An opportunity to find some design inspiration right here in southern California

During our recent stay at the Simpson House Inn we were able to take advantage of all the opportunities to view and enjoy the natural areas that surround Santa Barbara in the form of hiking trails, state beaches and botanical gardens.

Our fascination and interest in birds was certainly satisfied on our daily nature trips.  One such outing found us on the nearby Carpinteria State Beach.  We actually had the place all to ourselves for most of our visit.  With the exception of one lone human being,

Carpinteria State Beach Martin Pierce Hardware

Carpinteria State Beach
Martin Pierce Hardware

the only other living creatures we saw were those with wings, pincers or fins.  For example, the ever-present seagull.  Have you ever noticed how they always seem to strike a pose?

Ubiquitous seagull at Carpinteria State Beach.  Notice how they always pose! Martin Pierce Hardware

Ubiquitous seagull at Carpinteria State Beach. 
Martin Pierce Hardware

Curlews flying in formation near the ocean’s surface–no doubt hunting for a tasty morsel

Martin Pierce Hardware

Martin Pierce Hardware

and the prehistoric looking and always fascinating to watch Brown Pelican

Martin Pierce Hardware

Martin Pierce Hardware

This part of the California coast features outcroppings of rocks that are home to many species including this little crab Martin found in one of the rock mounds.

Martin Pierce Hardware

Martin Pierce Hardware

We certainly came back with plenty of design inspiration as well as an appreciation of this beautiful country and state we live in.

To view our entire collection of architectural hardware that includes birds, lizards and other creatures from nature, please visit our site at http://www.martinpierce.com.  We can also design a bespoke piece that will personalize and customize your next project.

 

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Recap of our summer getaway–Part 1

While the details of our stay at the lovely Simpson House Inn are still fresh in my mind I wanted to share them with you.

As we mentioned in an earlier post, we decided to treat ourselves to a short getaway in Santa Barbara.  The days were heating up in Los Angeles and a trip up the coast would allow us to escape not only our current workload but the heat that sometimes strikes southern California.  We were not to be disappointed!

Simpson House Inn dates back to 1874 and went through many years of decline before being totally and lovingly restored to its original glory by Glyn and Linda Davies.  It opened its doors as a refined B&B in 1985 and can boast being the winner of the prestigious City of Santa Barbara Structure of Merit award.  The low key charm of the staff make you feel like you are spending the weekend as very welcome guests in a dear friend’s home.  We began each day with a breakfast of roast potatoes and scrambled eggs with asparagus served on dainty Victorian China.

Breakfast at the Simpson House Inn Martin Pierce Hardware

Breakfast at the Simpson House Inn
Martin Pierce Hardware

We enjoyed this breakfast on the veranda every morning and were entertained by the California towhee birds bathing in the garden’s water fountain turned birdbath.  The gardens have received the same level of restoration attention as the house and other structures on the property.

Fountain turned birdbath in the formal gardens of Simpson House Inn by Martin Pierce Hardware

Fountain turned birdbath in the formal gardens of Simpson House Inn
by Martin Pierce Hardware

Another view of the beautiful gardens at the Simpson House Inn Martin Pierce Hardware

Another view of the beautiful gardens at the Simpson House Inn
Martin Pierce Hardware

After this hearty breakfast we set out for a daily hike on one of the nearby nature trails, only to return to homemade lemonade and freshly baked cookies each afternoon.

We certainly learned that there is no need to travel far and fight the crowds in order to get away from your daily routine and relax.  Communities across the country offer opportunities for those who live nearby to enjoy a day or two away from the daily “grind”.

You can view our entire collection of custom hardware, often inspired by nature, by visiting our site at http://www.martinpierce.com.

 

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Summer travel

Summer is about many things, including the enjoyment of a slower pace and an occasional overnight trip.  We have decided to take advantage of both and head just 90 minutes north of Hollywood to what is often called the American Riviera, Santa Barbara.

We have decided to treat ourselves with a three night stay at the Simpson House Inn. With unique accommodations and lovely gardens, we should be able to unwind just a bit.  And Santa Barbara has so much to offer in the way of hiking trails, ocean vistas and historical buildings that are sure to provide us with plenty of inspiration for future hardware and art projects.

