By Jacky Parker
The trend for brass, in kitchen (and bathroom) design shows no sign of slowing down and there are myriad ways to introduce this warm metal into your cooking zone and turn it from functional to fabulous.
Bert & May's beautiful selection of brass kitchens are lustrous and hardwearing, as brass not only looks beautiful, it's highly resistant to heat and corrosion, so is a great choice for practical reasons as much as its aesthetic value. In this vein, aclassic range cookerwith brass trims will embody heritage elegance and a professional edge.
If you've a fear of commitment (the average kitchen lasts for 20 years) or just want an easy refresh, there are a host of less permanent 'accent' options on offer that will keep your kitchen on-trend, while providing the flexibility to update without the expense (and waste) of a complete redesign.
Brass kitchen ideas from the subtle to the sensational
Smart polished brass taps teamed with marble worktops will take low-cost units from budget to beautiful, while vintage or industrial-style brassware will infuse sleek cabinetry with character and warmth.
That said, the wonderful thing about un-lacquered brass on taps and handles is the beautiful patina it acquires over time, which means it will evolve and take on a new look throughout your kitchen's life span. It also has enduring style, so is unlikely to date for many years.
Two or three simple brass ceiling lights in a row will introduce this warm tone. Or go for a spectacular pendant for the full-on glam factor..
1. Use brass for an apothecary look
This kitchen was inspired by the look of Thirties Parisian pharmacies. The island was designed to look like a freestanding piece of furniture and the unlacquered brass brings warmth and depth to the space. The Forties circular light is the pièce de résistance.
Get the look: The pendant is from Marché aux Puces in Paris. The Tiffany Blue Amazonite is from The Marble & Granite Centre. Find similar wall tiles at Fired Earth. The cabinetry and shelving are bespoke.
2. Repeat a brass motif
This kitchen was based on a 1940s console, which is fitted to the left of the oven. It was then copied to make all the units.
Get the look: Tiles, Sera of London. Walls painted in Off Black Estate Emulsion, Farrow & Ball.
3. Front cabinetry with brass
This newly enlarged kitchen space was embellished with herringbone parquet flooring, green marble work surfaces and resplendent brass-clad units, in a topsy-turvy remix of traditional Victorian materials.
Get the look: This is the Hand-Brushed Brass kitchen by Bert & May. The Verde St Denis marble was sourced by J&R Marble. The metro tiles are from Fired Earth.
4. Introduce brass through your extractor
The gaze-grabbing extractor hood took its cue from the Lacanche range cooker and was hand-forged in Ohio. The brass handles are not your average off-the-peg variety, but a bespoke version, fine-tuned to suit the kitchen of this Boston home.
Get the look: The Classic Dome range hood kitchen extractor is by Vogler Metalwork & Design, as is the bespoke brass sink. This is the range cooker by Lacanche. These are Autoban 249T Butterfly bar stools by De La Espada. The brass 1030 kitchen mixer tap is by Barber Wilsons & Co.
5. Join the navy
Believe it or not, the kitchen cabinets started out painted white, but the new darker shade really stands out and the colour is timeless. The vintage pendants subtly echo the aqua shades of the collectable ceramics and the brass door pulls add warmth and texture.
Get the look: The kitchen is by Woodwork Traditional Handmade Furniture, painted in Railings estate eggshell by Farrow & Ball.
6. Highlight white
The inspiration for the kitchen came from old French bakery cabinets, but the execution is pure Brooklyn. The symmetry is simple, but so striking.
Get the look: The kitchen is by Space Exploration Design and White Arrow, painted in Wimborne White eggshell by Farrow & Ball. The range cooker is by Lacanche. The bar stools are by Sawkille Co. These are BL9 pendants by Gubi. The handles are vintage finds.
7. Mix in marble and timber
Classic, enduring surfaces including brass, marble and timber make this hard-working space functional and contemporary.
Get the look: The kitchen is bespoke by Culinary Architecture, featuring Buster + Punch Closet Bar handles, marble worktops from Venice Marble, Gaggenau appliances and a Quooker tap. The glass splashback is from Lister Glass. These are ICS ceiling lights by Michael Anastassiades for Flos. The Imo bar stools are by Pinch.
8. Choose fine brass knobs
Simple Ikea carcasses were dressed up with marble worktops and bespoke brass handles. Amazingly, the entire kitchen budget came to under £5,000.
Get the look: For an alternative to this Azul Bahia granite from Brazil, try MKW Surfaces. The door handles are by The Beardmore Collection.
9. Highlight drawers with brass
An unpolished brass tap found on eBay pretty much defines the architectural aesthetic. Raw materials change over time and take on such a lovely glow. This style sums up the look in this kitchen, which is warm and welcoming, but glamorous and grown-up, too.
Get the look: Bulthaup units were customised with unlacquered brass strips. The brass hospital tap was found on eBay. For white Carrara marble, try Stone Age. Go to John Lewis for light fittings like this.
10. Drop brass pendants
A small kitchen was widened to create a spacious kitchen-diner and family area. The beautiful brass pendants were chosen to match the taps and drawer pulls.
Get the look: For similar cabinetry, check out Humphrey Munson. The units are painted in Pavilion Gray estate eggshell by Farrow & Ball. These are Workstead pendants from Trouva.
What color cabinets best work with brass in a kitchen?
Dark blue cabinets with brass door and drawer handles are the combo du jour in kitchens right now and there's no denying this look has stand-out style.
Painted timber cabinetry also offers longevity as it has the added advantage of a repaint if you fancy a new look further down the line and handles can be easily replaced should you decide on a decidedly different revamp.
Jacky Parker is a London-based freelance journalist and content creator, specialising in interiors, travel and food. From buying guides and real home case studies to shopping and news pages, she produces a wide range of features for national magazines and SEO content for websites
A long-time contributor to Livingetc, as a member of the team, she regularly reports on the latest trends, speaking to experts and discovering the latest tips. Jacky has also written for other publications such as Homes and Gardens, Ideal Home, Red, Grand Designs, Sunday Times Style and AD, Country Homes and Interiors and ELLE Decoration.
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