Jenna Lyons has officially set a new kitchen hardware trend, and experts explain why it makes an excellent design choice

Everyone’s been talking about unlacquered brass since Jenna Lyons shared the design of her SoHo loft – we explore the trend deeper

Headshot of Jenna Lyons
(Image credit: Getty Images / Leon Bennett / Stringer)

The Real Housewives of New York star, Jenna Lyons, has been trending on social media ever since she released images of her wonderfully elegant SoHo loft home, designed with the help of architectural designer Meyer Davis. 

Whilst all of Lyons’ home is impeccably designed, and we’ve been swooning at so many elements, there is one design feature that has been integrated elegantly across the whole home, and that is unlacquered brass; the latest kitchen trend to warrant our attention. 

Until now, unlacquered brass has perhaps not been a hugely popular, or even well-known design choice, but thanks to Lyons’ trend-setting ways, she has firmly put it on the map, and for good reason. Unlacquered brass is an excellent material choice, not only for its sophisticated look nodding to ‘quiet luxury', but its practical nature, too.

Simply put, unlacquered brass does not have any protective coating, in comparison to more commonly found brassware which is coated in order to protect the material from tarnishing over time. The beauty of opting for an unlacquered finish is that it wears naturally over time, giving it a rustic and constantly-evolving finish by developing a natural patina, which gives it a rich variation to its color.

‘Using unlacquered brass offers you the unique opportunity to have a natural finish on your metal hardware. This brash will tarnish over time as it comes into contact with skin oils and other substances, which gives the finish a unique pattern. Those who love the idea of a living finish see this somewhat expensive material as a luxury option for various fixtures,’ explains Todd Saunders, CEO at FlooringStores. 

Todd Saunders

FlooringStores is a New York-based flooring company, enabling customers to find products from trusted flooring retailers and manufacturers to elevate their homes.  

Lyons' home makes use of unlacquered brass in the kitchen, as seen across the countertops and backsplash, and we also spied the material used on a smaller scale in the bathroom as hardware, such as the taps. In the kitchen, the material is paired with a cooler-toned color palette, which works effectively and ensures the end result doesn’t feel too glam. 

While Lyons’ home certainly shows us how great the material looks, giving a luxurious, vintage-inspired feeling to the whole home, there are a host of more practical reasons to opt for unlacquered brass, too.

Ryan Ratkowski, interior designer and founder of Rustic Decorating explains: ‘Investing in unlacquered brass hardware brings substantial benefits. Beyond its enduring aesthetic appeal, it matures beautifully, reflecting a personalized history of your space. Its robustness ensures durability, while ease of maintenance brings practical value.’

Ryan Ratkowski

Ryan Ratkowski is an interior designer and the founder of Nashville-based Rustic Decorating. He has a passion for restoring old and vintage pieces, believing that a home is a reflection of personality.

Opting for unlacquered brass is a durable option - unlike lacquered brass which will clearly show any signs of wear – it will integrate seamlessly into the home and age effortlessly over the years, without the need to be precious about its upkeep. The daily wear and tear will only add to its aged charm, so it’s a win-win if you ask us. 

Paint & Color Editor

Emily is H&G's Paint & Color Editor, covering all things color across interior design and home decor. She joined the team in the summer of 2023, having studied Fashion Communication at university before working in various creative roles ahead of making the leap into interiors. She lives in Glasgow where she loves admiring the city's architecture, frequenting her favorite coffee spots, and sourcing vintage furniture for her tenement apartment. Emily's interior style is inspired by the simplicity of midcentury design, mixed with more playful modern pieces that inject small (but bold) doses of color.