Different Ways To Remodel Your Dining Room

When planning to remodel a room many of us begin with the color scheme and build our design from there. While this is admirable it may also unwittingly turn us into trend followers. So what other approaches are there?

Much will depend on the scale of the makeover, is it the entire home or is the scope limited to the social areas of the home such as the dining and living room, or the more personal areas like the master bedroom and bathroom.

Re-upholster chairs that are worth saving

Re-upholster chairs that are worth saving

For the purposes of this piece I will focus on the dining room. As mentioned in a previous post, both ends of the age spectrum from the millennials to the baby boomers are moving into smaller homes and making use of more flexible spaces. Hopefully, the dining room as a place to relax and enjoy meals with friends has not fallen victim to this scaling down and still exists as an area demarcated from the rest of the home. If so, look at the furniture and determine whether it can be revived. As furniture makers we are fortunate in having chairs that we made from solid walnut and that were intended to last if not forever, at least for a few lifetimes and that have over the years been easily revamped by new upholstery. If your chairs are worth saving  and are made of solid wood or metal then they can be revived by re-finishing the frame and by re-upholstering the seat or back. If you live in Los Angeles you should have no problem in finding a furniture finisher or upholster but if you are not familiar with how to order fabric what yardage to use, or footage to buy if using hide, then I strongly recommend working with an interior designer. The designer will be able to guide you through the maze of questions about which fabrics need to be backed, how much fabric you will need depending on the pattern repeats of the fabric, whether the chairs should re-sprung and if so whether coil and spring is a better option for your chair frame than webbing.

Replace the cabinet knobs for the defining touch

Replace the cabinet knobs for the defining touch

The dining room can also be remodeled by focusing onbuilt-in cabinets. Built-ins are a common feature regardless of the age of the home and can be revived by re-painting or re-varnishing the doors and frames or by removing the doors to create an open cabinet either with or without shelving. This is how I plan to revamp my dining room and to add the defining touch I will be replacing the cabinet knobs.

Having The Right Door Pull - The Benefits of Working With An ASID Designer

We were recently featured in the Los Chapter of the ASID magazine and want to share with our readers the benefits of working with a creative designer, like Bonnie McIntyre.  Working with a professional designer is especially important when a home owner is choosing custom door hardware for their existing home that needs renovation.  Bonnie began the project by reviewing Martin’s wide range of hardware designs and assessing each style as to its scale, design aesthetic and compatibility with her client’s existing front door. The client, a keen birder, loved Martin’s woodpecker door knocker and so Bonnie continued this natural theme by taking the bark texture of the mounting plate for the door knocker and using it as back-plate for the door set.  The result of this collaboration was a custom one of a kind willow bark door set.

 

One of a kind custom door set in bronze

One of a kind custom door set in bronze

The Willow series was continued into the renovated kitchen where Willow cabinet knobs and Hedgerow  pulls were nickel plated and gently oil rubbed with a dark patina to create a sophisticated finish and one that paired well with the pewter faucets and steel range.

tree-cabinet-pull

The transition from the kitchen to butler’s pantry and then to the breakfast room was a point of departure and here more whimsical bunny knobs were used for the passageway doors.

Custom Nickel Plated Bronze Bunny Door Knob

Custom Nickel Plated Bronze Bunny Door Knob

While the project was very satisfying to all who were involved, had it not been for Bonnie McIntyre’s creative restraint and her amazing eye for the smaller finer details I do not think we could have created a space that was both sophisticated and soothing.

Hawaiian Door Pull

We have added a new cabinet door pull to our animal and bird collections and have used the inspiration of Hawaiian birds and fauna to create this piece. The pull is substantial in scale measuring 12” high and 3” wide and can be used either for large cabinet doors or for interior doors.  It is cast in solid bronze and made using the lost wax method of casting which allows us to achieve incredible detail and fluidity in design that is difficult to achieve by other casting methods.

Fusion of bird, vine stem and human attributes for abstract cabinet pull

Fusion of bird, vine stem and human attributes for abstract cabinet pull

The pull is a fusion of bird, vine stem and even human features all of which flow together to create an abstract mythical piece.  The pattern for this piece was sculpted in wood and was carved as a 3 dimensional sculpture, both sides having the same design. In the picture we are showing 2 pieces and  by turning the piece over we are able to create pulls that are the mirror image of each other. The mounting posts are attached after the casting has been made and so on this occasion we were too able to create a left and a right pull using one pattern and one mold.

