Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Style File: 6 Ways Brass and Grey (or gray) May Play

Somewhere, I completely forget where, I read that one of the new trends for the tens is brass and grey (or gray). I could not imagine it.

Grey is a cool colour whether its undertones are blue, green or purple. Brass is so, well, so yellow.

So I started collecting images combining grey with yellow metals, brass, gold and bronze to see how well they played together.

So, just how do they get along?

1. Brass adds glam to grey.

source: unknown. Designer, Tia Zoldan. her blog.

Where's the brass, you ask? The chairs. It is the only colour in the room. Everything else is black, white and grey.

Here's another example:
source: decorpad (I love the pattern in those drapes.)

Again: black, white, grey--and brass. But this time there's only a little-- in the light fixture.

What if we take out the black?

2. Brass is the boss of grey.

source: decor pad (mmmm.)

Notice how the fixtures are still chrome? I like that. It makes the chandelier a "piece." It stands out. The choice to use a brass chandelier makes it the focal point. Juxtaposing it with grey rescues it from being just another chandelier in the bathroom.

3. Brass plays nice with grey when it brings friends.

In this room, the yellow metals are just part of the grey and yellow colour story. From the yellow in the sisal carpet, to the yellow pillows, from the fireplace surround to the drapery hardware --and reaching all the way up to the bronze chandelier-- yellow is everywhere.

What if we added even more colour?

4. When grey takes a seat, brass is the life of the party.

source: decor pad

Look at all that colour! Blue, yellow, purple--and where's the brass? --there it is--glinting in base of the table lamp. (Do we sense a trend, here?) I love it. It's a nice touch of added warmth. It's jaunty. Notice, though that it's not just any old brass lamp: it quite deliberately continues the circle motif in the room.

Ready for even more colour?

source: decor pad

Here we see grey being used as a true neutral for the first time. In all the other examples, it acted as the "colour" of the room. Here, though, the room is obviously purple with a neutral grey sofa! I'm not fond of the stripes on the wall: I think I'd like this room better without them. But the artwork, the brass light fixture over it, and the (supposedly) gold frames lift this room from sombre to witty. In fact, it's almost bucolic in a restrained sort of way.

6. Top brass, no more. Grey takes centre stage.
Here are two images of brass and grey together that I have to share with you--each one is just stunning.

source: decor pad
See the brass? See that sweet little sconce?

source: decor pad designer, Mary MacDonald.
This is like playing Where's Waldo? Do you see that little wee table in the back? And, of course, the drapery rod.

Did you notice both rooms used that marvelous "french blue" in addition to the grey?

To wrap up, then: brass and grey (or gray) works well when there's lots of white (or cream) and black in the room as well. Together they express a very glamourous vibe. And brass is never brassy, she's always a lady with Mr. Grey. It's restrained--even when it is part of the colour story (above) there's not much that is actually brass in that picture.

Now, look at this picture.

source: decorpad

Don't you think it needs a touch of brass, somewhere? Just to give it a little push. It looks a wee bit drab, now, doesn't it?

Brass can be tacky. It can look very cheap. Like my light fixture:

No, it's not hairy--that's the last of the "popcorn" from the ceiling.

And that is why I am spray painting this brass light fixture "oil-rubbed bronze" even though I just painted the hallway grey.


Becolorful said...

Haha. I think we all had that light fixture. Loved this post and I understand what you are saying gray seems like such a natural with silver or pewter but isn't it fun to see how really pretty it is with these golds?
Pam @ BeColorful

Leena said...

I've never seen that type of light fixture! I don't think it looks tacky. I like it alot, reminds me of the art deco style.
But if it's not you then it's not you.

I really like the picture under header four!

Alana in Canada said...

Thanks, Pam. I was happily surprised.

Leena--I guess you would like that picture--it is "you" and your love of white--it's very "modern classic" too.

I'm keeping the light fixture--just painting it. We need a new vaccuum and a new hot water heater--and a decent light fixture just isn't in the budget. (sigh). Oh well, there is some virtue to re-using what one has, I guess.

Grace @ Sense and Simplicity said...

Great pictures you rounded up with gray and brass. I just put in aged brass hardware in my kitchen that I painted white on the top and gray on the bottom - how's that for being on trend! Very unlike me.

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