Get to Know: Sarah Bartholomew
Southern Living Idea House designer Sarah Bartholomew loves hardware that exudes the classic elegance and clean lines that are hallmarks of her style. When tasked to design her hardware line for Modern Matter, she started collecting photos of antique and vintage hardware that inspired her. She wanted the collection to go beyond basic knobs and pulls to include task-specific items like a multi-arm swivel hook. We caught up with her and learned all about her inspiration behind the line.
Q: What made you want to be a designer?
A: I have always loved art, fashion and design for as long as I can remember. I was always decorating and re-decorating my room as a child. Raised just outside of Washington D.C. in Virginia I developed a deep love for Classical architecture and design at a young age. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a liberal arts degree I set off for a career in education but soon abandoned the field realizing it was not the path for me. I started a family early but kept busy decorating my own home and reading anything design wise I could get my hands on, self educating along the way. I had a friend who was building a custom home and she asked me to design the project. I learned so much on that job. The project went well and that job lead to several more, and after that the work kept multiplying. With a lot of hard work and determination our firm has grown and evolved...I have surrounded myself with talented industry professionals that have mentored me, taught me and guided me along the way.
Q: What was your inspiration for this hardware line?
A: Antique and vintage pieces always inspire me. I am constantly looking through old hardware. I will find something I love and think ‘I wish I could do a whole kitchen in this’ but there are only five pieces. It is difficult to source a classic, simple, clean look that is really high quality.
Q: How does your collaboration differ from Modern Matter’s previous collaborations?
A: I would say their previous collaborations offer true “statement” pieces that create a bold look. I gravitate toward more simple and straightforward forms— knobs and pulls that make a new kitchen feel old, like it has always been there. This line will offer a clean and classic feel with pieces that will truly stand the test of time.
Q: What do you look for when sourcing hardware for your clients?
A: You want something that feels heavy and sturdy but is also easy to use— nothing plastic or lightweight that feels flimsy! You should be able to open drawers easily and not have to fuss. And, of course, you want it to look pretty.
Q: Form over function, or vice versa?
A: Both are equally important! We all tend to want attractive hardware in our kitchens and bathrooms, but those hardworking areas like offices and mudrooms need to look good, too. Modern Matter does a great job of creating those pieces that are beautiful, durable and functional.
Q: Do you have a preferred finish for hardware?
A: It depends on the room. Metal finish and patina are really important in creating a sense of place. The right hardware can give a space longevity, making it feel timeless. Whether it is aged brass or polished nickel, hardware can add a special finishing touch to a room. It’s like jewelry for your home.
I used the polished nickel Washington knobs in the master bathroom. They are understated but elegant and look fantastic!