Brass Is Back, Baby: Here’s the Latest on Today’s Brass Fixtures Style

Thursday Feb 25th, 2021


Just as overalls, shoulder pads, and velvet dresses cropped up at the mall in recent years, brass fixtures reentered the home design scene. That’s right, the 1980s are back, baby, and the golden alloy has come along for the ride.

“Brass is super hot right now. We started seeing it a few years ago, creeping back into the design sphere,” comments Kate Touhill of Seattle Staged to Sell, a seven-time Houzz award-winning design firm.

But don’t expect to spit-shine your retro brass-plated fixtures and call it a day. Today’s iteration of brass is more subtle than the polished version ubiquitous in the ‘more is more‘ decade.

Learn the lingo to shop like a pro

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when browsing brass fixtures with the sheer number of finishes and colors available. Not to mention, manufacturers further complicate matters with different naming conventions.

Here is a breakdown of brass finishes available today:

  • Satin and brushed: Satin and brushed are two matte finish options. Brushed brass includes brush stroke marks while satin does not. Today, these matte finishes are the most popular since they’re highly versatile and low-maintenance. The matte finish hides water spots better than shinier finishes, making matte fixtures ideal for bathrooms and kitchens.


  • Lacquered: Lacquer coating seals the brass finish, keeping it from tarnishing. If an antiqued look is what you’re going for, choose an unlacquered brass fixture, which patinas over time. Some hardware comes in both lacquered and unlacquered finishes, such as Rejuvenation’s Beaux Arts solid brass door knob.


  • Polished: Polished brass is the shiny, mirror-like gold finish popular in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Though easy to clean, polished brass shows every fingerprint and water spot. Include polished brass fixtures sparingly, if at all.


  • Antiqued and weathered: Antiqued or weathered brass is manufactured to look like aged, unpolished brass. The finish is primarily brown with hints of gold.


Brass is in style, but all trends come and go

Brass is one of today’s most popular finishes, but there is no telling how long this trend will continue.   If you’re not planning to sell right away, choose fixtures that speak to you and spark joy, not because they’re on a design influencer’s must-have list. And whether you choose brass or a different finish, prepare to switch styles again in 10 to 15 years, when a new fixture trend is bound to emerge.



by Gina Rodrigues
Posted onDecember 31, 2020


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