Bauerware: Putting the Fun Back in Cabinet Hardware

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Changing up the hardware in your kitchen or bath is a great way to achieve a whole new look with relative ease. Shopping for hardware at a big-box store, however, can be a mind-numbing experience; after ten minutes wandering those endless aisles, everything starts to look exactly the same. But at Bauerware, a cabinet hardware showroom in the Castro, hardware shopping rises to a whole new level of fun.

Founded by San Francisco-based kitchen and bath designer Lou Ann Bauer, the showroom is a veritable wonderland of knobs and pulls, with a selection that ranges from high-quality versions of classic beauties to whimsical options like carved animal heads and vintage fifties-era plastic knobs.

Bauerware is a fairly small shop, but it’s packed to the gills, with floor-to-ceiling shelves of galvanized steel drawers displaying their wares. