Hardware & Metalwork

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Hardware & Metalwork ideas for old house interior design, including reproduction hardware, forged metalwork, hand-cast metalwork, Victorian door hardware, iron railings, and more. 

SEE ALSO: Fireplace & Mantel 

Simple thumb latches and an H-L hinge look just as authentic as the ancient stairs on this Colonial house.

Hand Forged & Foundry Cast

The forms of reproduction hardware may look familiar, but the techniques used to make these pieces have changed dramatically.

knob-and-escutcheon

Unlocking Victorian Door Hardware

If you need to replace the doorknobs in your Victorian-era house, some background on decorative trends of the time can help you sort through antiques and reproductions.

Long drapes

How to Hang Window Drapery

Window dressings complete a room. Here’s a tutorial on drapery hardware ca. 1860 to 1910—a period that saw lavish treatments but also a return to simple rod-and-ring drapery.

transom hardware

Transom Hardware

This arcane contraption is a transom operator, and it’s used to open and close the ventilation window above a door or larger window without the need of a pole and hook (or a stepladder).

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Switchplates with Style

Make an electrical outlet or switch disappear by painting or wallpapering it to match the wall. (Wallpaper gets dirty fast, so make two and store one for later.) Alternately, these decorative covers turn the switch plate into an architectural detail.

carpet rod set

Stair Rods & Dust Corners

They still make stair rods & dust corners.

pushbutton switches

Pushbutton Switches

They still make pushbutton switches.

Two Victorian cast-iron newel posts anchor a wood balustrade.

Step Up with a Cast Iron Newel

Used with a wood or wrought-iron balustrade, a salvaged cast-iron newel post adds history.

Green and cream tiles laid on the diagonal jazz up a Depression-era Tudor kitchen.

Cabinet Hardware by House Style

Serious or whimsical, cabinet hardware sets a period mood. It’s jewelry for the kitchen.

A casement window fastener from Phelps Company

4 Sources for Hard-to-Find Hardware

Convinced they don't make that swinging kitchen door hinge anymore? Here's help locating some hard-to-find hardware for old houses.

hammered brass decorative hinges

Guide to Vintage-Style Cabinet Hinges

Today’s hinges come in a variety of traditional shapes, sizes, and styles. Here’s how to find the best fit for your old-house cabinets.

Cut glass doorknobs for sale at a salvage store.

6 Classic Doorknobs for Old Houses

Need doorknobs for your old house? Start your search with these time-tested basics.

fine art on picture rail

Picture Rails for Period Houses

Bang a nail into the drywall? Maybe not, if yours is a period house. Here’s a rundown of the ways the picture rail was used from 1840–1940.

Antique window hardware

Antique Window Hardware Guide

Tips on how to maintain the look of your old home with replacement antique window hardware.

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Hardware in Context

Before the invention of the cylinder lock, household security was a matter of trusting one’s neighbors—or pulling in the latch string.

The flexible brass bands securing the curtains at Beauport Mansion in Gloucester, Massachusetts, were a mid-century alternative to tiebacks and pins.

Hardware for Curtains and Carpet

Whether tied back, pinned down, or strung up, the fabric adorning windows or stairs has always needed hardware to bully it into place.

thumb latch

Knobs, Latches, and Levers

Getting a handle on historic hardware styles.

Lane's Parlor Door Hanger for pocket doors

Fine Points on Pocket-Door Hardware

Understanding the innovative features behind the operation of common hangers.

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Expert Advice: Mystery Hardware

A mysterious piece of hardware is identified as a center stop for a pocket door.

A Victorian-era doorknob boasts a lion's face on the handle.

Guide to Period Hardware

As clothing fashions change with the times, so too does architectural hardware. Here's a look at America's styles through the centuries.

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Hardware for Arts & Crafts Built-Ins

The vast array of built-in Arts & Crafts furnishings required its own school of hardware, including hinges, knobs, pulls, catches, latches, and handles. An overview of the sea of selections available at the time—and of where and how they were used—can come in handy if you ever need to replace them.

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