Get this look: Brass is big for 2013

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Previously eschewed as dated, brass is making a strong resurgence in home design this year. But the trick, as with anything, is to strike a balance. Small touches of brass will make a room feel current, not straight out of the '80s.

“Brass has an old-wealth, Hollywood-regency sense of glamour,” said interior designer Vanessa DeLeon. “And gold is a hot commodity. Why not infuse it into your space?”

As an accent

The key with brass and gold in a room is moderation.

“You don’t want to use too much,” said DeLeon. ”Do it in small amounts, small doses. You don’t have to put every piece of gold in the room because it’s in vogue. The overall aesthetic should infuse it in the room to make a statement.”

Try brass in:

  • Smaller furniture items -- DeLeon suggests a brass bar cart or a coffee table with brass legs.
  • Vases, candle holders and other small accessories.
  • Picture frames or mirrors.

If you want to make a bigger statement, try wallpaper with metal accents.

“They’re doing such great things with metals -- gold and brass wallpapers,” said DeLeon. “Just do it on a wall, behind a nook or behind the bed. I did a vinyl gold wallpaper on a ceiling. It was very unexpected, but it made the room.”

Metal mixing

If you live in a newer home, it’s likely most of your fixtures -- in the kitchen and bath -- are silver or chrome. But if you’re adding brass as an element, you don’t have to commit to changing everything out.

“Mixing metals is pretty hot,” said DeLeon. “Even a combo of champagne, gold, silver -- it’s pretty striking, and it has lasting power because you’re not putting in all one color.”

The key in mixing metals is to find a commonality between the items you mix. Do an arrangement of photo frames -- some brass, some gold, some silver, but each of the same style. Or, try an arrangement of candelabras, all in different metal tones but in the same shape.

You can even mix in gold, silver and brass handles on doors or fixtures throughout a home.

“It’s no longer all matchy-matchy,” said DeLeon.


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