Hardware not as in the hardware store…but as in jewelry for your space.
Ok Peeps this a good one!
We will get down to the nitty-gritty of how to select this portion of your project and what rules not to follow.
Dictionary.com definition for Hardware: metalware, as tools, locks, hinges, or cutlery. The mechanical equipment necessary for conducting an activity, usually distinguished from the theory and design that make the activity possible.
Well, let me tell you something this is the “official” definition. For me during my creative process and the work that I do these are some of the details that can be a missed opportunity to unify the space and to really show attention to detail.
Hardware for your space in terms of a reno project, a design project, or often both can be anything from hinges and door handles or locks to cabinetry hardware, to thresholds to a first impression door knocker or house numbers.
If we are talking about a design project alone it may be more difficult to get some of the existing hardware to blend with the rest of the space, or it would take a chunk of change to replace. So, let me try to simplify this for you.
Builders typically use shiny brass (fake brass) handles, knobs, and hinges for the doors in the house. Alternatively, you may purchase a “completely renovated home” (beware deceiving language)… and you end up with the original hardware or at times – I have seen with my own eyes – a mix of hardware throughout. That only makes things harder for you.
Here is the thing, builders please give folks the option within your standard of choosing an alternative finish for door knobs/handles & hinges. Flippers or home rehabbers, if you are going to do it- do it right. Don’t skimp on finishes that are subpar or cheap out with plastic covered in metallic paint crap hardware. Please, it is almost better to show the home with no doors and at the open house have a sample door and sample hardware at different price points and let the buyer choose. (In this case same goes for flooring….)
Also, I suggest that you understand that if you are going to do a rehab project you must consider ALL the implications of changing one element and how it will affect others. For example; let’s say you have the pesky shiny brass builders basic knobs/handles and hinges on all the doors in your house. You decide you will switch all those out and when you are going through doing the deed… you realize that in a few places there are thresholds on the floor that are also shiny brass (actually were shiny, now just ugly)…
Or you are willing and ready to take out all the shiny brass out of the house except you forgot that those huge light fixtures going up the stairs, the ones in the dining room, the wall sconces, the bathroom fixtures, the closets even your exterior lights are also that finish… All of a sudden we may be talking thousands instead of hundreds.
But remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. So, if you are living in the home pace yourself, do all handles/knobs and hinges first, then the light fixtures, perhaps the exterior first, then the interior. (If you are really patient and crafty I have even heard of people who take the existing door hardware apart and sand them, & then spray them with metallic paint). But whatever you do don’t do shiny brass.
(By the way, just to clarify the finish of your door hardware doesn’t have to match the finish of your light fixtures). Typically if you have a light fixture that is visible from other rooms then perhaps those should match in finish, but for the most part feel free to mix finishes- within tasteful reason.
The only time I would suggest leaving original hardware on doors at a home is if the home is really old and the hardware is original, and of course, if the style of your decor can support the style of said hardware. Another option would be to sell the antique or vintage hardware to an architectural salvage store.
Ok now to the more fun hardware and what I really think of as jewelry.
Love all the options available and every day there is new stuff out. Think of this as the piece you can splurge on in an office space. Or perhaps, a bathroom that you did with middle of the road finishes…. Add a little piece of glamor, or luxe whatever floats your boat to those cabinets. Whatever you do though don’t invest in beautiful cabinetry and then finish them off with cheap hardware. I would also dare suggest that the hardware is not installed in funky ways….
Personally, I almost always switch the hardware from brand new furniture pieces.
West Elm, Pottery Barn, Crate, and Barrel.
This is one of the instances when you need an inspiration or sample board of all the other finishes together, this way you can see how it will all flow.
POLISHED OR SATIN BRASS IS REALLY POPULAR RIGHT NOW
WINDOW TREATMENT HARDWARE
With window hardware, my suggestion is that make sure it ties to something. For example, if you have table lamps and hanging lights that are a certain finish, let’s say brushed or antique brass then you can repeat that finish on the window treatment hardware.
If you have a mixture, let’s say you went for an antique brass finish for your table lamps and other light fixtures, but you also have some darker/oil rubbed bronze finish – say the staircase and door hardware and you have a lot of other gold finishes- then go for the darker hardware for the window panels.
If you are going for a more “cottage feel” you can make the rods white wood, or even wrought iron. But that wrought iron or the white needs to be repeated elsewhere. The white always easier to pair with trim color or you want it to contrast against the color of the wall.
The style of the hardware regardless of the finish will play a part to define the style you are after.
CONTRAST IS ALWAYS GOOD
I personally would not do that backsplash and the chrome faucet with the above setup but you get the idea….these 2 finishes in this setup don’t go.
Ok, I am sure you all get the idea here it is important to have the cohesive hardware.
- We can mix (elegantly) hardware finishes
- Sometimes we are forced to tie in a finish that we cannot change
- Decorative hardware like for cabinets or furniture is like jewelry, so splurge a little