Guest Post - Andrew Lisa
The evolution of furniture has had a greater impact on classic Western style than perhaps any medium other than art. Whether it's a showpiece for a room, part of a collection or a piece designed to make a profit at an auction, furniture is functional art that beautifies an interior while serving a purpose. Knowing the basics is key to identifying the finest pieces when you see them.
Whether functional, cosmetic or both, furniture hardware can complement the piece to which it is attached, serve as an accent piece or simply brighten up an otherwise dull cabinet, drawer, desk or door. From hinges to knobs to pulls to furniture feet, hardware offers an opportunity like no other to make something elegant out of something functional.
Here are some of the top styles for modern furniture hardware.
Different from doorknobs, which are lever-action mechanical devices, knobs and pulls found on cabinets and furniture are often the most functional and eye catching element of the entire piece. Ornate and decorative, birdcage pulls can be rustic and antique, sleek and modern, or anything in between.
Bearing the classic shape of standard fixed pulls, birdcage pulls are hollowed, expanded and braided in the center, adding extraordinary depth and texture to an otherwise humdrum piece. A classic and affordable example of a birdcage pull is the
Using the same basic mechanical action as a standard clothing zipper, drop pulls have two parts. The main component is fixed to either the cabinet, drawer or door, and the part that is manipulated by the person opening the furniture is a slimmer, hinged piece that dangles the center.
Drop pulls bring the character of an old-fashioned, heavy door knocker to interior furniture. The Small William & Mary Pendant Pull is a great example of a drop pull that would look great in antique-styled homes.
Unlike the linear, sharply angled birdcage pull, arch pulls curve gently from end to end, peaking in the center. Elegant and timeless, arch pulls can be glossy, matted, bronzed, antiqued, wooden, stainless, ceramic - or just about any style made from virtually any material. Their relatively large, obvious nature makes them perfect candidates to highlight other pieces in the room.
The Laurey Stainless Steel Arch is a upscale choice for furniture.
-The Brainerd 3” Satin Nickel Pull is a modern, sleek take on a simple arch pull—and it’s a killer value.
- Jeffrey Alexander Polished Chrome Pulls $11 on Amazon
Ornate or plain, linear or engraved, square knobs are the ultimate in functional simplicity. Perfect for decorative pieces that you don't want to overshadow with hardware, square knobs can offset a piece by contrasting against the main piece's texture, finish or even material. Stainless steel square knobs accent deep mahogany cabinets in many high-end Asian fusion restaurants.
The Rocky Mountain Hardware Square Cabinet Knob is a little on the pricey side, but it would add a ton of character to any home.
Furniture hardware appeals to both the creative and practical nature of the homeowner. Functional accessories, furniture hardware can breathe new life into old pieces. The simple swapping out of old knobs or hinges can spruce up an old drawer or cabinet so dramatically that it can stave off the need to replace or refurbish an item for many more years. Hardware gives you a chance to experiment and let your bold side out without risking going over the top with decor. Think of hardware as accessories for your furniture.
Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. He writes about home improvement, interior decorating and profiles top legal professionals.
Birdcage Pulls www.hardware-online-store.com
Birdcage Knobs and Pulls -whitecottageboutique.com
(Chippendale’s Director, Plate CXII, c. 1754) pegsandtails.wordpress.com
Restoration Hardware Crystal Chandelier In An Iron Birdcage
Jacobean Style Five-Drawer Oak Commode With Brass Drop Pulls -Assemblage Ltd.
Simple, tear drop pulls were the hardware of choice on William & Mary style furniture (1680-1730). Popular again during the Colonial Revival era, they are ideal for small drawers
or cabinet doors.
William and Mary Period Chest on Stand -Yew Tree House Antiques
William & Mary Red Japanned Bureau Bookcase, English c.1690 -Philip Colleck, Ltd
Wonderful 1810 Sheraton Drop Leaf Table -David Skinner Antiques
Collection Of Vintage Sherle Wagner Gold Plated Bronze Pulls -here
Swedish Style Painted Drop Leaf Secretary - disegno Karina Gentinetta, llc -here
Floral Branch Pull in Antique Silver Finish -www.rusticahardware.com
Renzo Rutili Robin's Egg Blue Leather Breakfront Library Cabinet -Assemblage Ltd
Baker Furniture Mahogany Tall Chest With Thru Tenon Base -Assemblage Ltd
Walnut Double Chest With Bamboo Relief Front & Drop Ring Pulls -Assemblage Ltd.
Elegant 1940's Credenza with Nickel Plated Hardware -ABC Modern
Antique Door from Northern Spain with Cast Iron Hardware -Le Louvre French Antiques
Japanese Clothing Chest with Fine Iron Hardware -Honeychurch Antiques
"Japanese isho- dansu (clothing chest) made of kiri wood with finely crafted ironwork fitted with handles in kakute style