We have named this new addition the “Grand Hawaiian” pull to distinguish it scale wise from the single and double-headed  bird pulls in the same collection.  If you are looking to use other Hawaiian inspired cabinet pulls we also have an orchid stem and bamboo design  to complete your  tiki dream room.

 

HOUSING TRENDS AND DOOR HARDWARE CHOICES

We have lived through the Great Recession and appear at least on the housing scene, to be close to pre- 2007 levels for home prices and new construction. This bodes well for the construction industry and by extension those of us involved in making door hardware and lighting.

We look at housing trends so that we can assess who is buying what. It is useful to know that millennials account for 35% of all purchases and that they are buying homes in the 1,200 s.f. to 1,650 s.f. range and that both younger and older baby boomers are downsizing so they too are looking at smaller houses. Both groups seem to prefer more open spaces and more baby boomers now need a home/office as they are deferring retiring, or at least moving some of their work home.

Small but tactile cabinet knob helps define a home/office

Small but tactile cabinet knob helps define a home/office

As a designer of door handles the move to smaller housing may mean fewer Mc Mansions but it may mean more carefully selected door handles chosen specifically and with thoughtfulness to define a particular space. In reality, as a US manufacturer and because we only cast in premium stainless steel and silicon bronze, our work was and still is necessarily “high end”.  So even in the heyday of the McMansions our work was more commonly used as the statement piece for the entry door or decorative accompaniment to the guest bedrooms or the master suite. In short I feel the trend towards smaller is a positive one with door hardware being chosen for key areas based on style, durability and  with a focus on a eclectic mix of designs.

Sources used by the writer in this post included:

Neil Irwin’s piece: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/24/upshot/the-housing-market-is-finally-starting-to-look-healthy.html

And; https://www.nahb.org/en/research/design/housing-trends-for-baby-boomers.aspx

 

Post written by Anne Lauder

What is your definition of luxury?

Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles CA  90016  Photo Doug Hill

Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles CA  90016  Photo Doug Hill

Luxury---defined as “a condition or situation of great comfort, ease, and wealth” by Merriam-Webster, can mean different things to different people.  But what does luxury mean to you?

Is it a set of high thread count Egyptian cotton sheets on the bed?  Or perhaps it is a prized original oil painting or a beautiful sculpture. Maybe your definition of luxury includes items that are one-of-a-kind or custom made just for you.  It could even be something as simple as keeping fresh flowers in your home at all times.  Whatever your definition of luxury is it will, no doubt, enhance your everyday life and bring you much happiness.

There are several ways you can add a luxurious touch to your interiors.

  • Anything made by hand will add a hint of luxury.  This might include hand-painted wall coverings, hand-embroidered textiles and hand-crafted furniture.
  • Artwork can definitely add a luxurious note to any room, and something that is signed and/or numbered and in a limited edition, even more so.  This indicates that the piece you have is limited in production, making you one of the "elite" few who own the item.  And certainly an original of anything is desirable to collectors.
  • Fine finishes such as a hand-rubbed oiled bronze are a seemingly small detail that imparts a touch of luxury to door handles, faucets, cabinet pulls and other hardware.
Willow entry door handle in oil rubbed bronze from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016  Photo Doug Hill

Willow entry door handle in oil rubbed bronze from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016  Photo Doug Hill

  • Rich textiles that include velvet, mohair and leather add both a visual and a tactile luxury to interiors.
  • Luxury touches can extend to the outdoors as well.  A beautifully cultivated cutting garden or a "working" vegetable garden that makes it possible to step outside and collect ingredients for a meal is certainly a luxury to enjoy.

No matter how you define luxury, any interior will benefit from the introduction of items that add beauty and personality to the space.

 

 

 

 

Celebrate our national parks!

“The mountains are calling and I must go.”  This quote is from famous adventurer and naturalist John Muir whom many credit with the birth of our national park system.  In fact, August 25, 2016 marks the 100 year anniversary of the national park service.  If you have ever enjoyed the beautiful natural scenery of Yellowstone, hiked the red rocks of Zion, marveled at the desolate ruggedness of Death Valley or seen the majestic sequoias of Yosemite up close, you know a little of what John Muir must have experienced.

We enjoy escaping to nature as often as we can.  Unfortunately, time restrictions often limit these getaways to local areas such as Idyllwild, California.  We visited this local mountain town a couple of years ago with our dog, Iris, who enjoyed the crisp, clean mountain air as much as we did. 