Speaking of inspiration, Iris will not be joining us on this trip but Martin is “thinking” about sculpting a bust of her to display in our home.  Before Iris joined our family I would never have believed that I would want a pit bull head sculpture adorning our dining room!

photo by Martin Pierce hardware

Our beloved pitbull, Iris. photo by Martin Pierce hardware

As we prepare for our miniature vacation we hope that you are finding the time to unplug for even a short while and enjoy the lazy days of summer, as the fall and winter will be upon us before we know it.

To view our collection of custom architectural hardware, please visit our site at http://www.martinpierce.com.

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ADA compliance refresher

 

"Bush signs in ADA of 1990" by Unknown - http://www.whitehousehistory.org/whha_pictures/presidentshouse_bush-06.html. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bush_signs_in_ADA_of_1990.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Bush_signs_in_ADA_of_1990.jpg

“Bush signs in ADA of 1990″ by Unknown – http://www.whitehousehistory.org/whha_pictures/presidentshouse_bush-06.html. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bush_signs_in_ADA_of_1990.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Bush_signs_in_ADA_of_1990.jpg

A responsible architect, designer or homeowner is already aware of the importance of designing a space that is not only aesthetically pleasing but is also safe and easily accessible for all who enter.

The President of the United States signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) back in 1990 ( updated in 2010) that, in part,  set standards for accessible design that must be adhered to in government and other public and commercial buildings. However, many designers and architects are designing private buildings and homes with these standards in mind in order to accommodate an aging or disabled population.

Along with very specific requirements for specifics like elevators, moving stairways, automatic doors, required space between beds and dining tables in detention facilities, school and restaurants, placement of ramps, etc., many elements of accessible or universal design can also be applied to private spaces and include:

  • No threshold doorways that allow wheelchair access as well as eliminate the need to step-up to enter a room or building.
  • Wider doorways and hallways that make it possible to move from room to room and turn around with a walker or wheelchair.
  • Rocker light switches that are easier to operate than a standard switch.
  • Lever hardware that eliminates the need to grasp and turn a knob to open a door or window.
  • Roll-in showers and tubs that also provide a seating area.
  • Slip resistant flooring and/or carpet pile and pad that allows for easy maneuverability of a wheelchair.
  • Grab bars in appropriate areas, particularly in the shower/tub and water closet.

This is a very abbreviated list of regulations and ideas.  You can view the entire list of ADA Regulations by visiting the government site here.  While compliance is a must in public and government buildings, any of these features can be customized to meet the needs of a client in a private residence, thereby making their life a bit easier and safer.

Many of our custom hardware pieces comply with ADA requirements.  To view these, or to view our entire collection of architectural hardware, please visit our site at http://www.martinpierce.com.

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Flowers are in bloom at Martin Pierce Hardware

There is no better time than during the warm months of summer to take the time to stop and smell the roses.  In other words, enjoy the beautiful flowers that are blooming all around you.  It is easy to spot them—-well tended gardens in your neighborhoods, over-stuffed window boxes of local businesses or those blooms that grow wildly in the nearby fields.

Photo courtesy of Slim Paley Blog

Beautiful lantana photo courtesy of Slim Paley Blog

We have always enjoyed and appreciated the beauty of different flowers.  So much so that Martin has created many different “varieties” of architectural hardware in floral motifs that are so lifelike you will be tempted to bend down and do a sniff test.  Sadly, there is no fragrance but you can enjoy the beauty of these flowers all year round, nevertheless.

Daisies are such a lovely little flower that conjures up feelings of carefree days spent at the park.  Our bronze daisy drawer pull will add just the right amount of femininity to a hip clothing boutique, day spa or a sunroom or conservatory in a beautiful home.

 

Daisy drawer pull by Martin Pierce Custom Hardware

Daisy drawer pull by Martin Pierce Custom Hardware

Few flowers are as elegant or as sophisticated as an orchid.  Enjoy the beauty of these flowers without all the worry and effort that goes into the care of these delicate blooms with the addition of our silver plated orchid and orchid stem drawer pull.

The height of elegance, Martin Pierce's silver plated orchid stem pull

Martin Pierce’s silver plated orchid stem pull

Don’t let summer end without taking the time to notice the flowers in your area.  Visit a local botanical garden, stroll through your downtown area or just take a walk through your own neighborhood and see how many varieties of flowering plants you can identify.

