Have you noticed recently that certain materials are at the height of trend in interiors? Such finishes like brass, marble, white walls, and natural woods are at the forefront. Many times I read blogs and magazines that comment and write features on how these are so 'of the moment', which is true. However, stepping back I believe it's something else much larger that's driving the trends. It's conceptual, not material. It's a mood.
All these materials and finishes have in common, a birthplace imbedded with historical and classical references. Think about how brass resonates with the warmth and look of gold finishes. At this time using gold on furniture and hardware or plumbing is economically inappropriate, but using it's visual close cousin is not. The white walls reference the natural state of plaster. Marble, Greco Roman architecture. And naturally finished woods span across many cultures, as wood is such a huge natural resource.
In this era of super fast evolving technology we're creating living and work spaces that ground us. I personally appreciate these materials and am probably jumping deep into the bandwagon, but I really hope whatever comes next still respects classical references. It's an age old theory that history repeats itself and why wouldn't we repeat historical decorative and architectural elements that work!