Lilly rock in Idyllwild, California photo Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016

Lilly rock in Idyllwild, California photo Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016

This trip was for both pleasure and for work as Martin was seeking inspiration for the new beetle sculpture he was working on at the time.  Familiarizing himself with the habitat of any animal or creature makes it possible for him to add authentic details to his work, including the door hardware, lighting fixtures and sculptures he designs.  That detail is evident on this entry door handle backplate from our Lizard collection.

Multi point door lever from Lizard collection of entry door handles by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016  photo Doug Hill

Multi point door lever from Lizard collection of entry door handles by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016  photo Doug Hill

We were also fortunate enough a couple of years back to take a few weeks and venture north through Wyoming, Montana and other western states and seeing the bison and other wild life roam free in their natural settings.

Bison national range in Montana.  Photo Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016

Bison national range in Montana.  Photo Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016

Do you have a favorite park you like to visit?

Update your interior design project with new hardware and door handles

Are you looking for an easy update to the interior or exterior of a residence or commercial project that will make a big impact?  Seemingly simple items like custom door handles, mail boxes and door knockers can elevate the curb appeal and make your visitors excited to see what the interior has to offer.   Once inside, custom drawer pulls on cabinetry, unique passageway door knobs, coordinated bath and kitchen towel bars and robe hooks and even the very necessary toilet paper holder can turn an outdated space into a treat for the eyes.  Imagine a new look without all the dust and grime of a remodel!

Ergo stanless steel soap dish by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016

Ergo stanless steel soap dish by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016

 

 

While Martin Pierce Hardware is known for beautiful hand carved and hand cast door and drawer hardware, we also offer everyday items like those mentioned in all of our custom finishes including stainless steel and bronze.  This makes it possible to coordinate all of your hardware and create a truly cohesive and custom look.  For the ultimate in custom, you can request a bespoke design for entry door handles that reflect a favorite destination, animal or hobby, for example, or a company logo or icon.  Your valuable input and inspiration will be utilized to create the initial design sketch with the end result being a finished product that exceeds your expectations. Here we show a pair of custom door handles designed for the entry to a wine cellar.

Custom entry door handles for a wine cellar by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016 Photo Doug Hill

Custom entry door handles for a wine cellar by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016 Photo Doug Hill

So what’s stopping you?  It is time to replace those ordinary yet functional and necessary items with something extraordinary, eye-catching and memorable.

All about Rio

via

The 2016 Summer Olympics opening ceremonies are just a few days away and all eyes will be on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  This highly anticipated world-wide event will bring attention to not only incredible athletic performances but also to the exotic locale of Rio and all it has to offer.  New fashion and interior design trends will soon follow.  In anticipation of new trends, you can be ahead of the design game by adding a touch of Rio to your interiors with these decorating ideas:

  • Striking wild-life and tropical foliage is often associated with the exotic locale of Rio.  Birds sporting a veritable rainbow of colors in their feathers, lizards and geckos that can literally disappear right in front of your eyes and lush bushes and flowers in eye-popping shades of red, pink, yellow and blue abound.  Why not introduce one of these fun icons of South America through the use of unique door handles or hand-woven textiles, for example.
  •  
Lizard door handle from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles CA

Lizard door handle from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles CA

  • A neutral decorating scheme will allow the spectacular view to take center stage as seen here.
  •  

While the addition of those colors and patterns that reflect the party atmosphere and general joie de vivre associated with the area will add a bit of sass and excitement.

Regardless of your design style or the decorating trends that will surface after the games are over, we are, no doubt, in for two weeks of very exciting TV viewing.

Social Media and Martin Pierce Hardware

Martin Pierce black and white sketch is one of the more popular Pins from our Pinterest Page

Martin Pierce black and white sketch is one of the more popular Pins from our Pinterest Page

Remember the good old days when a single page website was all you needed in order to claim a “web presence”?  A stock photo was added if you were fancy.  Boy have things changed! 

Today’s web presence is an alphabet soup of options and must-haves in order to get your name out there and make it possible for clients and customers to find you.  New verbs like tweet, pin and post have been added to our vocabulary.  Good photography skills are now a must in order to post a pretty Instagram photo that others will want to follow.  Hours are spent poring over Pinterest pages to find inspirational photos that are not only pleasing to you but to others as well, in the hopes that you are “repinned”.  And sharing no longer refers to the act of splitting your sandwich in half and giving to others but rather, refers to the important act of linking and sharing web content that others might enjoy and link and share and so on and so on.

Here at Martin Pierce Hardware we have joined this sometimes confusing but always exciting world of social media.   

