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Brass is Back

How many 1980’s trends can you find in this recently designed room by Sarah Richardson?

Everything old is new again.  And that’s good for thrifty design junkies.

In interior design the 1980’s are back.  Eep.  It sounds bad.  And sometimes it is.  But it doesn’t mean your home needs to look like an episode of Miami Vice or Dallas. Or 90% of doctor’s offices.  At least I hope it doesn’t!

However, think of the return of these 80’s trends in the past few years: grey is the go-to neutral.  But not the cool dull greys of the 80’s, rather a warmer more dynamic grey.  Wallpaper’s been back for a while now, but in modern graphic patterns – no fruit bowls, ivy borders, or horses, please.  Patterns in textiles are recalling the trends of wide stripes, big florals, paisleys, navajo-inspired patterns… all popular in the 1980’s.  And peach and mint green are back – they’re just calling themselves “coral” and “turquoise” these days.

The key to using these 80’s revivals is to not use them the same way you did in 1984 (well, I didn’t use any design rules back then.  I was busy being born and stuff.)  Instead of everything being match-matchy use elements of these trends in a more modern and eclectic way.

Design by Lauren Gold, from Lonny Magazine …Notice the southwest patterned pillow?  Brass coffee table?  Cheetah-print bench?  Eeeightieees…

One trend I’m liking is the return of warm metal tones after years of brushed nickel.  Gold, copper, bronze, and brass are all big.

Design by Emily Henderson

In the 80’s you may have installed gold bathroom faucets.  Don’t do that.  But do bring in these warm metal tones in changeable accessories like lamps, picture frames, candlesticks… or side tables!

Design by Angie Hranowsky in Lonny Magazine

I’m on a mission to do just this.  I want to find old brass side tables on UsedRegina to add to our living room.  They still need be solid and well designed.  And whether they stay brass or not will depend on the finish (I want brass that has a depth of colour and patina – not too shiny or yellowy).

So in my search for 80’s brass side tables I collected a round up of some of the great brass finds on UsedRegina:

My first find is perfect for a game I call “Awesome or Awful”.  Quick.  Grab a friend, spouse, or roommate.  Now show them this picture.  What do you think these tables are, Awful or Awesome?  Does your partner agree?

Marble and brass side tables for $80 on UsedRegina.

Well, I vote awesome.  Unfortunately my husband votes awful.  The intricate brass bases and marble tops may be a bit over-the-top for some, but I think they’re great!  (AND they’d fit in our living room.  Boo.  Shouldn’t have let him vote…)

A classic, the brass bed never goes out of style.  I can usually find a variety on UsedRegina. This one is particularly great with its clean lines and cannonball finials.

A classic brass bed for $250 on UsedRegina

And brass candlesticks are a great way to bring warm metal tones into your decorating without any long term commitment.  Not to mention they’re perfect for Christmas!

An assortment of brass candleholders for only $5!

I’m trying to think where I might need a floor lamp in my house, because updating the lampshade on this great swivel-arm lamp would look fabulous!

All this $10 brass floor lamp needs is a new shade.

(That’s another returning 80’s trend, actually: tapered lamp shades.  But not pleated teal lampshades.  Sorry 80’s, you can keep this one.)

Here’s another round of “Awesome or Awful”:

A circular brass coffee table for $75 on UsedRegina… Awesome or awful?

That’s right.  I vote “awesome”.  My husband doesn’t get a vote this time.  However to keep this table current it’ll need to be surrounded by more contemporary design.  Say good by to the pink carpet, brass, you’re not allowed to be together anymore.

What trends are you seeing for the second (or third) time around?  Which ones are you happy to see return, and which ones should go back in the time capsule?  Anyone out there have some awesome brass side tables hiding in your basement for me?

I'm the wife of one amazing man, a mom of two wonderful little kiddos, and I love interior design, painting, pottery, diy-ing (is that a verb?) running, watching football, singing, the outdoors, ...and so many other things about this wonderful life I've been given!

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