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.
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 ornamentationThey work great: classic.
Indeed! The Baldwin hinges are great and well-made.
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.
I haven’t gotten around to replacing the screws or painting them with matte paint. But here’s the gist via Photoshop:
Whew! Much better. Black flat head screws show how a tiny detail can change the whole look and feel.
2 replies on “The Beauty and Secret of Black Hardware”
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.
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.