This Old House Ranks Horton Brasses Pulls Amongst Best New Home Products of 2011

You know the year is coming to an end when editors start rolling out their “Best of 2011” lists. Here at Horton Brasses, we have a few of our own favorite products, including the Bakes, Queslett, and Crescent Pulls—all newly added to the catalog in 2011. But don’t just take our well informed, albeit biased, opinion. Editors at This Old House Magazine chose Horton Brasses’ hardware amongst the Top 100 Best New Home Products of 2011.

Behold the Queslett Pull, #94 on the TOH list:

Talk about smooth operators—these boxy, sand-cast-brass bin pulls raise the game for cabinet hardware by marrying a pleasing heft with a liquid-metal look. We see them in a crisp white kitchen, where the three sizes can shine on various pieces, from spice drawers to dishwashers.

The Queslett Pulls are personal favorites of both Orion and mine. To actually touch one is to love it. We are talking brawn and beauty here. The tactile pleasure of the Queslett is difficult to capture in a flat image, but the exclusive honor of being the only cabinet hardware on a list of 100 fabulous products bears testimony to it’s uniquely detailed quality. Amongst an abundance of bin pulls, the Queslett stands distinctly alone.

Borrowing the name from the Queslett region of Birmingham, the design of these bin pulls is the result of collaboration with the finest English cabinetmakers. Inspired by a tradition of classic bespoke kitchens, the Queslett integrates advances in craftsmanship with the continuity of timeless style. Unlike other large sized bin pulls, the Queslett is machine screw mounted. With hidden screws, nothing detracts from the extraordinary finish of the pull—the crown jewel of your cabinets.

Horton Brasses is thrilled to receive such an honor from one of the industry’s top authorities on old house restoration. Much thanks to the editors of This Old House Magazine.

Do you have a favorite new product from Horton Brasses? Tell us which knobs and pulls caught your attention in 2011.

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Nickel Reproduction Hardware: Traditional Design with a Modern Finish

When Life Hands You Brass, Ask For Nickel

Imagine this.

You inherit a collection of furniture. Not just any furniture. No. Queen Anne furniture. It’s lovely. It’s solid. It’s beautiful cherry wood with bright brass hardware.

18th century inspired highboy by D.R. Dimes

You look around your bedroom. The armoire is Ikea. The nightstands are Target. You feel no regret upgrading to real furniture, yet every night you wake up in a cold sweat from the same dream.

You are in your home. It is a palette of neutrals, punctuated by the cooling glint of nickel hardware doorknobs, cabinet hardware and light fixtures. In your dream you walk into your bedroom, eager to retire after an exhausting yet pleasant day in your life. And then you are blinded by a horrible light—bright yellow and smelling like mothballs. Yes, the light smells like mothballs.

And when you wake up swathed in your own terrified sweat you realize the source of that terrorizing light—the bright brass hardware on your newly inherited furniture.

But what to do? This is traditional period furniture with a distinctive decorative look.  It would be inappropriate to switch out the chased brass pulls and replace them with contemporary looking knobs.

But wait. There’s a style compromise that will surely pay respect to the form while updating the look for today’s tastes.

Horton Brasses Queen Anne Drawer Pulls are available in 5 different brass finishes as well as satin nickel and polished nickel. Update the look of your hardware while keeping in line with tradition. Stay ahead of the style curve by pairing archetypical hardware with the most popular finish of the day. The juxtaposing of classic furniture and hardware in a modern nickel finish will add an unexpected element of style to a room. And help you overcome your night terrors.

WWW&MD? (What Would William & Mary Do?)

Sure, William & Kate are all over the news—with reports about how nobody really cares about William & Kate. But what about William & Mary?  Why no mention these days of William & Mary?

One thing I am certain of is that William & Mary’s impact on style—particularly furniture—will far outlive that of William & Kate. I highly doubt that William & Kate will even have anything remotely to do with furniture, so let’s just skip over them altogether.

