Decorative Hardware Styles
Early American Decorative Hardware
In the Early American Style hardware the essential principle was to have certain pieces of hardware harmonizing with the piece of furniture itself, as opposed to the whole building. The early American wood knobs and other hardware were simple and the only concern was the function of the knob or pull—not the actual look of it. The simplicity of the designs was copied from the British designs, but after the Industrial Revolution, the hardware designs would change dramatically.
Eastlake Decorative Hardware
During the Industrial Revolution the Eastlake style was born. The Revolution led
to the mass-production of many products—including pulls, wood knobs, hinges, and
other hardware. It was much easier for people to posses something with an
elaborate design than before. The name of the style itself is quite ironic due
to the fact that the man whom the style was named for, Charles Locke Eastlake,
was an architect and author who criticized the very style he was named for. He
published a book in 1872, which was published in the U.S. in 1883 in which he
criticized the overbearing, elaborate designs that were very prominent at the
time in England. He was trying to explain why the simpler styles had a more
hand-made feel to it than any mass-produced knob with overly-styled designs. It
was an illustrated book and apparently the words were simply ignored.
Victorian Decorative Hardware
After the Eastlake style, came the Victorian style. The style was embraced with
the growth of suburbia—from the outside of the house to the inside. The houses
were usually irregularly shaped with very large porches and large picture
windows. The houses were elaborately decorated inside. Most of the decorative
objects were mass-produced, but still retained the authantic charm. During the
boom of the Victorian style, it was thought that if a family had good taste,
than they had good morals and solid virtue.
Arts and Crafts Decorative Hardware
The Arts and Crafts style followed, making a full circle back to the time where
there is a plea for simpler and more organic forms. For hardware which looked
hand-made and one-of-a-kind. The style embraced the shabby-chic looks, the new
antiquing processes, and straight and clean lines.
Revival Decorative Hardware
The Revival style took the themes from the past and made them work in the
contemporary space. The styles were driven by the aesthetic, not the function.
The style drew upon romantic, rustic, and old world feels. The overall thought
behind the Revival style is to look back to the past for comfort. It took many
influences and ideas from the Spanish style and integrated it into the suburban
Art Deco Decorative Hardware
After the Great Depression the public stopped looking to the old and the
familiar, but started to look into the future with optimism and a new style—Art
Deco. The Art Deco style was first used in commercial interiors and custom-built
housing while many still lived in their Revival homes. The Art Deco movement
began in France. The decorative artists felt as if their arts have been
overlooked in the modern revolution, so they decided that they would form their
own organization—Societe des Artistes Decorateurs.
Modern Decorative Hardware
The Streamline Moderne style began with the construction of the Bauhaus in
Germany. It had a new look to it which people have no seen before—glass walls
supported with steel beams. Two years after it was built, the Bauhaus was shut
down by the Nazis and the professors and directors fled to the United States,
bringing the style with them. The style took off immediately in the U.S.
starting with multiple art exhibits and with the prominent furniture companies
re-thinking their predominant furniture output.