Heavenly hardware puts distinction in details

By Betsy Wurm


You can’t put your finger on it, but as you walk through there’s just something distinctive about a home.

Ron Gigstead, owner of The Finial, urges the use of cabinetry hardware “to take us out of the four dots that separate us from the cookie cutters of the world”.

As you close the front door, look down at your hand and you may find the answer within your grasp. With the plethora of choices in hardware, you can take the devil out of the details to get heavenly results.

Ron Gigstead, owner of The Finial in Mequon, said with just a little imagination, we can use hardware “to take us out of the four dots that separate us from the cookie cutters of the world.”

Whether changing over some or all of your existing hardware, or selecting for new construction, you’ll find something for every budget, every scope, and every style. Door handles, drawer pulls, towel bars, cabinet knobs, key escutcheons, fireplace tools and surrounds, and even plumbing fixtures give homeowners the tools to give their home a signature style.

Several trends dominate in the current and future hardware market. “Polished brass is dead. It’s just been overdone,” Gigstead said. “In my opinion, if you look at brass that’s been polished and lacquered, you’re seeing brass in an artificial state. In real life, brass would never be that bright and shiny for that length of time.”

Oxidized, weathered, and distressed finishes predominate for metals. He said, “Our pewters have been selling strong, and the darker bronze tones are making a strong showing.”

Luckily, not all that glitters is polished brass. From the formality of cut Swarovski crystal to bold abstract designs, Gigstead said, “Glass and color is on the leading edge—it’s just coming into play. Color has been in Europe for the past ten years, so it’s about time that we start seeing it here in the states. With it, we’re getting a more lively and fresh look, even in homes that are very traditional. Introducing a little color is just fabulous.”

According to Gigstead, using the same metal finish throughout the home, but changing the style of the pieces is a great way to give your home a completed feel. “There’s a thread that ties all of the home’s hardware together. It’s like a tree. You can branch off of it into different rooms and areas becoming more or less formal reflecting the room’s use. That way, there is a design concept for the entire package.”

Gigstead suggests that a good start for the timid is to replace just six of the common knobs in a kitchen. The remaining knobs, he said, “Become the background of a picture. You can give your kitchen a fresh look with just a modest expense.”

Likewise, if cost is a consideration, changing over your hardware can be done gradually as budget allows. Certainly, it’s a way to update décor without even having to think about hiring a contractor. On-site designers at most stores are happy to help you wade through the choices at no cost, if you wouldn’t know where to begin.

Whether sleek and spare or Trumpishly rococo, there are many choices to reflect your style. Distinctive hardware can do for a home what a double strand of pearls does for a Chanel suit; it completes the “look.”