Browsing through my image files, I came across photos I’d collected of matte black door hardware, which I contemplated using in the Laboratory. The first time I saw it used was in a friend’s just-renovated Brooklyn brownstone: black hinges add a surprising graphic element, as does the rosette of the crystal doorknob. Beautiful. Although I only used black hardware in one detail of the Laboratory, I learned its biggest lesson and caveat.

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

Interior designer and friend Suzanne Shaker emailed me this image of the black hinges and door knob in her bathroom update with this note:

1 1/2 d  Baldwin with a  simple flat rose, no ornamentation
They work great: classic.
Suzanne Shaker
Suzanne Shaker

Indeed!  The Baldwin hinges are great and well-made.

. black door hinge Baldwin

I learned the secret to black hardware when I improvised a latch for my bathroom door using a hook-turned-sideways and a length of black rope.  Steel screws stick out like a sore thumb and wreck the charm of the latch.

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

I haven’t gotten around to replacing the screws or painting them with matte paint. But here’s the gist via Photoshop:

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

Whew! Much better. Black flat head screws show how a tiny detail can change the whole look and feel.     black hardware screws

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2 replies on “The Beauty and Secret of Black Hardware

  1. It’s not the “classiest” nor the most permanent way to blacken screws but I often use a black Sharpie marker on small, shiny metal parts. It’s quick, convenient, and lasts until I can do the job properly with paint. Apply one coat, and when that’s dry touch it up a bit more. Most people don’t even notice that it’s just marker, if indeed they are looking that closely at all. Yeah, black hardware has an elegance that I love.

  2. THANKYOU. I’m going to use that quick fix. Just ordered black screws, but who knows when I’ll get around to swapping them out. SO much to do.

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