If William & Mary were alive today, surely they would recognize the beauty of Horton Brasses 5 brass finishes along with the 2 nickel finishes. I can almost hear William & Mary now, summoning Orion back to the 1600’s by sending a beautiful time machine, tricked out in walnut lacquered, silk upholstered ottomans. Not only would Orion have to go back in time, but he would also have to cross the Atlantic to get from Cromwell, CT to England. Once there, William & Mary would inquire about the future of their legacy. It is at that point that Orion unveils these beautiful drop pulls from the future.

A hush falls over the royal court. The king’s men are silent, wondering what their ruler will think of such oddly finished hardware. Marveling at the craftsmanship of Horton Brasses hardware, admiring the cool tones of the nickel finish, William & Mary step off their thrones, bowing before Orion. They remove their crowns, cast off their royal jewels, and award Orion their kingdom, thus saving the world of any hooplah related to the royal wedding of William & Kate approximately 350 years later.

Choose Quality, Don’t Compromise On Style

Traditional style hardware looks striking when finished in unexpected polished or satin nickel. Nickel is a finish that is here to stay. It is one of the most popular finishes in cabinets and home furnishings. At Horton Brasses, we offer our period reproduction hardware in traditional finishes as well as nickel. Don’t be afraid to try something different on your fine furniture. Nickel looks amazing on darker cabinetry such as walnut as well as rift sawn white oak.

Mixing Finishes

MIXING FINISHES

Whether decorating a new home or snazzying up an older model, the question often arises as to whether or not it is okay to mix finishes. Maybe all the doorknobs in your house are a shiny brass but you had your heart set on satin nickel in the kitchen and oil rubbed bronze in the loo. Or maybe you just can’t decide between polished nickel and polished brass. And satin nickel. And milk glass. And want them all in one space–the super expensive kitchen you are remodeling. You want it to look finished and pulled together and are afraid mixing finishes will give you a final product more akin to a Home Depot kitchen showroom than the Crown Point Cabinetry website.

Well, rest your pretty little head. While it is true that most of the pics of kitchens you find online will make you believe matchy match match is gospel, some Google Image searching will turn up quite a few well executed examples of mixing finishes in the kitchen without looking like you outfitted your cabinets in salvage off of eBay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Here are some real life worries regarding mixed finishes: 

I am planning on stainless cabinet hardware but want to get an ORB faucet….will this look okay?  

Can I mix matte bronze light fixture with satin nickel cabinet hardware?

Brushed nickel cabinet hardware, stainless steel sink and faucet…can I go dark bronze on the lighting?

 

These kinds of threads always pop up on the GardenWeb Kitchen Forum,  possibly the most useful reference and interactive website when it comes to remodeling a kitchen. As you can see from visiting the linked threads, there are some traditionalists out there who probably go so far as to match their faucet to their saucepan. That definitely is playing it safe.

But mixing finishes is not a strenuous task best undertaken by design mavens only. Even us commoners can use our good sense to pull off a fabulous mixed finish space without looking mis-matched. Let’s call in some visuals!

 

This shaker-style kitchen from the Crown Point Cabinetry website shows stained wooden knobs, stainless steel hood/range/sink/faucet and a wrought iron chandelier. The result is positively un-quirky.

 

Another example from the esteemed custom cabinet maker Crown Point, painted wooden knobs, copper sink and wrought iron pendants. Three different finishes, one unique charm!

 

GardenWebber Cotehele’s gorgeous kitchen remodel, complete with Horton Brasses dark antique cabinet hardware, stainless steel faucet and white fireclay sink.

 

From Southern Living, this kitchen shows the eclectic pairing of antique brass pendants, stainless steel appliances and oil-rubbed bronze cabinet hardware.

 

Bronze, stainless steel and brass finishes adorn this Nantucket kitchen featured in House Beautiful.

 

Above is a glimpse how mixing finishes can give a high end effect on a budget. This Ikea kitchen remodel, by DIY Gardenwebber Brickmanhouse, was done for under $20k. Finshes include glass as well as chrome bin pulls, fireclay sinks and a black chandelier. This kitchen definitely is an inspiration on many levels! For more pics and info, click here.

