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The Classical Beauty of Polished Nickel

Nickel tapware has charmed homeowners and enhanced classical interiors for decades.

The golden glow of the nickel finish complements warm toned textiles and colours, making this a popular choice for period restorations and renovations of older homes.

Above: Nickel Basin and Bath in Tamarama House - Bathroom

‘The details are not the details. They make the design.’ Charles Eames’ famous statement endures, and nowhere is this more true than in home renovations. It’s the smaller elements, such as light shades, cabinet knobs and drapes, that can truly bring a room to life.

Beautiful tapware gives any bathroom the finishing touch to set it apart. Whether it’s rustic or classical, industrial or sleek and modern, Perrin & Rowe’s diverse range of fittings, available in a wide variety of finishes, will take your bathroom to the next level.

Above: Nickel tapware in the Drummoyne House - Bathroom

The Finish: 

Nickel was the original finish of tapware before Chrome was developed in the 1920’s, and as such is prized for its warm, classical look and associated characteristics.  Perrin & Rowe plate their brass taps and accessories with a thick 15-20 microns of Nickel which far exceeds the industry standard.  This careful process takes a total of two hours to produce a quality finish.

Above: Nickel bath tap in the Pompallier Terrace 2 - Bathroom

Ageing process:

Nickel and Brushed Nickel (which we call Pewter) are ‘living finishes’ and as such react with the environment to develop an aged patina for a classical appearance – similar to silver or brass. Polished Nickel fittings develop a warm patina similar to old silver whereas Pewter darkens slightly with age.

Above: Nickel bathroom fittings in the Pompallier Terrace 2 - Bathroom

Polished Nickel versus Brushed Nickel:

Polished Nickel from Perrin & Rowe is applied over premium brass taps, shower fittings and accessories and polished to a high shine. To produce a Pewter finish, the Nickel is brushed lightly to give a matte appearance similar to actual pewter. NB: Perrin & Rowe Pewter fittings may resemble stainless steel but it must be remembered that they are a ‘living finish’– see Ageing process.

Above: Nickel Bath/Shower Mixer in Bar Beach House- Bathroom

Above: Nickel Low Spout Basin Set in Croydon St - Bathroom

Above: Polished Nickel after a few months vs Brushed Nickel


All tapware accumulates grease and dust which dulls the surface if not regularly washed and dried. With Nickel and Pewter fittings it is important to wash off chemicals such as toothpaste – do not leave them to sit on the surface for long periods as they will leave marks on the finish. Clean with warm water alone or add a mild neutral detergent.  Avoid commercial cleaners which can be acidic and will eventually erode the finish. 

For an occasional ‘deeper’ clean the following is available – although it must be expected that this will remove much of the natural patina associated with ageing.  Autosol Metal Polish Liquid, available from most hardware and automotive product stores, is a gentle non- abrasive cleaner but should still be used infrequently – twice a year if desired.  Use sparingly on a soft cloth and polish off with a clean cloth. Microfibre cloths are good for polishing taps. 

Nickel basin mixer in Mt Eden Villa - Bathroom

Nickel country spout tap in Point Piper Kitchen

Nickel Ionian Tap in Queen Street Residence - Kitchen 

Nickel Parthian tap with Spray Rinse and Oxford Grilles in Pymble House -Laundry

The ultimate marriage of functionality and aesthetics, Perrin & Rowe brassware is handcrafted to the highest quality in their special manufacturing plant in the UK. The taps are built to last too – all feature German-made ceramic disc valves which guarantee ease of use for many years.

For a bathroom with a touch of true luxury, specify beautiful Perrin & Rowe tapware, available from In Residence

SHOP ALL BATHROOM / Basin Taps / Bath Taps / Shower Sets 


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