I remember not so long ago when a home renovation required changing all your hardware to "update" the home's look. Just when you thought you had rid yourself of brass hardware of the gilded '90s decade, or the satin nickel finish of the millennial, new finishes and redesigns of the old came to the marketplace. This will both dazzle and confuse you. Brass, chrome, nickel, oil-rubbed brass, copper, stainless steel and black stainless steel are just some of the metallic finishes available for the hardware of furniture, cabinetry and elsewhere in your home. Just like hemlines and shoulder pads, these details can make your home seem either out-of-date or in style.
Homeowners and designers alike find selecting hardware a bit tedious. Questions such as the following arise: Should all hardware inside a home match? Which finish will look timeless? Is there a finish that feels more at home in a bathroom or kitchen? Should a door's inside and outside hardware be the same? Is it OK to change the hardware of an old home? Is there a significant benefit of new hardware? These are all valid questions that do not have absolute answers, but I will attempt to simplify the subject.
Your hardware doesn't all need to match. However, there should be continuity of color or design to keep a certain flow throughout the home. Part of the selection process is choosing hardware that is in sync with the type of architecture and millwork used throughout the home. For example, choosing an ornate door handle or hinges for a contemporary home likely will not work aesthetically. Similarly, choosing simple geometric-shaped handles for a traditional paneled door may not flatter the doors. Timeless is a good thing to aim for, but more important is keeping things appropriate.
Considering the type of dwelling you have may help you find the answer to this design dilemma. If dealing with a historic home, try to maintain its character and hardware. This may mean taking off all the hardware and stripping off layers and layers of paint, rust or grime buildup from years of use. It may also require the expensive task of re-plating the hardware to its original condition. In the case of a newer home or architecturally insignificant dwelling, it is quite all right to change hardware to keep the home's appearance up-to-date.
Hardware is one selection that should not be done to keep up with trends. Hardware, in fact may stay on a home longer than appliances, wall color, wallpaper and even flooring. Therefore, it is imperative to give the selection some serious thought. Improving and enhancing your home is about maintenance. If your hardware is worn or feels inexpensive, then by all means, improve the hardware, and this will in turn increase the value of your home.
Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Florida. His website is www.josephpubillones.com. To find out more about Joseph Pubillones and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.