Pinterest

Our Pinterest page receives many daily visitors as well as impressions, clicks and repins---all those funny words that mean good things.  One of our most popular pins is our Black and White Sketch page that shows several of Martin’s sketches along with repins of other beautiful and inspiring works.  Martin begins each custom door handle project with a sketch of the design and these become miniature pieces of artwork themselves.

Instagram

We are new to Instagram but are enjoying the process of taking and posting photos of subject matter that we find interesting and inspiring.   An unexpected benefit is the opportunity to really take notice of the world around you, be in the moment and find pleasure in small details like the carving on a door or the gleam of a polished steel door handle or the rainbow of colors in a curb side garden.  You can follow us by clicking on this link and enjoying the photos we have posted thus far.  Our favorites include #doorhandles and #entrydoorhandles.

We would love to start following you on Instagram and Pinterest as well so please stop by, leave us a comment and/or follow our pages.  We look forward to seeing the world through your eyes, as it were.

 

 

How to customize a door handle to fit a specific project

The Ergo door handle  from Martin Pierce Hardware is one of our more popular collections due, in part, to its adaptability to any style decor or application.  Such was the case when we were contacted by Kathy Novo-Shumate CMKBD,CID to alter the look of these door handles to suit a set of three pocketed glass patio doors.  After discussing the project with Ms. Novo-Shumate we came to the conclusion that it would be best to create a new "version" of this piece to fit her doors and make it possible to make this version many times over.  

The new Ergo design is much more upright and the curvature of the handle more compact thereby allowing for clearance of nearby walls or other obstacles.

Ergo door handle from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles CA  90016  Photo Doug Hill

Ergo door handle from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles CA  90016  Photo Doug Hill

You can see the subtle differences by comparing the newer version above to the original design shown below installed on a set of interior glass doors.

#modern-door-handle

 

This is not the first time we have been asked to render the Ergo door handle more compact. We had a similar request from a designer who used these pieces as handles for an armoire. On that occassion Martin was able to cast the waxes from the existing mold.  With gentle heating he was able to manipulate the wax and make the piece flatter and then cast it in the chosen metal. 

To view our entire architectural hardware collection or to discuss your own bespoke hardware needs, please contact us at www.martinpierce.com.

Designers can visit the showroom located at:

5433 W. Washington Blvd.

Los Angeles, Ca  90016

Tel: 323-939-5929

 


 

A variety of door handle styles

 

A knob,  lever or backplate?  Entry or passageway?  It seems there are no simple questions when it comes to interior design.  Which door handle style best suits your design project is one of those seemingly simple questions that become a bit more complicated as you begin your search for the perfect door handle.  The definitions below are offered to assist you in selecting the most functional as well as aesthetically pleasing door hardware for your hospitality, residential or commercial design project.

Knobs

The official function of a door knob in door knob terminology is to disengage the latch from the striker plate in order to open a door.  Most often round in shape, passageway knobs are generally installed on bedroom, bath, closet and hallway doors and may or may not have a push pin locking system for privacy.  Knob style door hardware can also be used on exterior doors when fitted with a keyed lock system for security.  A dummy knob is a non-operating door knob that is most often used on closet doors or the non-operating side of a double door system.  Knob door handles are available in an endless variety of designs and finishes that will compliment any design style.

Levers

A lever style door handle has the same function as all door knobs---to open a door.  The lever is pushed down to operate the latch system, making this style of door handle a good choice for those who may experience difficulty grasping and turning a round door knob including children, seniors and those who are physically challenged.

Accessories

Backplates, deadbolts, rosettes--these door handle accessories and trim pieces add that all-important finishing detail to your door hardware.  Backplates and rosettes are not only attractive, they can eliminate the need for patching and repairing holes left from previous hardware.  Deadbolts are necessary for security on entry way doors and come in both single and double cylinder styles that may or may not be incorporated into the design of your door handle set.  A single cylinder incorporates both a keyed lock on the exterior of the door and a thumb latch on the interior.  A double cylinder requires a key on both the interior and exterior of the door.  

Once you have selected a door handle style it will be necessary to choose a finish (bronze, stainless steel, brass etc.) a design style (contemporary, traditional, rustic) and finally, a design motif that will suit your overall interior design.  The specifics of your individual project will determine which door handle style is best suited to your needs.

 

Safety tips for your dogs during the summer months

Our beloved rescue dog, Iris.  Martin Pierce Hardware

What with the hot weather, nasty bugs and noisy fireworks and thunderstorms, summer can be an upsetting and sometimes dangerous time for your dogs (and other pets).  Here are some simple and common sense tips that will insure that your entire family, including pets, has a safe and enjoyable summer.

  1. First and foremost, get your pets micro chipped or, at the very least, make sure they are wearing some sort of ID that will help get them back home to you should they get lost. Social media and technology can help locate missing pets as well.  Check out sites like Whistle Labs Inc. or the hashtag #Lost4Dogs.
  2. Many pets, especially dogs, react negatively to the sounds of fireworks.  It is important to make sure that your dog is kept in a safe environment that not only provides comfort during this scary time but prevents him or her from running away in fear. Keep your pet indoors during summer storms or periods of time that could be frightening such as a loud party, holiday firework celebrations etc.  Provide a "safe spot" such as a crate, special bed or closed room that will help keep them calm during these stressful periods.
  3. Noise distractions can help so turn up the TV or play your pets favorite tunes during noisy celebrations.
  4. Some dogs find comfort in tight "anxiety wraps" similar to swaddling a newborn baby.
  5. Provide plenty of water during hot weather but also when your dog is stressed as they will pant more often and become thirsty much quicker.
  6. Did you know dogs can get sunburned?  Did you know there is sunscreen made especially for dogs?  DO NOT use sunscreen meant for humans and containing zinc on your dogs!

As you are probably aware, thousands of dogs and cats find themselves lost and homeless each year.  In fact, according to the ASPCA, more pets go missing over the 4th of July weekend than any other time of year.  Thank goodness there are organizations such as The Rescue Train in Los Angeles that provide a safe haven for these animals while they are waiting to find their new homes.

 

 

Brexit as we approach July 4th

Long may she wave!

Long may she wave!

 
Happy 4th of July!
As we get ready to celebrate our independence and freedoms here in the United States. I am trying to fully understand the recent, and ironically timed, "Brexit" vote.  This is the public vote that resulted in the United Kingdom exiting the European Union.
Martin and I grew up in England, before the UK joined the EU.  The furthest we travelled was to the small channel islands that exist half way between England and France. Therefore,  as young adults, membership into the EU was an exciting time.  It enabled us to experience, first hand, the fun and benefits of what the EU offered. On a superficial level it meant we suddenly had access to affordable French and German wine, olive oil was no longer a luxury and my mother encountered her first green pepper, asking me how she should go about peeling it!  Dieppe and mussels were a ferry ride away and Paris and the Pompidou and Musee d'Orsay were an hours flight from Heathrow. We visited Paris several times and saw the architectural creations of Guimard and Galle that, up to that point, just been photos in a book; and we spent hours wandering and absorbing the cultural marvels of this amazing city.
I am not suggesting that the ability to enjoy these things will all suddenly end or that travel will cease; far from it.  But the vote does reflect a new inward looking perspective and is clearly a vote against globalization.  Don Lee does a very good job of explaining what the vote means in his article for the LA Times. I do understand how those who feel their European representatives are too remote and unaccountable and have not seen their standard of living improve expressed their anger and frustration with a leave vote. But, sadly, I fear that very little will be gained by Britain's departure and indeed much may be lost. Alas, a referendum by its very definition is difficult to reverse so Britons must now wait to see where this new, likely turbulent, road leads. 

Even your door handles can celebrate summer

The official start of summer is less than one week away and boy are we ready!

The summer solstice is set to arrive on the west coast on Monday June 22, 2016 but here in southern California the hotter than normal temperatures are hinting that summer has arrived early.  The summer of 2016 promises many exciting events including the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and, for us personally, plenty of spur of the moment activities that can only be enjoyed during the long summer days.

One of the many joys of summer is the profusion of summer flowers that are available at the florist, in markets and in your own garden.  And one way to enjoy the beauty of your favorite flower is through the use of custom floral inspired door handles and knobs.  We offer a veritable bouquet of door and cabinet hardware that will delight you or your clients all season long.

Daisies are a sheer delight in the garden so why not transfer their beauty to a set of cabinet or furniture doors and drawers through the use of our solid bronze daisy pull.

Bronze daisy pull from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016 Photo Doug Hill

Bronze daisy pull from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016

Photo Doug Hill

If climbing vines are more to your liking then our trumpet flower pull will be just the right addition to your next interior design project.

Beautifully detailed bronze trumpet flower door or cabinet pull from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016 Photo Doug Hill

Beautifully detailed bronze trumpet flower door or cabinet pull from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016

Photo Doug Hill

No need to worry about whether these mushrooms are edible!  This cabinet hardware will add an organic look to cabinets and furniture and would be right at home in a boutique, spa, greenhouse or sunroom.

Bronze mushroom door pull from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016 Photo Doug Hill

Bronze mushroom door pull from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016

Photo Doug Hill

Celebrate your concern for the environment with one of the most sustainable plants there is, bamboo.  Our bamboo collection will add a tropical feel to any hospitality design project.

Bamboo pull from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles CA  90016 Photo Doug Hill

Bamboo pull from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles CA  90016

Photo Doug Hill

Ferns and greenery are an integral part of any garden or floral design and the detail and realism of our fiddlehead fern cabinet pull will not disappoint.  

Fiddlehead fern cabinet pull from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016 Photo Doug Hill

Fiddlehead fern cabinet pull from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016

Photo Doug Hill

With beautiful hardware choices like these it is easy to enjoy the beauty of summer all year long.

To view our entire collection of architectural hardware and door handles, please visit us at www.martinpierce.com.

Designers can visit the showroom located at:

5433 W. Washington Blvd.

Los Angeles Ca  90016

Tel: 323-939-5929

 

Designing for the aging

Ergo door handle in stainless steel by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles CA  90016 Photo Doug Hill

Ergo door handle in stainless steel by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles CA  90016

Photo Doug Hill

Interior designers are a versatile group.  Some design and help create beautiful residences that their clients call Home.  Others create business and commercial environments that inspire creativity and productivity and provide a welcome greeting to their clients, or design beautiful getaways such as spas and boutique hotels.  And there are those designers who specialize in creating comfortable and accessible spaces for people who may struggle with physical limitations as a result of aging or illness.

Designing for the aging is a specialty in itself.  Aging in place is always the goal but consideration needs to be given to several seemingly innocuous areas in the design of both residential and senior communities, including:

  • Widening doorways and entrances to accomodate wheelchairs and other devices
  • Reducing or eliminating thresholds from room to room to avoid trip hazards
  • Lever style door handles and door hardware that make opening doors and cabinetry easier for aging hands
  • Proper and sufficient task and ambient lighting, especially in "danger" areas such as stairways 
  • A color scheme that not only provides inviting color but enough contrast to distinguish transitions from room to room.
  • Eliminate the use of area rugs that can be a tripping or falling hazard
  • Open floor plans 

This design specialty becomes more important as the baby boomer population continues to age.  According to the US Census Bureau, by the year 2025 nearly 20% of the population will be age 65 or over.  Our retirement years are more active and older Americans anticipate a different retirement than their parents experienced.  All of these factors need to be taken into consideration when re-designing an existing home for the occupant's changing physical needs or designing a brand new senior living facility that will accomodate the residents and their needs for the remainder of their lives.

To view our Ergo collection of architectural hardware, or our entire collection of door handles and door hardware, please visit our site at www.martinpierce.com.

Designers can visit the showroom located at:

5433 W. Washington Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA  90016

Tel: 323-939-5929

 

 

Sounds and sights of summer with Martin Pierce Hardware

Simplicity in design is often the key to creating a serene and relaxing environment during the summer months. Heavy drapery fabrics are replaced with lightweight sheers that can billow in the wind.  Dark floor coverings are lightened up through the use of natural fiber rugs, for example, or removed all together to allow beautiful flooring to take center stage.  And accessories that represent the beauty of the season are scattered about including, perhaps, throw pillows and artwork depicting some of summer's bugs, the ocean's inhabitants or the birds that flock to the local trees.

We have created several door handle and door hardware collections that represent some of summer's icons including our Lizard door handle, scarab beetle pull, frog passageway door knobs and artwork in the form of birds and flowers that will definitely add a subtle summer touch to any interior design project.

Lizard door hardware

Lizards are a familiar sight during the summer months scampering about in the garden or catching some of the sun's rays along the sidewalk or patio.  Our beautifully detailed collection of door hardware is available in entry levers and knobs, passageway door hardware, cabinet pulls and coordinating bolts and flush trim.

Lizard door handles from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016    Photo Doug Hill

Lizard door handles from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016    Photo Doug Hill

What is a summer night without the sound of croaking frogs in the distance?  You can visually relive that eperience each time you open a door with our frog door knob from our Netsuke collection of custom door hardware or our highly polished frog cabinet pull shown here in stainless steel.

