Metallics have been in vogue since the millennium when they began to embody, literally, all that was shiny and new. The trend started in fashion with silvers and golds but it quickly spread into the world of interiors to where brass and copper were the more logical metals of choice.
Brass lighting had first become popular back in the Victorian era but became really important in Edwardian times. Brass pendant lighting was used when hard-wearing durability was called for, in workshops and factories. Its smart look made it a popular material on ships and in nautical settings generally while high quality lampshadeswere popular in smart offices, studies, libraries and gentlemen’s clubs. This gold-hued metal experienced another ‘moment’ with the rise of Modernism in Europe, starting the Thirties, when innovative designers started creating pared-back styles based on simplicity and high quality materials. Modernism grew to encompass the Mid-Century Modern style and brass enjoyed another resurgence at the tail-end of this look with pendant lights and lamps -the metal being used as an accent material – embodying the masculine glamour of the ‘Mad Men’ look. In recent years, designer brass lamp shades have been developed for the kitchen, living room and bedroom with designs to suit many styles. Today it is a luxurious and style-savy finishing touch for any interior.
It is a metal that is to some extent interchangeable with copper in a room scheme but, as a general guideline, they shouldn’t be combined as they don’t tend to work well with each other. Brass can work well in the period setting of a Victorian or Edwardian room and looks brilliant in a Mid-Century or Modernist setting, as well in rooms as with a Seventies look. It also works beautifully in almost any contemporary setting. Its effect can be polished or industrial and it is also a nice foil for natural materials like cane and rattan as well as pale and mid tone woods. It should also be the metal of choice for nautical or contemporary coastal room schemes. Brass lamps and lighting are a strong look for the kitchen, living room or bedroom and work well with colour palettes including blacks, whites, greys and neutrals as well asnature-inspired greens and bright yellows.
The use of brass for Plumen’s Drop Hat Lamp Shade makes it an instant classic that creates a cool contrast in a period room and works equally well in a contemporary or modern setting.