Scott Lee and Erin Martin, San Francisco
How They Did It: For his energy-efficient house, architect Scott Lee turned to long-time collaborator Erin Martin to design the interiors. As part of her economical and green mandate, and to add a hint of texture to this sleek, neutral bath, she ditched the expected metal vanity pulls in favor of knotted lengths of ¾-inch manila rope, made from durable natural fibers, that she bought from a local marine-supply store. Each pull is threaded through a hole in the cabinet door or drawer and held in place by overhand knots on the front and back. "If the knots loosen, I use a bit of epoxy to hold them together," Martin says. "And the rope stands up well to bathroom humidity, since it's tough enough to be used in ocean water."