Frog cabinet pull from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca   90016    Photo Doug Hill

Frog cabinet pull from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca   90016    Photo Doug Hill

Whether you choose to celebrate the birds of summer with our Jay sculpture or our swallow cabinet pull, you are certain to be reminded of the beautiful and relaxing sounds heard throughout the summer months. And summer beetles are a common sight on a warm summer evening.  If you follow this blog then you are already aware of the passion Martin has for all types of beetles, often represented in his bronze sculptures or simple cabinet pulls like the scarab beetle pull shown below in both a small and large version.

Scarab beetle pull from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016

Scarab beetle pull from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016

To view our entire collection of sculptures, door handles and architectural hardware, please visit our site at www.martinpierce.com.

Designers can visit the showroom located at:

5433 W. Washington Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA  90016

Tel: 323-939-5929

 

Enjoying red wine with Martin Pierce

Not to be confused with national Red Rose day (June 12th), National Rose day (rosay) falls on the second Saturday in June, June 11th this year, and it is one that will be celebrated at Martin Pierce Hardware!

We have often shared our enjoyment of the Paso Robles wine region and, while not specifically rose, thought that, in celebration of this newfound holiday, this would be a good time to share with you some of our favorite wines.

I am, alas, a creature of habit, which means I tend to opt for viognier and sauvignon blanc wines over roses, chardonnays and cabernets.  That being said, I did develop a fondness for Rose wines, in large measure due to our proximity to the Anjou wine growing region in France while living in England.

We had very dear friends who lived in the Anjou region. They would often visit us in England due to the fact that both Anjou and Lewes, Sussex support opera companies at Glyndebourne and Opera de Bauge respectively.  Therefore, it was not uncommon for artisans in both towns to  visit each other.  This seemingly unrelated information sets the stage for explaining how we first came across Rose d'Anjou.

When we left England we had to "make do" with the Rose produced by local wineries but we are happy to admit that the local wines in Paso Robles are on a par with those in the Anjou wine region.  My favorites can be found at these smaller production wineries as each produces a very distinctive and refreshing Rose.

Four Lanterns

Four Lanterns winery has a beautiful setting on west highway 46.  Be sure to try their Sunset Rose.

Hammersky

Hammersky rose is grown from their estate grown zinfandel varietal

Riverstar

Riverstar wineries produce a great tasting and well priced Grenache Rose

LXV

LXV is a boutique winery that offers a sensuous tasting experience.  For those red wine lovers seeking something a bit different, I would recommend the Sangiovese Brunello, one of the few red wines that Martin and I can agree upon.

To check out other varietals in the Paso Robles wine region and plan your wine tasting tour Paso Robles Wineries offers a helpful wine tasting map.

Entry door handle from Martin Pierce hardware Los Angeles CA  90016   Photo Doug Hill

Entry door handle from Martin Pierce hardware Los Angeles CA  90016   Photo Doug Hill

 

Custom door hardware will complete the look of any wine cellar.  Our Grapevine door handle and hardware collection shown above was inspired by our many visits to wineries over the years and will add that all important detail.  Also shown here is a bespoke wine cellar door handles created for a discerning client who was inspired by a piece of wall art in his personal collection.  You can follow the design process on the blog.

Bespoke wine cellar door handles by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016 Photo Doug Hill

Bespoke wine cellar door handles by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016

Photo Doug Hill

To view our entire collection of door handles and architectural hardware, please visit our site at www.martinpierce.com.

Designers can visit the showroom located at:

5433 W. Washington Blvd.

Los Angeles, Ca  90016

Tel: 323-939-5929

 

 

 

 

I am including a photo of the custom pieces we did but can you link the post to our now specific ;

 

 

 

Summer series continues with beautiful boutique hotel stays

In our last post we discussed the lovely living things that make an appearance during the summer months and it certainly fueled the desire for a summer vacation.

While there are many wonderful large hotel chains that offer the opportunity for a memorable summer getaway, boutique hotels can offer a unique adventure that often eliminates all the hustle and bustle that goes along with large hotels and resorts.  When it comes time to choose a destination, a boutique hotel can offer these appealing amenities:

  • Intimacy.  Smaller hotels often result in a more intimate experience with the surrounding community.  Often located in the heart of the area, restaurants, galleries and activities are frequently within walking distance providing an opportunity to get to know the area "up close and personal."
  • Unique decor and architecture.  Hospitality designers are well aware of the importance of the appearance of a hotel, both inside and out.  This can be be the deciding factor when selecting a place to stay.  Interesting architecture and decor that celebrates the area or a particular theme, for example,  can add to your overall experience.  With its slope side location and ski-in-ski-out capabilities, The Little Nell in Aspen Colorado is a prime example of how a boutique hotel can immerse their guests in the activities of the community.  Custom door hardware, art collections and comfortable furnishings are all seemingly small details that carry a lot of weight with guests looking for a unique experience while travelling.  
The Little Nell boutique hotel Aspen Colorado

The Little Nell boutique hotel Aspen Colorado

  • Personalized service.  Fewer guests mean more time for staff to tend to the specialized requests of their guests.  And isn't it nice to receive some special attention every now and then?

