Choosing Vintage and Antique Hardware – A Basic Overview

Antique hardware or antique reproduction hardware refers to time period specific door, window, cabinet, furniture or other home hardware pieces. Depending on the era, hardware was (and still is) produced in a wide variety of materials including forged or cast iron, solid brass, pewter, bronze, steel, or even glass. Popularity of designs and availability of materials varied during different architectural periods. For example Colonial Era hardware was traditionally simple in design and made of cast or forged iron, while other Victorian era used highly ornate pieces cast from solid brass and were used as much for their aesthetic qualities as their functionality in the home.

Antique or reproduction antique hardware for the home is a wonderful way to add elegance to any room, door, or piece of furniture. The wide variety of materials, designs and finishes gives you a chance to refurbish old pieces or add a beautiful finishing touch to new additions to your home. While antique hardware may be more limited in availability, reproduction antique hardware is beautifully hand cast and finished to fit your design needs. Original designs are recast to maintain all the detail of the original designs and frequently available in a wider variety of finishes including Polished Brass, Antique Brass, Polished Chrome, Satin Nickel and Oil Rubbed Bronze.

Reproduction antique hardware is produced today – allowing you to incorporate their patterns in your doors, windows, kitchen cabinets and more. It is a simple way to introduce a common theme to your house. Antique or reproduction antique hardware can transform a boring home into a showplace – but be sure to follow a few simple steps. First, remember that antique hardware (especially doorknob sets) may not be designed to work in modern doors. Most reproduction doorknob sets are designed to fit modern doors while still using traditional historic designs. Second, replace older or worn pieces throughout your home with the same or similar period pieces to help tie the look together for you. Note: The use of a common theme will help tie the look together for you. You can consult decorating magazines for assistance or ask an interior decorator for help as well.

Antique or reproduction antique hardware is readily available online. Research period specific pieces and be sure to ask questions. When working with antique or reproduction hardware it is important to remember that different shapes and combinations will work to tie themselves together nicely.