Brass is Back – Antique Finishes Make a Comeback

Have you ever wondered where trends in interior style come from? A small artist’s garret in Paris or a far away brainstorm by a panel of marketeers? Who decides let alone initiates the idea? I started investigating what I perceived to be a new trend for antique gold metal and I discovered some wonderful theories as to why ‘Brass is Back.’

It has been said that life in our disruptive digital age, forces us to seek reassurance from our past. Hence, in recent years we have been drawn to contemporary designs that evoke comforting memories, others refer to the fashion as ‘industrial luxury’. Gone are the stark minimalist interiors – now we celebrate late Victorian and Edwardian style in burnished antique brass accompanied by muted, yet complex colours.


(Picture: Goodman Hanging Lamps with antique brass interiors – ask for more details)

It would seem that we are on a cycle of taste – an orbit that has taken us far away from pure techno and into a more analogue process which re-invigorates old technologies with modern enhancements. Well that certainly explains our rather prolonged fascination with Edison filaments. But the appetite is not stopping there – we are to press on to rooms full of heirlooms and new objects that are luxurious and detailed. A new Arts and Craft age that shuns modernity and embraces craftsmanship, with a touch of the industrial.

Hang on – before we go too deep is this a true fashion trend? Before writing this piece I enquired with some interior design clients – “are we choosing traditional finishes but with a contemporary twist?

The answer was a resounding; “Yes, I would agree (said one designer) we are using a lot more brass, more of an aged brass in general to keep the sophistication – it is featuring widely including in bathroom fittings

(Pictures: The colour of a rich single malt – gilded metalwork from Dover Floor Light)

Whether you like it or not – it would seem that deep in our psyche we take comfort from the safe territory of the familiar! QED – why we are seeing more burnished and antiqued brass finishes being specified. Certainly not the shiny polished unadulterated brass you find on a ship’s bell – but weather etched aged brasses are back in our lives!

These gilded finishes with contemporary forms – mixing the more trad finish with a modern design – work well. Designers like Aerinare working with old gold widely in their lighting designs and the manufacturer Visual Comfort is featuring a ‘hand rubbed antique brass’ finish at the core of their range.

In truth, I believe that interior design trends respond to a gradual enthusiasm emanating from both the ‘public’ as well as the inspiration of designers. Whatever your thoughts – spare a moment to reflect on the quantity of new decorative lighting designs in warm muted metallic finishes that are literally taken the market by storm.

brass product panel

To match the finish of the fitting – remember the colour temperature can be ‘antiqued’ too with an extra warm 2700K or even richer 2500K from one of our downlights – enquire within….

You guessed it – you will find a wonderful variety at Orange Lighting – with a plentiful supply of good advice to boot!

WZ_KW5012ABQ Halcyon chandelier antique burnished brass

(Picture: Halcyon large chandelier in antique burnished brass with quartz)

Andrew Orange, the owner of Orange Lighting qualified and worked as an interior designer in 1993 before specialising in lighting working on high profile projects based in London. Since starting Orange Lighting Ltd in 2003 he has been sharing his knowledge and unique teaching style mostly to his designer clients, offering practical real life advice born from running a busy consultancy and lighting supply business. Launching in 2020, his blog has evolved into Quick & Easy Lighting, curating some 25 years design experience into making the lighting choice and design process achievable and easy to understand for all.