To view our entire collection of architectural hardware and custom door handles, please visit our site at www.martinpierce.com.

Designers can visit the showroom located at:

5433 W. Washington Blvd.

Los Angeles, Ca  90016

Tel: 323-939-5929

Summer is all about birds, bees and butterfly door handles

Lover's Point Pacific Grove Ca  Photo by Robert Pacelli

Lover's Point Pacific Grove Ca  Photo by Robert Pacelli

The Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of the summer season for many people.  The days are longer, the sun is warmer and life is just a bit more relaxed. As you enjoy the outdoors you will, no doubt, begin to notice the appearance of all of summer's winged creatures---birds, bees and butterflies.  Here at Martin Pierce Hardware we are also inspired by these fascinating creatures and have created various pieces of door hardware based on this inspiration, including passageway door handles and cabinet knobs.

Our bee door knob is a beautifully detailed rendition of a bee placed atop a slice of honeycomb and cast in bronze in our Los Angeles facility.

Bronze bee door knob by Martin PIerce Hardware Los Angeles CA  90016  Photo Doug Hill

Bronze bee door knob by Martin PIerce Hardware Los Angeles CA  90016  Photo Doug Hill

Butterflies represent change and our butterfly cabinet pull, available in two different sizes, will definitely change the look of cabinetry and furniture in your next interior design project.

Small butterfly pull from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016  Photo Doug Hill

Small butterfly pull from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016  Photo Doug Hill

Birds make an appearance on many Martin Pierce items, including door handles and artwork.  Our swallow pull can be used on items of furniture as shown here on a custom toy chest we designed for our client or as door and cabinet hardware.

Swallow pull on custom toy chest by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016  Photo Doug Hill

Swallow pull on custom toy chest by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016  Photo Doug Hill

Our jay bird bronze sculpture would be a statement making addition to any art collection.  You can follow along on the process of creating a sculpture like this via blog posts published here and here.

Jay bird bronze sculpture by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles CA  90016 Photo Doug Hill

Jay bird bronze sculpture by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles CA  90016 Photo Doug Hill

Door knockers are certainly a part of entry door hardware and our woodpecker door knocker will add a bit of whimsy and function to your front door.

Woodpecker door knocker by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles CA  90016  Photo Doug Hill

Woodpecker door knocker by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles CA  90016  Photo Doug Hill

 

To commission your own piece of custom artwork or to view our entire collection of door handles and architectural hardware, please visit our site at www.martinpierce.com.

Designers can visit the showroom located at:

5433 W. Washington Blvd.

Los Angeles, Ca  90016

Tel: 323-939-5929

A door handle work in progress

Angular Leaf Sections in Canopy with Stronger Directional Limbs by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016

Angular Leaf Sections in Canopy with Stronger Directional Limbs by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016

As many of you are already aware, all of the door hardware that we make at Martin Pierce Hardware is designed and created by Martin Pierce.  Unlike other door hardware companies who employ a stable of designers working on different styles, each and every door handle, cabinet pull and lighting fixture starts out life on Martin’s drafting board.  In this post we are sharing some initial and somewhat crude sketches that illustrate the evolution of a particular design. 

 

The initial design for this door handle (shown above) began with a soft approach that had,as Martin described it a “cartoon Disney quality to it”. I agreed and suggested that he focus on giving it a stronger, directional feel and the tree focus should be on creating a more angular canopy with faceted leaf sections.  That direction resulted in this rough sketch showing the beginnings of a new and more angular shape.

New Trees 2.jpg

This new tree door handle design follows on from our successful Hedgerow line of door hardware and is a natural development from the illuminated door handles that we hope to be releasing later this year. This final image shows the most completely sketched out concept for a new tree door handle that may or may not have an integral LED light.

To view our Hedgerow line, along with our entire collection of door handles and architectural hardware, please visit our site at www.martinpierce.com.

Designers can visit the showroom located at:

5433 W. Washington Blvd.

Los Angeles, Ca  90016

Tel: 323-939-5929