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Design

The 5 Tiny (And Affordable) Hardware Pieces You Probably Forgot About But Shouldn’t Have

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Decorating your house is like baking a cake. (I only like ice cream cake and have no baking knowledge, so y’all are gonna have to truck through this metaphor with me, ok?)

Your furniture is your fresh, unfrosted canvas. Maybe you’re a vanilla cake and your home is Scandi and soothing; maybe you’re a chocolate cake and your home is rich and comforting; or maybe you’re a Funfetti cake and your home is bright and chaotic (I think this would be my house). Either way, you’ve got a nice base going on. (Please tell me what kind of cake your home is in the comments.)

Your accessories are your frosting. Your rugs, plants, art, your blankets, your trays, your curtains — all the things that make your home definitively yours. (Maybe you’re a minimalist maximalist, like me, and you’d be a Funfetti cake with unfrosted sides, like a Milkbar cake! This analogy is getting away from me but I swear that I’m almost to my point.)

But this whole comparison got me thinking: if your furniture is your base and your accessories are your frosting, then WHAT THE HECK ARE YOUR SPRINKLES? I think they’d be your hardware — the little pops that bring hits of personality to your design. And then I got to thinking — pulls and knobs are great, but what about the other finishing touches? What about the tiny, affordable tweaks that can make your house design look super considered and styled?

I got to poking around our archives and realized there are a couple pieces that just make your house seem done. Installed thoughtfully, these things can elevate a room without breaking the bank, which is a TOTAL DREAM. Let’s jump into it with something that’ll make a great first impression…

photos by sara ligorria-tramp | from: make your home fall ready with 7 simple tricks (using all target)

1. Cast Iron Door Knocker | 2. Vintage Brass Door Knocker | 3. Parallel Door Knocker | 4. Modern Shapes Door Knocker | 5. Lion Door Knocker | 6. Beekman Door Knocker | 7. Arts & Crafts Door Knocker | 8. Swinging Hare Door Knocker | 9. Pineapple Door Knocker

DOOR KNOCKERS. WOW. There’s so much potential here to signal your style from the moment you set foot on the threshold to your home — are you whimsy and fun, like #8, or is your place simple and clean, like #3 or #6?

I’m personally in love with both #1 and #7, which are design chameleons. Both could work on a traditional craftsman home, but both could also work as a great, geometric hit of black in a more modern space. #2 is a vintage classic for traditional homes, and #5 is timeless and stately (it also comes in a whole bunch of finishes, in case you want a shinier lion, which would be SO FUN).

1. Mid-Century Star Doorbell Button | 2. Beaded Round Bell Push Button | 3. Diamondback Iron Doorbell Cover | 4. Please Ring Doorbell Button | 5. Nellie Doorbell Cover | 6. Tall Doorbell Button

BUT WAIT, don’t just let your door have all the fun! I know that there are a ton of doorbell advancements over the past couple years — Rings, Arlos, other virtual options, etc. — but if you’re like me and still just chilling with your basic, manual doorbell, swapping your standard plastic surround with a designed front button can make a huge difference in the feeling of your entry space.

My personal favorite here is #3. I love how graphic and simple it is! But I can imagine feeling super welcomed by someone with #5, super entertained by someone with #4, and super impressed by someone with #1, which just seems to be one of those pieces that quietly says “I have my life together.”

1. Brushed Brass Curtain Clips | 2. Smooth Drapery Curtain Ring | 3. Matte Black Clip Rings | 4. Martha Stewart Living Bundle | 5. Cafe Pinch Ring | 6. Pewter Round Rings

OK. We’re inside now. We’re looking at our windows. And we’re looking at our beautiful curtains. But y’all, what do you have holding up those lovely window treatments?!

This may not be an issue if you’re rocking grommets or drapery with rod pockets, but for the rest of us, there’s curtain rings and curtain clips! The matte black clip rings in #3 are sturdy, simple, and unobtrusive. #1 is great for those who want to go a little more glam and bold, and I love the formality of #5 (she also comes in 6 different finishes, so there’s definitely one that can complement your home).

design by designstiles | photo by amy bartlam

1. Sofia Curtain Tieback | 2. Makira Tassel Tieback | 3. Watchdog Tieback | 4. Rattan Curtain Tieback | 5. Leather Curtain Tieback | 6. Rylee Tieback

Tiebacks are a vintage-inspired trend that I am VERY bullish on right now, folks. I love the shape, lines, and ceramic texture of #1 — it’s very 2020 — and the graphic rattan circle of #4. I’m also obsessed with the charm of #3, because, like, WHY NOT have a sweet dog holding your curtains back and helping show off your view? (Truly, dogs really ARE a man’s best friend.)

#5 would bring an awesome hit of texture to any window treatment. Velvet + leather? Cool. Sheers + leather? Cool. Linen + leather? Cool. Buuuuut — and maybe I shouldn’t say this — it also does seem pretty DIY-able. If you have an old belt around the house and a round wood dowel, I’m sure you could pull together the same look for less. (Please show me if you do this!)

photo by tessa neustadt | from: scott’s bathroom makeover with parachute
photos by jess isaac | from: master bathroom reveal

1. Decorative Shower Curtain Rings | 2. Modern Shower Curtain Rings | 3. Shower Curtain Rings | 4. Chrome Ball Hook Curtain Rings | 5. Dual Sided Hooks | 6. Quiet Town Shower Curtain Rings | 7. Ball Shower Hooks | 8. Tassel Shower Curtain Hooks | 9. Lucite Shower Rings

And y’all KNOW I couldn’t leave out the most important hooks of all: OUR SHOWER CURTAIN RINGS. These get so much use (you know, assuming you’re bathing at least kind of frequently) and I’m sure you’re seeing them at least a few times a day when you step into the bathroom, so why not make them a little special?

