen Xers taste for gold metals because that round of brass was somehow extra brass-y… and extra offensive. Alas, 80’s nostalgia is back – music, movies, fashion, television – and with it come the gold tones!
So, my verdict? TREND
…But, its a good trend, a fun trend that you can implement in small doses and enjoy until it fades. I’m going to give you three tips for incorporating it into your kitchen or bath.
Tip #1: Mix It Up
Right now it’s totally cool to mix metals, so you can add some lovely gold metal accent lighting to your chrome and stainless kitchen metals. The key is keeping everything balanced. If you add just one gold toned piece, like a matte brass faucet you’ll want to add some accessories in the same tone. You can use a brass toned basket or possibly a multi- brass tiered tray on your counter for a fruit display. Ideally, you’d want to repeat the color a minimum of three times to create harmony.
Tip #2: Light Up the Night
Use your lighting fixtures as your brass accent. In the picture below the designer has only used the brass color in the lighting, but the lighting fixtures are large enough to make a substantial contribution to the room. You can also use the above tip to round out the distribution of the color into your accessories if you like. However, the lighting alone is enough to make sense.
Tip #3: Get a Handle on It
Another idea is to do just your door hardware – knobs, handles, and pulls – in a gold metal. This will be enough repetition to give a cohesive look, and again, it makes sense to just do these items as a stand alone metal. You can see that the designer only used the gold color in the hardware and used traditional stainless and chrome where they are appropriate. It looks fantastic. Hardware is relatively inexpensive, it can be easily switched out when you get tired of the gold, but they make a big overall impact.
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