Home Decor

Top Brass

Brass is back, and local designers are sharing their favorite ways to bring it into your home.

Compiled by Brooke McGrath

Re-emerging with a vengeance, brass and gold finishes have been reintroduced into home furnishings and accessories in a not-so-subtle way this year. Leave it to these metals to make such a design impact…again. If you’re looking to do the same, start with a few favorites from local designers, and you’ll be trending in no time.

Carmen Thomas, principal/design director, Tran + Thomas Design Studio

“Brass is back, folks, and it’s not your grandmother’s yellowy brass this time! It’s a rich, warm, gold tone of brass that is a wonderful accent to any room. Gold is a go-to for Tran + Thomas because it provides warmth to counterbalance the oh-so-hot-right-now grays and cool design palettes. Whether it’s the crowning jewel of the room with lighting—like with Visual Comforts’ Barry Goralnick Hatton pendant in gild ($1,353)—or a functional side table, such as the Arteriors Orleans side table with scalloped base pattern in gold leaf ($1,125), it can be worked into a space in so many different and exciting ways.”


Kristin Rieke, designer/owner, rak’ designs

“I love the grand impact of a grandfather clock, a rising trend, but contrary to the typical pieces we are used to seeing, this clock is very feminine and boasts soft lines and a neutral color with a pop of gold detailing. A lot of people are painting vintage wood grandfather clocks to get the painted French/feminine look that this one offers.”

Find the IMAX Arlington Grandfather Clock at Seville Home in Leawood.

Katy Sullivan, designer/owner, Katy Sullivan Designs

“I am a sucker for gold and brass décor! I am currently loving West Elm’s brass pumpkins ($14 for mini; $24 for small). I would sprinkle a grouping of pumpkins in both sizes around a lovely fall tablescape, but I also can see using two of the small-sized pumpkins as bookends to add a metallic pop to book spines. Another fun option would be mixing the brass pumpkins with funky gourds or small live pumpkins on your mantel for a holiday party.”

Lisa Schmitz, designer/owner, Lisa Schmitz Interior Design

“The interiors we design are usually very simple and clean but with warmth added through natural materials and textures. Throwing a little bling into a room is like adding jewelry to your black dress. Brass complements walnut and black by being a warm pop of contrast. [My husband] Chuck and I are remodeling our home, and our kitchen will be white and gray, which can be sterile if not balanced by some warmth. These antique black and brass Schoolhouse Electric L sconces ($116 as shown; $7 for bulb) add just the right accent while still being minimalistic in form; the Edison bulb adds a warm glow.”

Jan Kyle, owner/designer, Jan Kyle Design

“These brass-plated mirrors from West Elm are elegantly retro and well-priced at $99 each or $289 for the set. Not only does each design stand on its own as a distinctive display piece, but they also can be used together in an ensemble or combined with art pieces on a gallery wall.”

Vintage Possessions

Some of the best brass or gold pieces can’t be found in a big-box retail store or online but rather are a rare flea market find, which is exactly what the following pieces are and why these designers kept them for themselves.

Jan Tracy, graphic designer/visual communicator, Tracy Design

“I bought this brass chandelier last fall at a garage sale for $25. It was a steal, but since it didn’t have the crystals attached, it was just sitting in a cardboard box. I don’t think people could see the potential. I’m going to stencil a gold-painted motif on the ceiling around the base, highlighting the dark ceiling. I love this piece because it’s the right scale and adds the perfect amount of sparkle to my small bathroom.”

Interior Designer Lisa Schmitz

“An unexpected brass accent on the dining table, I scored a full service of vintage brass flatware at the West Bottoms flea market last winter. I don’t think they had ever been used; the knives were still wrapped in tissue!”

She’s patiently waiting to display them at home in her newly remodeled space.