By Scott Kasper
Design can make or break the atmosphere of a space–especially in industries like hospitality where patrons and stakeholders are taking every article of decor into account. One of the first elements visitors see and interact with when they walk into a room is the door itself.
Door hardware is often overlooked as an opportunity to extend the aesthetic profile of a space from bigger items–like wall art and statement furniture–into the finer details that guests actually interact with the most. But with thousands of design options from minimalist and seamless to ornate and color-coordinated, door hardware is an easy way to make sure each space’s aesthetics are carried through every point of contact the guest will encounter.
But how do we ensure that all infrastructural and operational needs are met by the product? Which attributes are a must? Let’s discuss the key points that everyone from architect to facility manager must consider when identifying their ideal decorative hardware.
What’s Trending In Access Hardware Design?
Identifying the perfect fit out of a variety of aesthetic options plays a pivotal role in achieving unity in one’s architecture and design. So which aesthetics will be shaping designers’ work in the upcoming year?
In the past few months, we saw a wave of maximalism in the design world, but that is likely to change in 2023. Experts are forecasting simplicity and elegance as people shift more toward a less overwhelming take on modern design.
We foresee a mix of bold and modern with varied textures to lead door hardware choices:
● Sleek, elegant design
● Gold, silver, and black finishes
● Stainless steel material
● Matte and satin textures
Designers will be looking for hardware that can be seamlessly integrated into any space as a complementary element to the aesthetic, ultimately tying it all together.
Looking to add a different finish to the lock you see in a catalog? Electroplating, which uses an electric current to deposit a thin metal layer over substrates such as brass, bronze, or steel, is available for a variety of different hardware products. If you’re looking for a pop of color, powder coating can be color-matched to the color of your choice to totally transform the appearance of your door hardware and facilitate their integration into your space. Whether you spot the perfect color on a swatch of fabric or want locks to match the freshest coat of paint in your facility, it can be matched. This is both a durable and cost-effective method of adding a special finish to your hardware and accentuating any space.
Which Solutions Are In
Although aesthetics plays a great part in the choice of hardware, it isn’t the be-all and end-all; we must also consider performance. This is where your strategic choice in manufacturer comes into play: with some premium manufacturers, you don’t have to compromise aesthetics for performance.
With the endless solution types and features of today’s door hardware, the decision-making process can be quite challenging. Among the heightened infrastructural requirements and needs of stakeholders, there are a few solutions that stand out as they will provide optimal efficiency and performance for users:
The star of the show: keyless solutions. Long before the widespread awakening brought by the COVID-19 global pandemic, contactless solutions had already been making their way into daily life. In more recent years, they have set a new standard and expectation for many. Patrons tend to avoid contact with commonly touched surfaces, so providing a safer, more accessible alternative to access is a must going forward. Whether you opt for electronic access control employing card reader or hands-free wall reader solutions, base today’s decision on the knowledge that the future of access control is contactless; it’s here to stay.
Contactless solutions are not an option for every single space. Some door openings call for more care in hardware maintenance in order to avoid the spread of bacteria and disease. What was once a primary concern for those in the healthcare industry has now become a red flag in everyone’s mind. Opting for products that have antimicrobial coating as an add-on is an easy way to keep the aesthetic characteristics of your design while ensuring a safe and healthy space.
With the right decorative solutions, you don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics for functionality and durability; you can have it all. Beyond the trends of the market, hardware that delivers a balance of aesthetics, functionality, and performance is ideal for any situation. Each architect and designer will have to consider the visual components of their choices along with the pain points it addresses in their buildings. In the end, there shouldn’t be compromised at any level of your security.
Kasper is the Program Manager for Decorative Hardware at ASSA ABLOY for both Sargent and Corbin Russwin.