To view our entire collection of Flora and other custom hardware, please visit our site at http://www.martinpierce.com.

 

 

 

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Your hospitality design project will come to life with custom hardware

Custom door and drawer hardware will enhance any design style whether it be sleek and contemporary, warmly traditional or interestingly eclectic.  For designers who work on hospitality or commercial projects or a homeowner looking to add a personal touch to their home, paying attention to details like hardware will turn an ordinary project into an extraordinary project.

Contemporary hardware

Contemporary styling is right at home in a sleek high-rise apartment building, upscale boutique or a modern home perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean.  Look for hardware crafted from metals like stainless steel, brass or high polished bronze.  Organic shapes will add movement and interest to all the smooth surfaces commonly found in a contemporary environment as will a pop of bright color or interesting lighting accents like those seen on our new cylindrical entryway levers that we debuted at the 2014 HD Expo.

Morphic cylindrical pull with a hot orange powder coated accent from Martin Pierce Hardware

Morphic cylindrical pull with a hot orange powder coated accent from Martin Pierce Hardware

Whimsical designs are also a nice choice for contemporary spaces and add a bit of personality.  Our Animal  and Netzuke collection features many pieces in the form of nature’s creatures that are so lifelike it will require close inspection to determine if they are real or not.

Traditional hardware

For those projects that require a more traditional look in hardware, an oil rubbed bronze and/or classic shapes and symbols always work.  Soothing floral shapes or the warmth and beauty of the patina of hand-rubbed bronze will support other traditional design elements such as beautiful moldings and impressive architectural details.

Passageway levers from the Willow 1 collection at Martin Pierce Hardware

Passageway levers from the Willow 1 collection at Martin Pierce Hardware

Celebrate nature

Architectural hardware that celebrates the shapes and forms of nature will enhance any design style and any corporate, hospitality or residential environment.  Leaves, florals, grapevines, birds and even lizards and geckos will bring a sense of the outdoors inside.

lizard multi point door lever from Martin Pierce Hardware

lizard multi point door lever from Martin Pierce Hardware

Bespoke hardware

Of course, the ultimate statement any organization, company or homeowner can make is a personal one.  This can be accomplished through the creation and installation of bespoke hardware designed to represent a corporate brand, a favorite piece of artwork or a native habitat as in the bird hardware we created for this Hawaiian project.

Hawaiian bird knob from the Hawaiian custom hardware collection of Martin Pierce hardware

Hawaiian bird knob from the Hawaiian custom hardware collection of Martin Pierce hardware

To discuss your custom hardware needs or to view our entire collection, please visit us at http://www.martinpierce.com.

 

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Birds in flight over Los Angeles

We are very fortunate to have a terrific view of Los Angeles bird life from our home in the Hollywood Hills.  While we do have an unsightly electrical pole at the end of the garden, its one redeeming factor is that it attracts hawks and owls.

Red tailed Hawk Martin Pierce Hardware

Red tailed Hawk
Martin Pierce Hardware

martin pierce redtail hawk on utility pole

Coppers Hawk by Martin Pierce Hardware

Alas, I do not  have any photos  of the Great Horned Owl that visits as he tends to arrive at dusk or later in the evening in pursuit of dinner in the form of rats and other rodents. However, over this past July 4th weekend Martin was able to photograph 2 hawks, one a juvenile male red tailed hawk and the other a Coppers hawk.  All these birds seem to be attracted by wildlife and we certainly do have a lot of young squirrels and rats that allow them to thrive well in our local habitat. As you may know, Martin is very fond of birds.  In our custom hardware collection we currently offer a swallow cabinet pull.

swallow pull from Martin Piece hardware

swallow pull from Martin Piece hardware

Martin is currently working on a set of handles inspired by the Steller’s Jay.  We will provide more detailed photos of the first handles when they return from the foundry but, in the meantime, here is a little teaser.

early carving of the Jay's wing Martin Pierce Hardware

early carving of the Jay’s wing
Martin Pierce Hardware

Jay before assembly Martin Pierce Hardware

Jay before assembly
Martin Pierce Hardware

To view our swallow pull or our entire collection of bespoke hardware, please visit us at http://www.martinpierce.com.

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