Mad About . . .

Mad About … Brass Taps

4th November 2013
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Now, brace yourselves as this might sound a tad controversial, but i think the time has come to consider a return to the gold tap.

brass vola taps on mano a mano gold tiles from laurence pidgeon

brass taps from vola on made a mano gold tiles from laurence pidgeon

I first thought about this a few weeks ago when the above image dropped into my inbox. Cue sharp intake of breath. Suddenly my chrome taps and fittings seem so cold. So old. So wrong.

brass taps image from laurence pidgeon

brass taps image from laurence pidgeon

And what’s more, brass, which will age naturally over time and acquire a beautiful patina, looks beautiful with grey (which I may have mentioned is the perfect neutral and comes in many shades … stop me if you’ve heard this before).

brass taps bathroom rockrosewine.com

brass taps and shower rail image from rockrosewine.com

Brass and grey are a perfect combination of modernity and warmth.

brass taps from blog.thedpages.com

brass shower fittings from blog.thedpages.com

In this dark grey concrete bathroom, the brass warms the room up and stops it being too cold and clinical. It’s back to the industrial glamour look again.

grey bathroom from eleanorbusing.com

grey bathroom from eleanorbusing.com

Finally what about this one? Admittedly, I’m not entirely sure about the chinoiserie painting on the back wall but never mind that, feast your eyes on the tap.

brass taps from welke.nl

But brass doesn’t have to stay in the bathroom. If anything it’s even more stunning in the kitchen.

brass lights from visualcomfortableblog.com

brass accents from visualcomfortableblog.com

Look closely at the kitchen about and you will see the brass handles, the taps and, of course, those rather gorgeous lights over the island bringing the whole look together.

brass taps from houzz.com

brass taps in a grey kitchen image from houzz.com

Of course it doesn’t have to be grey. Think about brass and navy blue? Or a light mint green.

brass tap nterior by abby wolf-weiss | photos by jessica claire from dustjacketattic.com

brass tap image by jessica claire taken from dustjacketattic.com

Brass is also wonderful against plain white with a wooden worktop.

brass taps from dustjacketattic.com

brass taps from dustjacketattic.com

Finally, because most of us probably can’t afford to rip out the plumbing and start again, look at this fabulous kitchen. The taps are still chrome but the lights and wood bring in a those warm elements.

grey and brass interiors

grey and brass interiors image from eleanorbusing.com

I am, however, seriously thinking of ripping out the existing plumbing …






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  • DIY Bimbo 3rd June 2014 at 11:57 am


    Firstly, thanks, I am loving your blog! Just wondering if anyone can give me any tips on where in the UK I can buy reasonably priced / good quality brass taps. We are lucky enough to be just in the process of renovating a whole house and would love all brass throughout but am having a nightmare sourcing them. Any tips most welcome!

    Thank you!

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 4th June 2014 at 4:12 pm

      How lovely to have brass taps everywhere. They’re still quite expensive at the moment but you can look for companies such as Waterworks and Vola who all make beautiful high end brass taps. I rather love this bathroom tap from UKTaps but I don’t know the company. It’s a great price for a brass tap though.If you want more specific help then I can perhaps direct you to my consultancy Mad About Your House where I help people find things specific to their requirements and budget.

  • al 27th March 2014 at 12:55 pm


    I’m debating going for brass again and your site has been v inspiring. I think I’m over chrome! I’m looking for wall mounted basin taps similar to the ones shown in your second picture from the top. Any idea where I might find them or similar??

  • Mappliqué 5th November 2013 at 12:16 am

    Sold! sceptical going in, converted by the end. they really add warmth and glamour (and look great against white & grey!)

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 5th November 2013 at 7:58 am

      They do don’t they! I’m looking at my chrome taps with a certain amount distaste now …

  • Hannah | Ebury Home 4th November 2013 at 4:10 pm

    One of my favourite combinations! I’d be changing to brass if it wasn’t for the fact that we’d installed chrome when our bathroom was refitted 8 years ago…

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 4th November 2013 at 4:23 pm

      I only refitted two years ago and find myself dreaming ….

  • Izzy Evans 4th November 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Hi its me again ;D
    love the post ;D

    I started my own blog , and i would love to hear your opinion about it, please check it out when you’ll find the time
    Many thanks

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 4th November 2013 at 4:23 pm

      I will! Well done. The key is to keep it going now…

  • Carole Poirot 4th November 2013 at 1:07 pm

    For years and years chrome was my go-to option for anything related to taps. I remember “gold” making an appearance some time ago, but it all seemed very ostentatious and not my style at all. Now brass comes back and I would really consider that option. Oh decisions, decisions… Luckily maybe in this case, I’m renting, so I don’t actually get to worry about it 😉

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 4th November 2013 at 4:22 pm

      I am exactly the same but there’s a real difference between ostentatious gold taps and natural brass which, as I said in the comment below (or it might be above!) is that it ages naturally with time and acquires a beautiful patina which is warm and gorgeous. I’m not renting and would dearly love to switch to brass but as I only did the house up two years ago can’t justify it … yet!

  • Rachael Hare 4th November 2013 at 11:53 am

    I have an ongoing dilemma! Bath and basin taps are the original Victorian brass, they look in keeping. Shower tap, head and hose plus the cistern lever are chrome! New brass looks awful, old brass hardware doesn’t fit the new pipework!

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 4th November 2013 at 4:21 pm

      Oh I sympathise. The shower fittings in the image with the gold and white tiles are from Vola – they are insanely expensive but would they go? The other thing about brass is that it ages naturally with time so if you go for proper brass – as opposed to that painted/dipped modern stuff – it will age to match the rest.

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