So, I was showing a house last weekend, and I found something fabulous in it. It was just a regular 3 bedroom house in Highland, and it was nicely updated, built in the 1940s. Sounds normal enough, and the house itself was nice, but regluar. But, it had the greatest small detail that made me fall in love with the house - they had kept the original door plates! Beautiful, engraved doorknob plates...it really made the house shine.
When we do an update, we don't always spend a lot of time thinking about the hardware - maybe pick up some cool cabinet knobs from the hardware store, and then some oil-rubbed bronze doorknobs, or maybe a big knocker for the front door. I have a house that was built in the 1890s, and I have discovered that using the proper hardware, even the littlest detail, pulls everything together. When we gutted the bathroom and redid it, with wall frames and a nice furniture-style vanity, it looked great. But for some reason, what really gave it character was the $2.00 window lifts we put on the windows. The color and the style just really knocked it out of the park.
If you're looking to re-do a historic home, don't forget the hardware! Here are some of my favorites from House of Antique Hardware:
How about this one with a black porcelain knob? With the rope detail, this would look great in even modern settings - it would really pop on a white six panel door, and give it an Art Deco vibe.
Do you have a pocket door in your house - you see them a lot in laundry rooms and bathroom doors. Most of them have the standard rectangle door pull - how about something more grand?
If you have the right decorating, I'd immediately replace all of your window locks with these. Just very cool.
So, I have a Victorian, and my husband and I argue everytime, but I want push button light switches. He likes techy paddle switches with tiny little dimmer pulls, but I say go old school - you're either on or off. I'll let you know who wins eventually!
Have fun looking through all of this hardware - it goes very deep, and you'll be using terms likes "egg and dart" and "Eastlake" soon enough. But whether you go Art Nouveau or Colonial or anything else, have fun and be creative!