Brass is making a comeback. And I am in agreement to this trend, 100%! Brass makes everything cozy, everything stylish and if done right it can elevate simple elements in your home to make it look far more expensive that they actually are! Got a simple kitchen? Fit a brass tap. Hang a few antique brassware. Got an empty table? A brass lantern can quickly take it a notch up. Want some festive flair minus the glitter jing bang? A simple brass glass full of flowers can easily be the centerpiece you are looking for. And sadly, the use of brass in India was limited to Indian/colonial style decor and places of worship. This post intends to change that!

Hello and welcome to our #TruTipTuesday. I am your neighbourhood decor aunty and I am back today with a cool trick or two on how to use brass in modern homes. One I think you’ll find very handy because frankly, we all have a few old, brass hand me downs from grand ma and ma that we would love to put to good use. And secondly, now that the festive season is approaching, I want to change your outlook on Indian handicrafts when it comes to gifting and decorating.

I want you to look at brass in a whole new manner. I want you to take a moment and deep dive into these work of art- replete with its stories, myths and legends- so next time you want to gift, you know what a precious thing you are giving. Next time you take out those brass accents, you take a moment to run your hands through the beautiful jaali work and think of the hands that made them.

Because when you know the story behind anything, it elevates from being just a product to a memento.

Say hello to brass, the India Chic way, a jangling cart to Babubhai Hargovinddas Luharia

In a snakey village road, a bullock cart moves on. The belongings- scrap metals in a cotton cloth and wooden chests full of little valuables and treasures- clucking like a bunch of chickens at breakfast; in conversation with each other creating a perfect symphony of sounds as the cart hits a road bump.

A sound Sneha Khanwalkar will probably will lap up and a sight I would, in water colour.

Gadia Lohars and their jangling carts used to travel from one place to another, making functional metal products for a living, and returning to their village once a year as the pre-defined route would end where it began. Migrated from Rajasthan and settled in Mehsana, even today they continue to revel in their metal work- hot (forging) and cold (nailing) bringing beautiful, functional products to life. And the gamut ranged from sharpening an axe to fixing the fortress gate.

However, with changing demands and changing scenario of scrap metals which was rapidly vanishing as people steered towards newer metals like steel and melamine, the Lohars started buying brass sheets to continue their craft and legacy. A shining example of which you’ll find in this blog today and a lot more listed in Gaatha. Oh, the jingle jangle of his cart and the magic from that jhola!

So happy to bring him to you, as rightly put by Gaatha, “…the old blacksmith with his anvil, hammer and bellow, waiting to bedazzle new age kitchens and bring back the glory of the lost era.”

If I could play a song right now, I’d play Tambourine man. Oddly similar!

How to style traditional brass in modern homes & 2 cool color palettes

Still reeling from the romantic ness of it all but we must talk about how to display them in a way that’s outright chic! Or should I call India Chic. Here are two simple and doable colour palettes that you can do with brass as accent! I have also chosen two very different treatment here – and trust me there are multiple ways to do brass with colours that fall in between these two- but this will give you an idea of how to treat brass accents right in both light and dark schemes.

Here we go!

  1. Light & Airy, Cozy Farmhouse with brass, wood, marble & neutrals: Brass brings in so much elegance and that’s how we see it. But! It also brings in oodles of warmth & coziness. Pair them with handmade ceramic and pale flowers for that perfect farmhouse vibe. Swap your candle votives with brass lanterns. You can group them or keep them as is. Where? On your side tables, in your balcony (hang them or keep them on the floor if you have a low seating) or group them with some books for that perfect centerpiece. Buy the lamp here

Now, while this is a lamp, I sometimes use this for burning incense. Looks divine!

For that brilliant country cozy look. Take a look at how I have done it in my kitchen with Gaatha’s brass oversized ladles and below is an example of how you can take add little bits and bobs of brass for a stunning kitchen face. Borrowed this beautiful image from Remodelista and I am already seeing a few brass tiffin boxes here! How lovely will it be to store chocolates in this on the counter. Or even chikki! No? Buy Here

2) Eclectic and Glamorous with Dark wood, dark walls and brass: Dark wood, dark walls and brass is a match made in heaven. That tiny bit of bling weaves all the dark shades into an eclectic mix that’s equal part dreamy and glamorous. Honestly, if I wasn’t a huge light and airy fan, I would be dark as a charcoal fan. For me, the in between spectrums don’t cut it!

Here’s an example that I borrowed from Pinterest from Maria Oni studio & here are a few accents that you can grab for the table! Buy Tealight here and cakestand here

A little about Gaatha

And I’ll let them tell you in their own words because after years I read a website that struck a chord with my heart! I truly believe that we are all a sum of our stories and that alone determines the stories we will write ahead, and it was beautiful to find a website that gives stories – in words and in crafts- the respect it deserves.

“The ‘Gaatha’ project was conjured to play that key role of storytelling, and therewith bringing social and commercial benefits to the artisan settlements. We desire to become the instrument though which the artisans can directly connect with the global audience, we desire to be the resource which helps craft sell not as objects but stories and ideologies. We are vying to make not just ‘sales‘ but ‘dialogues’ between the craftsmen and their patrons, encouraging ‘co-creation’ possibilities and a collective growth. We are committed to keeping all the good practices intact and all processes humane, just andecologically balanced.”

We hear you Gaatha and we are here to take your stories ahead!

Ladies and gents, do check them out and keep them in mind when you decorate your home or gift this festive season. This novel belongs to us.

Love, Rukmini

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