Bathroom towel racks drive me nuts.
Is it just me? I love having the towel rings next to sinks because it's pretty easy to just throw a tea towel over them and have it look nice enough...but towel bars? The towels are always a mess and look horrible. We had only a towel bar in my downstairs half bath, so I took it out and and bought a ring!
When we have the bars, but I put "decorative" towels on them. By now, my family knows they are not to be used! This probably drives THEM nuts, but hey, a happy mom and wife, means a happy life, right? :)
My "recipe" is always two bigger towels, with two tea towels over them, neatly folded and then I tie the tea towels with some sheer, coordinating ribbon to finish it off.
(and yes, that shiny brass scares me too! I picked out a gorgeous neutral beige to paint this bathroom with, and when I actually get around to painting it, I'll take down all of the shiny and give it a coat of my BFF, Rustoleum's Universal Oil Rubbed Bronze. Yessiree... I lovvve my master bathroom, but who picks yellow paint with shiny gold/brass hardware? It clashes to me! Plus our bathtub has white tile with a line of beige tile...Beige or a better coordinating color at least is the way to go with paint in here!)