This week, guest blogger Sarah Watson shares an interesting post on the resurgence of brass.
Let us know your thoughts and feel free to share your own finds! -Barbara
Brass finishes seem to be popping up more and more these days. There is something about the warmth and the way it ages that reminds me of old world glamour and elegant European hotels. I love seeing its resurgence and use in more contemporary spaces – take London’s innovative Nopi restaurant for example.
The latest outpost of renowned chef Yotam Ottolenghi, the food is obviously top notch but what I really love is the space. If you have any interest in bathroom design it is a great place to go for inspiration. Designer Alex Meitlis has brilliantly combined modern and antique brass fittings with white subway tiles and tied it all together against a backdrop of Golden Spider marble. The women’s bathroom is particularly jaw-dropping… I won’t spoil the surprise but even men should try to pop their heads in to have look!
Whilst you can buy new fittings finished in brass, antique versions are readily available and much more authentic. Ottolenghi’s husband, Karl Allen, actually sourced much of the fittings himself, trolling antiques stores, salvage yards and markets, along with newer elements from designers like Tom Dixon.
I am utterly in love with the antique coat hooks that adorn the walls of the restaurant (so much so, I hunted Allen down to find out where he got them!). It turns out he stumbled across a stash at the back of an antiques store on London’s Church Street and emailed an image to Meitlis knowing they needed coat hooks for the restaurant. Completely by coincidence Meitlis had a similar design, found at a Berlin antiques market years earlier, in his own apartment in Tel Aviv. They promptly bought the lot, most of which have been used in the restaurant with a remaining stash now in a cupboard in Allen’s London flat.
Other antique brass finds add character and warmth to the space, like a flower shaped pendant lamp found at Alfies Antique Market that hovers above the entrance. The wall-mounted newspaper holders are actually re-purposed carpet rods found at a shop in Gloucestershire. Even the towering entrance doors, found at an architectural selvage yard, are brass and were the original front doors of iconic department store Harvey Nichols!
So here are some images of Nopi and a few other brass fittings spotted of late that have caught my eye.
Sarah Watson lives in London and owns bath furnishings company, Balineum.
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