Trend Forecast: Is Brass About to be Dethroned as Decor’s King?

published Oct 12, 2016
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(Image credit: Round Top Marburger)

Interior design trends often get started in the trenches of flea markets by tastemakers and sometimes take months or even years to catch on and go viral. Justina Blakeney was into plants and scooping up macrame at flea markets long before her brand name, Jungalow, became a household word and everyone was using the #ihavethisthingwithtextiles hashtag. The world is just now starting to embrace this bohemian look, when many of us have already been there, done that and let our ferns die.

It’s safe to say that the current fixation on all things brass started at antique shows where designers scooped up vintage gilded accents, and the widespread obsession began (and continues). I recently took a trip to Antiques Weekend—which spans five rural towns in Texas—with a group of girls as eclectic in their design taste and professions as can be. I dug in to try to spot what people were scooping up and walked away with a few thoughts on what the next décor infatuation might be. Here are five of my predictions.

(Image credit: Jennifer Perkins)

Political Collectibles

With an election on the horizon, it’s hard to avoid the red, white and blue trends. My shopping companions were gravitating towards surreal pictures of Woodrow Wilson and small presidential busts were purchased. I walked away with a JFK throw pillow. This trend may be fleeting, but I’m not putting my Ronald Regan shot glasses into storage just yet.

(Image credit: Jennifer Perkins)

Folk Art

So called primitive or naive art, popsicle stick lamps, intricate crown-of-thorn frames— you know the look. Sometimes the items, often also referred to as tramp art or outsider art, would be equally believable as being created by artistic genius or in a children’s craft class, which is what makes them so wonderful. Even the most well-manicured and curated homes need a little something rough around the edges for interest.

(Image credit: Jennifer Perkins)

Funky Representational Sculptures

Busts, face jugs and even full body sculptures – I’m not talking Rodin quality stuff here – I’m talking 1970s hand building pottery class cast-offs. Pottery has been on the rise for a while now (thank you boho trend), but this season pieces with an anthropomorphic spin kept catching our eye. Much like folk art, the more handmade-looking the better!

(Image credit: Jennifer Perkins)

Western Wear

Nobody needs to run out and buy spurs, but if you’re still feeling brass, why not go with an unpolished brass cactus? You don’t need a saddle, but you might need to commission a tooled leather unicorn headboard. Need a statement piece? Skip the obvious vintage abstract art and go with an oil painting of cattle instead. A little bit goes a long way.

(Image credit: Jennifer Perkins)


The magic of tidying up went into overkill in recent years, which may have had the effect of leaving walls blank and rooms looking a bit bare. The maximalism of the Victorian era is catching on and the idea that more is more is gaining in popularity. At the flea market, I heard, on good authority, from a buyer working for a big name retail chain (who shall remain nameless) that it’s all about the Victorian home furnishings right now. Start looking for beaded lamp shades, wicker and heavy wooden chairs now. Trust me.

Trends ebb and flow. Some people make them, some follow them and others just have their own distinct style and taste that just hits the nail on the head. Always remember: when shopping at a flea market the best time to buy an antique is when you see it; even if it is not on trend today, it might be tomorrow. You might be the one that makes crocheted toilet paper coozies the next big thing!