"I was surprised at how fresh it felt"

In a sure sign of its ascendance, the warm metal look is also popping up in electronics, where silvery shades generally go unchallenged: The white version of Lady Gaga's Heartbeats ear buds for Beats by Dr. Dre is distinguished by brass-toned studs, and demand for Apple's new gold iPhone 5s, whose plating could pass for brushed brass, has been so relentless that at least one website has emerged to help track its availability. Even car-makers are starting to see past silver (the most popular auto color for years,until it was topped by white in 2011); automotive paint manufacturer BASF has begun to develop several shades of gold for the Chinese market, and industry forecasters are predicting that the brassy and bronzy shades of '70s cars are ripe for revival in America.

Metal finishes are signifiers, said Mr. Adler, who currently offers more than 200 brass products, including a 60-pound sculptural peacock table. "Silver tones are cool, high-tech, Calvin Klein simplicity," he said. "Brass equals warmth, English clubbiness, Moroccan craft and Italian mid-century fantasy." In other words, brass has a more colorful past.

Read More | "The Brass Revival in Home Decor" | David A. Keeps | Wall Street Journal