Below is my own personal favorite, which not so coincidentally happens to be my personal kitchen. I could bore you with the details: white enamel light fixtures, satin nickel and polished nickel hardware. And milk glass and crystal and antique brass. Satin nickel faucets as well as chrome w/brass. I could go on and on about the four different tiles, two different grout colors etc., but instead, you can look for yourself.

So, while I don’t want to squelch your creativity, let me share some guidelines (I use that word loosely) to help you ease your fear over mixing and matching your finishes.

1) Know your style. Defining your decorating style will give you a design neighborhood to work in and help you achieve a cohesive end product. Are you going for a cottage look? Is a vintage or period feel where you are headed? Or are you trying to create a sleek, modern space? Asking these questions early on will allow you to narrow down your style choices (bin pulls vs. bar pulls) and may also steer you towards certain finishes or away from certain finishes.

2) Look for natural divisions of space. Good design organic and not over thought. Examine your space and determine where there are natural divisions or breaks. You may want to offset a work island from the perimeter cabinets with different hardware. Or maybe bring in a finish on a hutch or pantry cabinetry. Another way to visually divide up your space is to think in terms of horizontal layers. Ceiling fixtures, then sink/faucets then cabinet hardware. There are many ways to break up the space, adding reason and order to your varying elements.

3) Be practical! Don’t forget to find out what kind of care goes into the finishes you’ve selected. Most lacquered hardware won’t require much upkeep at all, but do your homework. And don’t rule out chrome faucets just because the rest of your kitchen is chromeless. I promise you, the shine of chrome, while being bluer than the pink tones of polished nickel, will not clash. There will be no pictures turning up in the press with your kitchen listed as a “Fashion Don’t.” I promise.

4) Don’t sweat the small stuff. This goes along with “be practical” but I feel it is de rigueur for any list of guidelines to include this cliche’. What I am thinking about here is your sink drain. Get chrome. Trust me. I don’t care if your sink is black or white or stainless or pink. Chrome is the most durable finish and perfect for water applications. I had a Brasstech satin nickel basket for my drain and within a month or so I had myself a two toned satin nickel/brass basket where the finish rubbed off. Of course, if that is your idea of mixing finishes, than go for it.

5) Fill your kitchen with what you love! Another cliche’? Oh, totally! This is actually one of the most over-simplified decorating advice I’ve come across, but still, on one level it works. Of course, if you are like me and find yourself completely adulterous to any one style, you’re on your own. Perfecting that bohemian, time traveler look is probably one of the most complicated styles to execute. But if you’ve made it this far down my list of guidelines and have honed in on a specific style, divided your space up visually and have some practical ideas for your choices, then I say you have enough parameters to pick out your faves and deck your kitchen out in those things. That’s what I did.

New Product!

Well I am always excited about adding new stuff. We now have a beautiful small box hinge in nickel. It is the same PB-405 extruded brass hinge we have had for years in a new finish. It just came in today so I don’t have a picture, but you can see the brass one and order them all here PB-405 Box Hinge. It is exceptionally well made and sized for wood as thin as 1/2″ thick. I hope you like it. As always, comments are welcome.

solid brass pb-405 box hinge

More new products…

Circles and squares? Yes. How about ovals? Why not? Horton Brasses is proud to introduce a new classic. Oblong, elegant, ovals-a new twist on an old favorite. When a ring is too round and a square is too, well, square, try an oval. Solid brass forgings; made for us in England, 2 sizes and six finishes. Try them in a media room, Mom’s office, or anywhere your heart desires. We make a finish for every décor. Satin brass and satin nickel are soft, warm finishes, while polished brass and polished nickel reflect and sparkle; daring the admirer to come closer. Antique brass and oil rubbed bronze are dark finishes and will appeal to customers looking for that timeless piece of hardware. In stock at all times; no minimum order; quantity discounts available. Check out the website: http://www.horton-brasses.com.

Part numbers: OP-1, OP-2

oblong oval ring pulls made of solid brass

What do you all think? Nice part? Not so nice? I’d love to hear it. One little thing, these are so new they haven’t made it the website yet. Give us a call at 800-754-9127 if you are interested.

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