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The Four Letter Word in Decorating

By Miss Mustard Seed on Apr 10, 2012

Can we please take down that *bleep* chandelier?  And while we’re at it, I’m going to paint the *bleep* door knobs after we replace the *bleep* faucets and the matching *bleep* light fixtures in the bathroom.

Any idea what the four letter word in decorating is?

I’m going to whisper and spell it out, so I don’t lose sponsors, make little kids gasp or genteel women faint…

B – R – A – S – S

Wait. That’s five letters.  Whatever.  It’s a bad, naughty word in most decorating scenarios.  I’m thinking specifically of the “builder grade” brass fixtures everyone wants to immediately replace in their home.  Tacky brass has made me cringe for years and I would replace it with nickel or bronze in a heart beat.  I think brass’ unfortunate association with cheap fixtures made it a bad word.

A few years ago, something changed for me, though.  I started using more gold (brass, really) leaf.  I had only used silver leaf before, but decided to give it a try.  It looked timeless, classic and elegant and I can’t believe it took me so long to see it.  I started putting subtle gold accents in my rooms.

I bought a piece of furniture with some beautiful brass knobs.  Someone had replaced them with nickel, but kept the original hardware in a bag in a drawer.  The nickel looked so inappropriate for the piece, so I decided to use the original knobs.  They looked awesome.  I had been wrong to throw away every brass knob I came across.  I didn’t even give them a chance.

Now that I had made my peace with brass, I started to notice it more.  Especially brass lamps.  Not garish brass lamps, but the ones that are warm and antiqued.  I’ve been looking for one for a while, so I was delighted when I found this one at a yard sale on Saturday for $4.00…

I’ll take that, thank you.  It’s not old, but it has pretty lines and the finish I was looking for.


As I was preparing for this post, I was surprised at how much brass I have in my home and how lovely it can be…



 I’ll probably always hate builder-grade-brass, but I have definitely found a soft spot in my heart for the four (five) letter word in decorating.


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