Home Tones: Brass

Antique brass-mirror and hand basin tapscredit

In previous Home Tones posts, we’ve featured a range of metallics such as gold, pewter, copper and steel – today, it’s the turn of brass. It’s a warm, inviting colour which we have dotted about our own house. It works with both our antique and mid century modern pieces. It comes in various tones depending how much it’s aged or has been polished.

Brass can have a wonderful reflective quality – and light can also play differently depending on whether the metal has a smooth finish or is beaten into a textured surface. It looks fabulous with spotlighting – or even better, flickering candles.

It works well with the natural shades of wood, wicker, seagrass and Hessian. It’s often used with cream and white paints where its reflective qualities enhance the light & airy feel… but we particularly love it against dark greys where it has real dramatic impact.

House extension clad in brasscredit

Brass-clad kitchen cabinetcredit

brass light switch finger plate and picture frame on a stairwaycredit

Antique brass bed in traditional styled bedroomcredit

Dark painted kitchen with brass and copper accessoriescredit

Bathroom with black roll top bath and brass accessoriescredit

Kitchen with 3 hanging brass lampshades and other brass accessoriescredit

Price Points: Moscow Mule mugs

Moscow Mule mugs

Moscow Mule – it sounds so Cold War Soviet Union. In fact, the cocktail was invented in the early 1940s by two American drinks distributors.

On 28 July 1948, it was reported in the New York Herald Tribune:

“The mule was born in Manhattan but ‘stalled’ on the West Coast for the duration. The birthplace of ‘Little Moscow’ was in New York’s Chatham Hotel. That was back in 1941 when the first carload of Jack Morgan’s Cock ‘n’ Bull ginger beer was railing over the plains to give New Yorkers a happy surprise. Here was ginger beer in crockery bottles tasting exactly like that of old England.”

“Three friends were in the Chatham bar, one John A. Morgan, known as Jack, president of Cock ‘n’ Bull Products and owner of the Hollywood Cock ‘n’ Bull Restaurant; one was John G. Martin, president of G. F. Heublein Brothers, Inc. of Hartford, Conn., and the third was Rudolph Kunett, president of the Pierre Smirnoff, Heublein’s vodka division. As Jack Morgan tells it, ‘We three were quaffing a slug, nibbling an hors d’oeuvre and shoving toward inventive genius.’ Martin and Kunett had their minds on their vodka and wondered what would happen if a two-ounce shot joined with Morgan’s ginger beer and the squeeze of a lime. Ice was ordered, limes procured, mugs ushered in and the concoction put together. Cups were raised, the men counted five and down went the first taste. It was good. It lifted the spirit to adventure. Four or five later the mixture was christened the Moscow Mule… and for a number of obvious reasons. “

The exact reason why Moscow Mules are traditionally drunk out of copper mugs is a bit lost in time. However, the material certainly suits this cocktail – the metal keeps the drink colder for longer, necessitating less ice. And it apparently makes the acidic lime taste sharper.

I’d happily quaff Moscow Mules from any of three of the mug collections above. But I’d choose the hammered version over the other two. Firstly, I like my mugs with a handle – there are no freezing (or burning, if glugging Glühwein) fingers to contend with. Additionally, I know it goes against what I’ve just said, but the hammered body is so tactile…

  1. Copper Moscow Mule mugs (set of 4): $63, Food52
  2. Set of 6 pure hammered copper Moscow Mule mugs: £83.25, Amazon
  3. Tom Dixon Plum Moscow Mule glasses, set of 2: £55, John Lewis

Home Tones: Steel

'Home Tones' blog post banner

Stainless steel kitchencredit

Steel – the material and the colour is this week’s Home Tones. By its very nature, steel has a solid and durable quality. It has real presence in a space – strong and timeless. It’s probably most often used in kitchens and kitchen diners, but we’ve found some wonderful images of it being utilised in bathrooms, lounge areas and bedrooms too. And not forgetting outdoor spaces where metal planters and garden furniture can look fabulous in contemporary designs. It’s the perfect partner for lighter shades of wood such as beech and birch – and looks amazing set against various shades of purple, orange and grey.

sitting room with purple armchairs and large steel ceiling pendant lightcredit

Stainless steel bathroom sink consolecredit

steel four-poster bedcredit

Modern stainless steel fire extractor fluecredit

Home work desk with metal chaircredit

Large outdoor steel planterscredit

Eileen Greyttype chrome & glass bedside tablecredit

Home Tones: Copper

'Home Tones' blog post banner

Kitchen with copper range, saucepans and utensilscredit

The current fashion for using copper in interiors shows no sign of abating. This metallic tone isn’t sterile like stainless steel can often feel. It’s also not as ‘bling’ as gold; it’s warm, soft and sumptuous. It works very well with dark paint shades, particularly grey – another strong trend over recent years. It also lends itself to being used alongside a wide variety of textures; from concrete to velvet, wood to suede. Whether you’re aiming for a luxe or utilitarian look, copper will work wonderfully well.

Copper roll top bath, mirror and accessoriescredit

Collection of large spherical lampshades in an open-plan kitchen dinercredit

Luxurious bedroom with bedside copper lamp and bed linencredit

Dark wood and metal contemporary kitchencredit

An all white modern kitchen with metallic furniture and finishingscredit

Copper cantilevered house exteriorcredit

Utilatarian shower and towel warmercredit