By Megan Slack
With their unwavering practicality and glimmering aesthetic, it's no surprise that brass sinks are an increasingly popular element in the design of fashionable kitchens – and the material is making its way into luxury bathrooms, too.
As one of the most beautiful kitchen trends of the moment, brass sinks are a statement buy – but why are they popular, are they practical, and how to include these striking pieces in your kitchen ideas?
Why include a brass sink in your design?
Brass sinks are undeniably an expensive addition – but why include them in your kitchen or bathroom design? The answer, say the experts, lies in how the material ages and how it adds an enhancing touch of luxury to a room.
'Design is cyclical. Each new cycle brings a new attitude toward something that has gone before. Right now, warmer tones are enjoying resurgence not only in the bath but also in interiors and fashion,' explains the Co-Founder of Waterworks, Barbara Sallick.
'Customers are turning to brass as a living finish that changes with time and attains a patina. The classic materials remain amazing to work with, mixing brass, marble, ceramic, wood... it’s not about any one, but the way they come together to create interest in a space where they each serve a purpose.'
‘The interiors that we love here at deVOL are the unexpected little luxuries sitting amongst something very handsome and understated; the brass sink fits into this look effortlessly,’ says deVOL’s Creative Director, Helen Parker.
‘We imagine our brass sink (shown below, pic 3) is going to attract quite a cult following and appeal to the most daring and fabulous customers,’ she adds.
Are brass sinks practical?
Will your brass sink look exactly as it did when you bought it five years on? It's unlikely – brass is a fairly soft metal, will scratch, dent and be scuffed relatively easily, plus if it's uncoated it will oxidize and get darker. However, if properly sealed, brass sinks can more reasonably maintain the looks they had when new. Our advice: speak to your supplier to find out how the material might change over time, and embrace the ageing process as one that offers character.
Plus, according to Barbara Sallick, your home's location may affect how a brass sink ages.
'Unlacquered brass is particularly appealing as it acquires a patina and over time mellows and takes on a personality of its own,' she says. '[However], when choosing finishes like brass one has to be prepared for a maintenance cycle depending on the location of the house. For example, if you live near saltwater, your finish may turn quickly.'
5 ways to work brass sinks into your room design
As the most exciting trend of the fall, brass sinks are emerging as the focal point that every stylish home needs. This is how designers suggest styling it in your scheme.
1. Pair brass sinks with traditional, painted cabinetry
From verdant green to powder blue, painted kitchens continue to be popular with traditionalists. The only thing better than a painted cupboard is a painted cupboard with a stylish companion: a brass sink.
‘Solid brass is actually a very traditional material to use for a sink and goes perfectly with all our painted cupboards,’ Helen Parker explains. ‘[They are] a really practical and natural product, that will age gently and beautifully over time.’
2. Dare to go glossy
While matte finishes have recently dominated, this is set to change.
‘High gloss is now returning with a bang,’ explains Yousef Mansuri, Head of Design at C.P. Hart. And what is the best way to embrace this craze? ‘When it comes to brassware, warmth is clearly desirable with popular finishes including aged bronze, brushed brass, and matte copper,' he says.
3. Don’t neglect the texture
While brass sinks are primarily adored for their striking metallic shine, Yousef reminds us not to forget about the importance of the sink's texture – and its impact on the overall appearance of your space.
‘Tactile textures, such as fluted finishes are becoming popular – from furniture, to shower enclosures, tiles and even brassware,’ he explains.
'I particularly love a hammered finish on brass and copper sinks – it works particularly well in traditional kitchens where understated character is all,' continues Homes & Gardens Editor in Chief Lucy Searle.
4. Choose brass for your bathroom basin
Brass is a wonderful material for a bathroom basin too. Like in kitchen, it looks best if matched with brass faucets – any competing metal, including stainless steel, will look distinctly out of place next to it. Under-mounted basins like this are subtle – ideal for small bathrooms or powder rooms; larger spaces can cope with more expressive bathroom ideas, which is where the vanity-mounted brass basin will come into its own.
Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc's Homes titles. She has a background in national newspapers in the UK and has experience in fashion and travel journalism, which she previously practised whilst living in Paris and New York City. Her adoration for these fashion capitals means she particularly enjoys writing about upcoming styles and trends for Homes & Gardens. Megan also loves discovering vintage pieces in her spare time, meaning her decor is largely influenced by the beauty of the jazz age.
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