“Pulling” it Off:
Hardware Design DOs and DON’Ts

Truly elegant interior design is all in the details, especially when it comes to hardware. Multiple factors go into choosing the perfect piece, and it can become a bit overwhelming. Not only do you have to keep within the theme of the overall design concept – but you also have to think about the weight, scale, material, and even safety of the hardware. Choosing the right levers, knobs, and drawer pulls can be one of the biggest jobs in decorating!

DO: Consider proportion. A large door with a small handle will look out of proportion.

Here is a custom wine cellar door I designed for a Beverly Hills home. The wrought iron pull is just the right weight and size to connect with the proportion of the door and the rustic theme of the overall design.

DON’T: Skimp on the front door, even if you can’t afford high-end hardware throughout your home. It is the entry to your home, and deserves a lot of attention.

This front door was completely custom designed. The grand proportion and details of the door commanded a large-scale, yet feminine, door pull. The Louis XVI Pineapple Pull by P.E. Guerin, Inc. (my favorite hardware firm) was the perfect addition to the entry.

DO: Consider custom designs. Sometimes you just can’t find that perfect piece of hardware and custom is the only way to go.

Here are some custom furniture pieces that I designed for two separate projects in California. The beautifully curved drawer fronts of this vanity deserved custom hardware with the same sensual lines. Ordinary stiff pulls would not have sufficed.

With this dresser, I wanted the hardware to appear as if it were two solid pieces, not 4. These custom pieces come together as if they are one single diamond shaped knob – the look compliments the modern shape and starburst pattern of the piece.

DON’T: Mix and match too much. Be careful when using different finishes and styles within one space, the last thing you want is for your design to become confusing.

Here I explored a careful combination of silver and gold finishes. The silver and gold-leafing of the custom pullman brought it all together.

DO: Extend your decorative taste down to the hardware.

When designing the interior of Aspen homes, I extend the mountain motif right down to the rustic hardware. A great source for this particular look is Rocky Mountain Hardware. As their name suggests, they produce built-to-last rock-solid hardware. In particular I choose to stick with simple shapes and occasional nature-inspired motifs. The Twig Cabinet Pull has just enough mountain appeal without going overboard.

Are there any DOs and DON’Ts that I missed? What other interior design topics would you like to hear about? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas!