You may remember the use of "look at me" shiny brass that gained popularity in interior design back in the 1980s. Fortunately, brass sheens have toned down a bit since then, showcasing an appealing natural patina that's both elegant and warm. Not to mention, decorating with the glinty metal finish evokes a sense of luxury, indulgence, and joy. Today, it's widely embraced as an alternative to, or in combination with, more ubiquitous finishes like polished chrome, brushed nickel, and oil-rubbed bronze, especially in the bathroom.
We're partial to using solid brass for tub and shower fixtures — the gold-tone gives these everyday utilitarian elements a luxe and decorative quality. And, good looks aside, brass fixtures are also known for their durability and tend to be less prone to corrosion and leakage. Curious about how you can bring the warm metal finish into your bathroom? Read on.
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1. Introduce wood accents.
Bolster the warmth and beauty of brass shower and tub faucets with the introduction of wood accents. This calming transitional bathroom by Studio Life/Style has a zen-like quality thanks to a pared-down aesthetic, curvaceous tub, brass tub spout, and plenty of wood details, such as a niche for storing bathtime essentials and a stool. A single oversize picture window lets in an abundance of natural light.
2. Opt for brushed brass to get a more aged look.
High-quality brass comes in a surprising number of finishes including polished, satin, and brushed. We love the aged look of brushed brass for the depth and character it imparts, even in newly built spaces. Natalie Myers amped up the spa-like vibes in this bathroom by designing a walk-in shower with a rain showerhead, a wall of soothing blueish-gray tile, and a deep soaking tub showcasing a marble surround.
Get the look: Rejuvenation Wall Mount Shower Arm With 7-inch Shower Head, $799
3. Go graphic.
When floor-to-ceiling white won't do, an accent wall is a great way to add color, texture, or pattern in measured doses. This showstopping bathroom by Tandem Design Interiors uses a retro ochre and pale pink graphic tile on a singular wall to add a focal point in a sea of white, while a brass showerhead and single handle lever echo the sunny hue.
Get the look: Kohler Purist Shower Only Trim Package With 2.5 GPM Single Function Showerhead, $541.76
4. Add old-world charm.
If you're crushing on granny chic decor, then cafe curtains, mix-and-match patterns, and a vintage-inspired freestanding brass tub filler complete with a handheld shower are de rigueur additions to your bathroom. Take styling inspiration from any of Heidi Caillier's projects including this timeless space replete with dramatic marble walls, terra cotta floor tile, and antique furniture.
5. Choose a high-contrast color scheme.
Without any distractions, a wall-mounted brass cross handle tub set takes center stage in a high-contrast black and white bathroom. A freestanding tub, clear shower enclosure, and minimal accessories work together to form a simple and serene space to unwind.
6. Embrace cohesion.
Create a cohesive look by coordinating your bathroom hardware. In this space, brass sink faucets, hinges, lighting, and a rain shower system punctuate wall-to-wall marble, while a floating vanity and a pair of round oil-rubbed bronze mirrors add visual weight.
Get the look: Rejuvenation Rigdon Lever Handle Pressure Balanced Shower Set With Handshower, $1,899
7. Scale down to minimize distraction.
Scaled-down brass tub and shower fixtures, like the ones Sarah Sherman Samuel installed in this kids' bathroom, add shine without distracting from the overall aesthetic. Custom mustard and white stripe tile help create the illusion of more space while a round window is a whimsical touch that draws the eye up.
8. Consider a mossy backdrop.
Balance the clean lines of a modern bathroom with an antique brass exposed pipe shower fitting like the one seen in this streamlined lavatory by Leah O'Connell Design. Saturated green tile in a vertically stacked bond pattern provides a rich background that lets the beauty and luster of the timeless shower system take center stage.
Get the look: Waterworks Highgate Exposed ThermostaticSystem, $2,045
9. Draw attention to functional details.
For unparalleled sophistication and glamour, follow Samantha Todhunter's lead and use polished brass to elevate functional items such as vanity storage, mirrors, and towel bars, in addition to an ornate floor-mounted tub filler. Inlay marble floors, integrated marble sinks, and Roman shades keep the look elevated.
Get the look: Kingston Brass Floor-Mounted Clawfoot Tub Filler With Built-In Diverter and Handshower, $489.99