Satin brass finish makes a comeback - Lifestyle NZ
Satin brass finish makes a comeback

Satin brass finish makes a comeback

KnK Architectural Hardware releases affordable satin brass range.

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

Half-way between matte black and stainless steel, the softer look of graphite—with its gunmetal tones—has, following European interior trends, made serious inroads into New Zealand interiors in recent years. But lately, the warmth of satin brass is starting to steal the show.

It has been fashionable in America and Europe, says KnK Architectural Hardware General Manager Sean Crowley. “Satin brass has become very popular again, especially in our high-end stores. In the past, because it is expensive, brass has only been used for high-end homes and top-end projects. But now, everyone wants brass taps and shower fixtures. The problem was, they couldn’t match it to their hardware without paying a fortune.

“In response, KnK Architectural Hardware has brought out an affordable range of four contemporary handles in an aluminium version of satin brass, which wears as well as its solid metal counterpart but doesn’t have the same cost.

“It looks exactly like satin brass because, when it’s anodised the finish actually becomes part of the product material. You wouldn’t know what it was,” says Sean.

It’s a version people can afford. And KnK Architectural Hardware’s retail network is experiencing strong demand, especially online and from group home builders.

The mix of the satin brass finish and bold geometric design lends this handle a contemporary feel.

The company has tended to follow European trends, says Sean. “But we do buy from Baldwin, an American firm, which tends to have a big, bold and chunky look.

“European styles are more refined. We source from Europe and the UK. Samuel Heath, a 200-year-old company produces quite traditional designs. However, even they have started mixing different finishes into one handle. They have an aged brass and black handle that’s very attractive and popular at the high-end level.

“The quality out of Mestre in Spain is very good. It’s refined and traditional. Then there is Frasico from Italy, which has a multitude of finishes that they mix up. As well as different colour finishes, they put different textures into their products. Some handles have a dark bronzed finish that looks like it has cracks in it.

“And in Germany, P Bisschop is another traditional company that’s been around since 1889. They supply a lot of high-end brass and solid steel product with Art Deco and Bauhaus handles.”

As well the hugely varied import range KnK sells product from the big, high-quality New Zealand brands such as Chant, Bankston and Windsor.

“Chant is an epic company owned by Graham Chant who designs everything and can do anything. They have a varied range of solid brass products and they even customise for a price.”

Bankston, an Australian-owned business and Windsor, which is New Zealand owned, both source their products out of China and India.

Teamed with matching brass hinges, the look is sleek and cohesive.

KnK Architectural Hardware, formerly Knobs & Knockers, has been around for more than 25 years. They changed their name two years ago to better reflect their market offering. The company has expanded and now has three branches in Auckland, one in Wellington, one in Christchurch and another in Cromwell, Central Otago.

It’s very much a fashion business now, says Sean. “People aren’t happy with a plain silver looking handle. Everyone wants something a bit different that differentiates them from everyone else. The key thing is our staff are design professionals who have studied interior design.

“We also bring in recent design graduates who are generally with us for three years before moving on. They bring an understanding of interiors right through each project and can help people with their hardware specifications. They go on site visits to make sure everything is correct before it’s installed. We have installation teams nationwide making professional install available.

He says it’s a very busy market with big growth so they’re adding more people to the business. Major projects include the Ramada Hotels in Auckland, Queenstown and Wellington. They’re completing the International apartments, next to the Northern Club in Auckland and the Toru Apartments, a huge development in Queenstown plus the Marina Terraces in Wanaka.

“A lot of new builds and renovations are on the go. Getting the product from the overseas is one of the biggest issues. It’s taking longer. But most people are patient. Even New Zealand manufacturers have to get material from overseas. Everyone is in the same boat.”

KnK are leaders, responsive to client demand. “We care about overseas trends and always look to stay ahead of the market.

“We’re always looking at new products. This year, we brought out a low-profile rose for behind the handle. Not everyone wants a big, bulky rose.”

The Ferroro range was designed for the modern home with handles that subtly accentuate and enhance their surroundings. The range comprises four modern stainless-steel handles and a 3mm Minimo sprung rose that suits individual handles with a finish to match. It sits neatly against the door, creating a feeling of luxury, paired with a smooth soft close latch and ergonomic design for the best technical and aesthetic result.

Check out the range available at KnK Architectural Hardware.

The range includes privacy door handles, passage door handles and dummy door handles for a complete look throughout your home.
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