Is Chrome the new brass?

Move over metallics - chrome is back in town
Chris Warnes

Chrome might well be the quiet achiever of interiors finishes – we think that’s all about to change.

An enduring finish that has stood the test of time, chrome is as much retro as it is bang-up-to-date contemporary – think 1950s jukebox meets 1980s dining chairs. The mirror-like must have looks like moving in on the metallic scene in a big way this year and we’re tipping a comeback of this finish as a style statement in its own right.

In many ways a chrome finish has never gone away – simply taken a back seat whilst the golden girls of copper, brass and rose gold have had their moment to… shine. 

More than just another type of tap, chrome is a finish not to be taken for granted. We  check out the pros and cons and give you a few ideas how to get a little of this cool metallic in your life.

On the upside, chrome doesn’t tarnish like copper and brass do – so you can stop burning elbow grease every few weeks to keep it gleaming. The lustre of the chrome comes from spraying or electroplating a thin layer of chromium onto a metal object. The protective finish is incredibly durable and resists corrosion, so extends the life of the object. The smooth surface also allows for easy cleaning.

On the down side, a little goes a long way. Chrome is as much practical as it is stylish and its application often goes unnoticed so, if you’re upping the presence of it in your room with a statement piece, be considerate of other pieces that feature chrome and will be brought to the fore with its addition.

Is Chrome the new brass? | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia


Chrome finishes continue to be the most popular choice in tapware, with their smooth shine and easy clean finish. A wall mounted basin stand is a great way to make a feature of chrome, styled with the same lines as your choice of tapware.

Any new tapware designs hitting the stores in finishes of matte black, rose gold or brass finish will almost certainly be released in chrome as well. Big name retailers will design an entire range of tapware and accessories such as towel racks, shower shelves and robe hooks to match.

Is Chrome the new brass? | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
(Credit: Michael Tobar)

Living Room

Chrome makes a statement and in your living room works especially well in a coffee table or in the framework on armchairs and sofas to lend a modern edge to the space. As any object can be finished in chrome, it lends itself to the whole gamut of styles – equally happy on a French-inspired 8 arm chandeliers as it is on a sleek and contemporary glass-topped coffee table.

Is Chrome the new brass? | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
(Credit: Sue Stubbs)

Dining Room

Chrome framework on dining chairs is a simple and elegant way to bring a little bling into your dining space, and helps to mix a contemporary edge in with a timber dining table. It’s also a great way to transition from living to kitchen spaces in an open plan zone, with a nod from coffee table to tapware.

Is Chrome the new brass? | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
(Credit: via Bloglovin’ on Pinterest)


Tapware may be the obvious choice to bring chrome into your kitchen but a nice touch is to choose chrome fitting at your sink and echo it elsewhere in the space, such as in cabinetry knobs, or big impact pendant lighting.

Is Chrome the new brass? | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
(Credit: Chris Warnes)


If the ultimate indulgence of a chrome canopy bed is too much, keep it to accessories such as a table lamp. An elegant console works wonders and gives a glamourous touch, as well as adding a reflective element to the soft furnishings that surround it in the bedroom.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be one or the other where metallic finishes are concerned. Mixing metallics is a great way to add interest throughout your home and, particularly if your interior has more of an eclectic mix of furnishing and décor, have fun and make a feature of yours.

Is Chrome the new brass? | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
(Credit: Sue Stubbs)

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