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Enhancing a Historic Home with Hardware | 2019 Idea House

When tackling a historic renovation, the devil is truly in the details. The right reproduction hardware can make all the difference between an easy-to-spot imposter and a period-authentic replica. Here’s a sneak peek at some of our favorite handcrafted pieces that pulled the TOH 2019 Idea House together.

Window to the Past

Photo courtesy of Karp Associates

The craftsmen of KARP Associates took great care to restore the original six-over-six paned windows at the front of the house, and getting just the right window parts was essential.

Director of Design and Residential Construction Robin Carroll explains, "To receive approval for the project, the Historic District Commission mandated that we restore the original elevations visible from the street. This included the historic exterior decorative trim and windows on the front and left-side facade. As part of that process, we removed eight double-hung, two fan, and six frieze windows from the original structure, completely stripped the lead paint, removed the original glazing, restored rotted parts, and reassembled the sashes and frames. The final touch was installing fully functional reproduction chains, pulleys, and weights."

A Little Hardware History

Photo by Cynthia Brown Studios

Double-hung windows operate through a system that's simple enough: The sash is counterbalanced with a chain and a pulley connected to steel weights. The weights create the proper counterbalance for each window sash, allowing for smooth operation. The hardware in the Idea House's original windows was rusted beyond repair; replacing the hardware with authentic reproductions was critical to the authenticity of the project.

Back to Life

Photo by Claudia Jepsen

“Bringing these windows back to life was a labor of love, taking our master carpenters Gilbert Violette and Henry Nusser hundreds of hours,” says Carroll. “The salvation of the original framing, fenestration, and trim preserved the character of the house on Main Street and supports the preservation of the historic district in New Canaan.”

Read on for other ways period-perfect hardware was incorporated throughout the house.

Appeal Starts at the Curb

Photo by Nat Rea

Walking up to the TOH 2019 Idea House, visitors are greeted by a decorative, period-authentic post-mount mailbox made of durable, rustproof aluminum; the matte black finish complements the black shutters and front door to create a stately scene.

A Dashing Doorbell

Photo by Claudia Jepsen

A decorative aged-bronze doorbell is a clean, classic design statement. Made of solid brass, it features beveled edges and a lighted button for enhanced visibility.

Attention to Detail

Photo by Nat Rea

With its simple design, smooth disposition, and aged bronze finish, the house number welcomes guests in classic style.

Pocket Perfection

Photo by Nat Rea

Rustic yet refined bronze hardware was the finishing touch on these solid-oak pocket doors that afford privacy to the home office. The hand-applied finish ages gracefully, with frequently-touched areas exposing the natural shades of the bronze, while other areas will oxidize further.

Hardworking Hooks

Photo by Nat Rea (left); Claudia Jepsen (right)

In the spacious mudroom, bold, hand-forged iron hooks are designed to hold even the heaviest outerwear.

Stylish Door Sets

Photo by Claudia Jepsen

Downstairs, the KARP team opted for Colonial-inspired tile flooring and sand-casted bronze lever door sets. The hand-applied finish on these levers ages gracefully, with frequently touched areas exposing the natural shades of the bronze, while other areas oxidize further. The result? An elegant and timeless display of contrasting color variations.

House of Antique Hardware is proud to sponsor the TOH 2019 Idea House.
For period-perfect reproductions, or a fresh take on timeless traditions, visit