The average builder buys products for his homes from a variety of suppliers: lighting fixtures from one manufacturer and faucets from another, for example. Product lines by these companies may have some similarities but, by design, will not match exactly in style and finish. But this is changing.
Some manufacturers, such as Delta Faucet and Progress Lighting, are breaking out of their proprietary design constraints and forming alliances to offer products that coordinate. And now door hardware manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon as well.
Hardware giant Kwikset and the Price Pfister faucet brand have announced the creation of the Architecturally Inspired Collections, a line consisting of faucets, showerheads, door hardware, and bath accessories featuring complementary styles and matching finishes. “This will make it easier for builders to match their products and finishes,” says Ken Brock, senior marketing communications manager for Kwikset/Weiser.
Hardware manufacturers have always tried to offer more than just doorknobs, but their efforts have usually been on a limited basis. For some time, however, Italian hardware manufacturer Valli & Valli has been offering switch plates and other accessories to match its architect-designed line of door hardware. And, in addition to door handles, Cedar Grove, N.J.–based Omnia Industries offers a collection of coordinating architectural trim pieces such as door stops and house numbers.
But companies such as Kwikset are starting to see the value in creating additional products so that a builder or an architect can choose from an array of door hardware and accessories that will match it.
Newcomer Unison Architectural Hardware, in Sacramento, Calif., also is getting in on the act. The company's recent debut line, Inox, consists of door handles, matching mailboxes, and house numbers, as well as coat hooks, switch plates, and door stops.
This trend toward seamless design has become more prevalent as open floor plans have become commonplace. “The front door is the first thing people see and touch,” says Brock. “Most people then head toward the kitchen/dining area or the powder room, so the next thing they see is the faucet and light fixtures.” As a result, homeowners want these elements to match in style and finish, and hardware manufacturers are ready to accommodate them.
STEEL THIS: The latest introduction to the manufacturer's door hardware collection, Metro is a tubular-style handle set that complements the company's interior levers. The stainless steel product will not rust or stain, making it perfect for outdoor application, says the maker. It is the only stainless steel offering in the company's entrance line. Omnia Industries. 800-310-7960. www.omniaindustries.com.
GET A GRIP: The new Inox line of door levers is simple yet elegant. Made from solid stainless steel, the line comes in 28 handle designs, including leather or wood accents. In addition to door levers, a variety of accessories are available so that a home buyer can match finishes and architectural styles in other parts of the house. Standard finishes include polished, satin, or matte stainless steel. Unison Architectural Hardware. 916-388-1888. www.unisonhardware.com.
STYLE STAR: It's no good having unusual hardware if you can't match it with other accessories. With Baldwin Archetypes, the manufacturer says that builders will be able to specify entry and interior door hardware in three distinct styles and select coordinating hinges, door knockers, bell buttons, and house numbers to complete the look. The Chateau (shown here) will be available in dark bronze, pewter bronze, and aged bronze. Baldwin Hardware. 800-566-1986. www.baldwinhardware.com.
POWER OF TWO: It's now possible to match the manufacturer's door hardware with Price Pfister faucets, showerheads, and bath accessories. Part of the manufacturer's Architecturally Inspired Collections, Avalon is available in an entry handle and an interior lever (shown here). It comes in polished chrome, satin nickel, rustic pewter, rustic bronze, and Tuscan bronze. Kwikset. 800-327-5625. www.kwikset.com.