First off, I’m here to preach the gospel of the dual-sided hook. #1 is admittedly cuter, but I’ve tried #5 and it was a GAME CHANGER. It’s nice to have a bit of separation at the top of your liner and your shower curtain as it encourages some more circulation. (But I also went 28 years without a dual-sided hanger and I’m still alive, so I’d like to happily endorse a few more favorites.)

#2 is SO CHARMING. The squiggle shape is considered and graphic without being too much. And I have a huge soft spot for #9 — chunky lucite works with so many different styles and it’s super trend-forward, but it also doesn’t feel overpowering or tacky. And for my fans of a timeless classic bathroom out there — #3 is highly rated, simple, and it’ll work with anything you bring into the space.

OK WE’RE DONE. But y’all, are there any other tiny things that make a huge difference in your own homes? Have you made any swaps that have helped your place feel more finished? And maybe more importantly, WHAT KIND OF CAKE WOULD YOUR HOUSE BE?

Opening Image Credit: Photo by Jess Isaac and Monica Wang | From: A Floral Glam Nursery Reveal

Fin Mark

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Irene

Thanks, Caitlin. This was fun to read. The dual-sided shower curtain hook you tried (#5) caught my eye before I even saw your paragraph about how it’s a GAME-CHANGER. I believe you, and plan to order a set next time I need to bump an Amazon order up to $25 for free shipping (taking a break from Prime).

I love door knocker #7 – reminds me of a man’s tie – but I have French doors at both front and back entrances so it wouldn’t be practical. My doorbell covers are metal and look almost exactly like #2. Some long-ago DIY-er stuccoed over their edges, so it’s a good thing I like them. They’re installed to stay.

I’d call my house a sponge cake. It’s white, barely frosted (flat roof), simple and unadorned, and doesn’t have several things that are essential ingredients to most cakes!

Christina

Can we please talk about light switch plate covers? I wanted to replace the generic ones that came with my house for beautiful brass ones, but apparently you only get the plate, not the switch itself! I can’t fathom why anyone would want a beautiful cover but then an ugly white switch smack in the middle. What’s the secret here?!

Libby

Do you like matte black as an accent color for brass? You could get a replacement switch from a big box home improvement store fairly inexpensively. You would need someone comfortable installing it, which is fairly easy, or would need to hire an electrician, which could add up fast depending on number of switches. Alternatively, I haven’t done this myself, but there should be some way to protect the inner workings (and the wall around the switch!) while spray painting just the switch toggle itself… but to me that sounds like maintenance, since it will surely fade.

Best of luck!

gigi

where do you find the chain like curtain hooks in Emily’s bathroom.?

Mary E

Ah, very timely. We’ve moved into our “yellow cake with fudgy chocolate frosting with gold dragees” house about a month ago. (It’s actually white farmhouse with black windows) but I know EXACTLY the door knocker I want–a brass bee. But my problem is my door is 3/4 glass. I see in your example photo they put the knocker under the glass, but it’s only 1/2 glass. Any ideas for a big glass door? Also, I bought a beautiful antique brass doorbell at a flea market (backstory supposedly from an old Italian bank in SF, who knows if this is true but I love a good story) a few years back. I was hoping I could use it to hide a RING doorbell in, but I it’s not big enough. Any ideas on this? I know I’m very needy. Besides if I have a doorbell, do I need a knocker too? I love the idea of the double sided shower curtain hangers as the guest bath is a clawfoot tub/shower combo and I’d like to make this as comfy as possible. Finally, I just hung new curtains with the black curtain rings from Target, work great and were a nice price.… Read more »

Elena

big glass door here as well. I don’t think there are knocker options at all. You might add one to the SIDE of the door frame. I live in Florida, in a Spanish style home with stucco on the exterior. It’s not an option for me, but for a farmhouse, it could work.

I love these ideas! I always forget about the little things -the “sprinkles” of decorating and they’re so fun. Even when I can’t afford a bigger redecorating project, I can usually still afford changing up some hardware in my house and the little change can make such a big difference.

xoKaelen | Darling Marcelle

I think my house is a chocolate cake with unfrosted sides 🙂

Angelika

My condo is a Black Forest Cake. I mix antiques and whimsical contemporary pieces just as chocolate sponge cake is complemented by juicy cherries.
Cream on top are brass door handles and paintings, and the chocolate sprinkles are velvet curtain tassels (used very sparingly).

Rusty

What a fun post! 😊
Another thing, besides cupboard hardware…so over that topic, is hooks!
I love an i teresting hook. Unuque and quirky!
I have an oiled blackish metal lizard hook (the tail curls up and out as the hook), screwed to the back of a door. The calendar is hung on it and my scruffy dog’s harness and lead hang there too! Game changer!!!

Rusty

Bluddy typos aaagain. Sorry!

Kayla

Love the doorbell covers, but unfortunately my house isn’t hardwired for a doorbell. I’ve searched hi and low on the internet but I cannot find a wireless option that isn’t a sad looking piece of white plastic or a techy-looking smart bell (which is more function than we want anyways). I’d love it if you guys had some ideas of how to get around this problem.

Carrie

Try searching for “twist doorbell”. My parents house (from the 1830s) has these and I will always prefer the sound they make over an electric doorbell. In fact, I disconnected the doorbell wires in my house…

DTiz

We got patterned bronze floor vent covers when we redid our home and I love them so much. They go perfectly with the “wood” floors and are just the perfect sprinkle in the room.

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