Expert Advice

This Design Detail Makes a Major Difference—Are You Overlooking It?

Good design is in the details.

By Camille Styles
Exterior of Brandy Joy Smith's Joshua Tree cabins.

In the journey of designing our homes, it’s easy to overlook the beauty of those small, utilitarian features that bring a space together. These are the hardworking pieces, humble in size but brilliant in execution, that bring function and flow to everyday life. Paying careful attention to such design nuances includes choosing door handles that fit my aesthetic and needs—which is why I worked with lauded door hardware brand Emtek when designing our Malibu home.

Featured inspiration image: Brandy Joy Smith’s Joshua Tree home.

Mid-century modern kitchen with pink cabinetry.
Inspiration image: Kate Arends’ Minnesota home

How I’m Approaching Hardware in My Malibu Home

Our Emtek hardware makes for a “touch point” that brings consistency and essence throughout the home. This interconnection is a goal of the brand. Door and even cabinet hardware is something you touch more than most other things in your home—it should be something you love interacting with and using.

Spotlighting the beauty in the day-to-day is one of the most enjoyable aspects of what I do. No detail goes unnoticed in my world, particularly when it comes to home design. I viewed the handles, knobs, and pulls in the Emtek collection as essential pieces that will elevate even the simplest moments in my Malibu home.

Here, I’ll break down the beautiful functionality behind her design decisions. For Sunset’s next Idea House, good design is in the details. Here’s how I’m using Emtek door hardware to elevate the everyday!

French doors with white gauzy curtains.
Image by Michelle Nash

Elevated Function

Door handles are like that perfect, subtle piece of jewelry you wear every day, adding a certain something that you might not be able to instantly put your finger on. Just as your favorite gold bracelet can make an outfit, the right door handles can add the finishing touch that pulls a home together.

Vivid Variety

Emtek offers seemingly endless options to allow customers to create tailored hardware looks for their homes. Biller Switzer highlights a few of the many ways hardware comes into play. An Emtek door-knob can complement the polished nickel of a bathroom faucet. Or a glass knob can elevate a room, same as a sleek Satin Brass lever. “You can select your preferred rosette or back plate style, your favorite knob or lever style, and each in any combination of finishes you like,” adds Biller Switzer.

Camille Styles creating vision board.
Image by Michelle Nash

The Personal Touch

For our Malibu home, I chose the Lariat Lever with #6 Bronze Rosette in the medium bronze patina finish, a part of Emtek’s Rustic Modern series.

A slightly beveled rosette and lever with a contemporary profile, the #6 Bronze Rosette Medium Bronze Patina is meant to be a “living finish” where the bronze will gracefully age over time. I’m drawn to the juxtaposition between modern, clean lines, and timeless materials—and these have both. We’re using other living finishes, like unlacquered brass, throughout the house, so the patina that these will develop over the years will lend the same, soulful quality.

Investing in a product that feels intentional and solid, particularly one that works tirelessly, can make a world of difference in a home’s overall aesthetic. Our Emtek hardware is neither loud nor brash but lends quiet confidence and beauty. It all makes a quiet statement that feels aligned with the rest of our home’s design.