With lustre: graphite nickel - Furniture and Decorating NZ
With lustre: graphite nickel

With lustre: graphite nickel

While most other fashions change, moving through cycles relatively quickly, door hardware is one where the wheels turn slowly. But a new trend is starting to become evident after more than a decade with the market fixated on brushed nickel finishes. We had a chat to Windsor Brass about the latest developments.

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

Graphite nickel is the latest in door hardware finishes. It’s a new, and very popular, development on what’s been the finish of choice for more than a decade now – brushed nickel.

“For the last nearly 20 years, brushed nickel has been the finish of choice in terms of door hardware. Before that, brass was popular, but aside from that we haven’t seen much movement in terms of trends and new finishes,” Windsor Brass’ Sean Crowley says.

It was a couple of years ago at a hardware fair in Europe that graphite nickel started to emerge, and it was then that Windsor Brass saw the opportunity for a fresh take on the traditional brushed nickel that had dominated the market for so long.

“Within that, matt black has been a side runner for a couple of years and has seen some popularity in terms of uptake, but it never overtook the brushed finish,” Sean says. “What we found with that finish though is that it was very polarising; people either loved it or hated it, and it’s also one we can see dating quite quickly.”

The response to a slowly emerging desire for change was the release earlier this year of graphite nickel, which Sean describes as a product halfway between matt black and stainless steel – almost a gunmetal-type colour.

“Graphite nickel has a bit of lustre to it. It fits in with an industrial look but it’s also soft enough to work with more natural materials like timber too,” he says. “The lustre that it has allows it to reflect its surroundings to an extent, which means it appears differently depending on the materials it is placed on or around. It’s a modern but timeless finish.”

In terms of handle design, trends evolve much more quickly than finishes do, and of late, there are two clear styles that are dominating the market. Both incorporate clean, straight lines and a noticeable lack of curvature while maintaining ergonomic value.

“Within the clean, straight lines, the market tends to opt for either bigger, bolder handles or more refined pieces that make less of a statement that the former,” Sean says.

Windsor Brass specialises in door hardware and also offers a range of accessories and hardware that allow designers to develop seamless schemes throughout the home ranging from door stops to bannister fixings, kitchen handles, sliding door and entrance door hardware.

“Because the desire to create these seamless designs in regards to materiality is important, we also work in partnership with other companies to provide designers and clients with options to continue a finish in all areas of the home.”

Windsor Brass partners informally with Schneider Electric, that has light switches in the same graphite nickel finish, and Robertson Tapware, which allows for taps and accessories to continue the theme.

Windsor Brass has been operating in New Zealand for 34 years and remains a New Zealand-owned business. Its products are available nationwide at all major hardware retailers, and it works closely with architects and designers to develop schemes for individual projects.

Make sure you visit Windsor Brass on ArchiPro here to see the latest in door hardware and accessories.

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