“It’s all in the details” – this old saying definitely applies to great interior design. Those often overlooked small touches can set your home apart and give it a unique character all its own.
We tend to think about design accessories in terms of throw pillows and accent pieces, but have you ever considered accessorizing your doors or kitchen and bathroom cabinetry? Hardware is the jewelry of your doors and cabinetry, much the way just the right jewelry can turn a simple dress into an elegant and uniquely personal look. But overdo your outfit with too many or disparate accessories, and your entire look is ruined. The same strategy goes for your home’s hardware – when used correctly, it will add color, sparkle, texture and symmetry to your space; it can even enhance the overall design and architecture of each room.
There’s an incredibly wide range of hardware selections today – no matter what statement your home makes, there’s no end to the selection of beautiful shapes and materials you can choose from, including glass, metals, and jeweled. Hardware makes an extremely important contribution to each room it adorns, and the right selection can make your vanities and cabinetry look more like furniture than simply utilitarian objects.
Hardware considerations go beyond just pulls and knobs – when replacing them on hinged doors, use hinges that match the pull or doorknob in terms of color or metal type. Rooms with barn doors offer a unique opportunity to create a surprising or artistic focal point because the track can often be seen on the outside of the doors. For example, I have included Asian-influenced hardware in a contemporary home and it has created an interesting eclectic element.
A standard white builder’s vanity can be elevated from ordinary to extraordinary simply by dressing it up with special hardware. I designed a very feminine storybook-themed bedroom for the young daughter of a client; the bedroom was accented with pink bow patterns, so we echoed that with glass bow pulls in the en suite bathroom. Little touches like this tie related rooms together and give spaces a special personality all their own.
Kitchens, of course, have the most highly visible and heavily used cabinetry in your home. The hardware you choose depends on both your personal taste and the décor of your kitchen; what’s perfect in one might not work in another. This is exemplified in the very diverse kitchens of two of my clients. The first client wanted a very contemporary black-and-white kitchen – here we used all pulls and no knobs to create a simple and sleek feel that underscores and enhances the room’s style. However, we added variety and interest by using pulls of different sizes, allowing them to make their own statement.
The second is the kitchen of a client who has the opposite taste - she loves color, variety, and displaying her collections, so we honored her passions with knobs, levers, and pulls of different sizes, as well as amber glass knobs on the pantries across the room. They key is that all of the hardware is coordinated in color and style so they don’t fight each other for attention or become distracting. In addition, we used oil-rubbed bronze braided hardware to coordinate with the braiding in the crown molding, which calls attention to the most unique architectural feature in the room.
And don’t overlook your home’s entry! The exterior door is usually different from the other doors so the interior doorknob on the inside is an important part of your foyer’s décor, no matter how small or sweeping the space is. Your foyer introduces guests to your home and sets an aesthetic tone for what’s to come, so make the right impression with the doorknob. Replace a standard knob with a more unique one that has character and style in keeping with your home’s overall look. This small change will glam up the door and foyer while adding value to your home.
One important tip – when using jeweled hardware, avoid putting it on every drawer and cabinet; too much flash can detract from your setting. Instead, make one eye-catching statement and choose coordinated hardware for surrounding cabinetry. In my client’s dressing area, a striking blue painted jeweled pull on the central drawer of the vanity became a focal point supported by the coordinated metal pulls surrounding it. This type of arrangement allows the special piece to have impact – as with anything, too much of a good thing is not a good thing at all.
Hardware can run into all price ranges, depending on how elaborate you want it to be. But regardless of its cost, when used correctly, hardware can increase the “wow” factor of your rooms and make cabinetry and doors unique works of art.