The Knobbery | cabinet hardware | door hardware | bath accessories | faucets | furniture knobs and pulls

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Using Unique Materials to Reflect Personal Style

When most people begin there cabinet hardware search their first thoughts are to match the finish of their light fixtures or faucets, or sometimes their appliances.  However there are more and more people that want the hardware to truly be the jewelry of the space, bringing a unique color and texture to the overall design.  For these people we have a wide array of different materials, besides metal, to choose from.

There are many different materials that hardware can be made from.  Some of our favorites are glass, acrylic, leather, precious & semi precious stones, just to list a few.

Glass hardware offers the widest selection of texture and color options.  Some of the items look like ice or water.  While others are a ribbed detail that matches certain glass insets in the cabinetry.

Along with bringing a special amount of texture and color to a space they are a great way to showcase your own sense of style and personality.  Below are several examples from bright emerald polka dots to vintage style cameos, or fun letters to personalize any space.

Another great material is leather.  It offers a wonderful organic, natural texture and can also come in a wide variety of colors.  In the right color and shape it can offer a very contemporary look as shown to the right.

In the space the white leather compliments the crisp white finish of the cabinets, while the t-bar design and brushed stainless steel accents keep it feeling modern and fresh.

Leather can also work in a much more traditional setting, with more woven texture and softer earthier colors.  The combination of the metal accents allows you to match the other metals in your space without having too much of a good thing.

Below is one of my favorite unique materials and they are even rare on this planet.  Semi-precious stones are one of the most striking and gorgeous.  In this collection you have items made with mother of pearl, penshell, jade, and amethyst.  While these material tend to be more expensive a little goes a long way making them the perfect items for a small accent or pop of color in a larger space.

We have highlighted just a few of the vast array of collections made from unique materials so if you find that your project could use something a bit different let us know and we would be happy to help you find your perfect match!

Does Your Curb Appeal Need a Kick?

There are some very easy ways for you to enhance the curb appeal of your home without investing that much time and energy.

Dress up the front door
Your home's front entry is the focal point of its curb appeal. Make a statement by giving your front door a pop of color with new paint or by installing a custom wood door. If you are in love with your door as is give it a good clean and use metal polish on the door fixtures if they are a raw metal finish, or wipe down with warm soap and water.  To protect your exterior fixtures you can use a coat of a product like Turtle wax.  This will allow water and other elements to bead on top instead of permeating the finish.  Your entry should also reflect the home's interior, so add some details that reflect your personal style.  This could be a wreath or something as simple as a new door mat.

Replace old hardware
House numbers, the entry door lock set, a wall-mounted mailbox, and an overhead light fixture are all elements that can add style and interest to your home's exterior curb appeal. If they're out of date or dingy, your home may not be conveying the aesthetic you think it is. These elements add the most appeal when they function collectively, rather than as mix-and-match pieces. Oiled-bronze finishes suit traditional homes, while brushed nickel suits more contemporary ones.  If you do not currently have a door knocker or a door bell they are a nice way to dress up the first impression of your home and provide a wonderful function for you and your guests.


You may wonder if Polished Brass will ever make its way back to the cabinet hardware world.  The polished look is often associated with a 1970/80’s household image and tends to make people cringe at the thought.  Here, at The Knobbery, we come across many home owners looking to replace their Polished Brass door and cabinet hardware as well as other accents, simply because it is “out-dated.”  But brass IS back.

Manufacturers today are now creating new ways to incorporate the brass look without the polished feel. They are creating finishes such as “Satin Brass,” “Champagne Bronze,” “Brushed Bronze,” which have a decidedly more modern approach.

 As you can see in the photos these finishes have the subtle softness of satin nickel combined with the color tones of brass. These new finishes are very soft, non-abrasive versions of brass that tend to give a hint of color to a rather monotone room.  They work well on dark espresso, white, cream, and various shades of grey cabinets.  However the interest does not stop with hardware alone.  We find that our clients are using these revamped finishes on everything from faucets to lighting to bath accessories.  These finishes add a feeling of warmth and richness that can not be easily achieved with other materials or finish tones.


The designs that are offered in this category of finishes are not your "old fashioned" brass designs.  The industry is offering these up on more clean lined shapes, which is a great juxtaposition to what we all think of when we think about brass.

This shift in thinking has breathed new life into a truly luxe part of the design community and it has taken hold throughout all aspects of interior design.  

Leading designers from Jonathan Adler to Michael S. Smith, Kelly Wearstler to Celerie Kemble, all offer products in brass: burnished chairs, glowing desks, honeyed chandeliers, lamps, barware, desk accessories and more.
— Wall Street Journal, Going for the brass

 We do find many home owners also interested in un-lacquered versions of Polished Brass – they are looking for that natural, raw and oxidized appearance that occurs over time due to exposure to environmental elements such as air, sunlight, and touch. Water marks, discoloration and natural darkening are common effects over the years.  There are ways you can play the finish out correctly, such as in the image below where the un-lacquered brass serves as a soft pop of color on the rather dark cabinet and monotone counter top color scheme.

Unlacquered brass kitchen.JPG
Lynette Welker in Arlington Heights, IL on Houzz
Lynette Welker in Arlington Heights, IL on Houzz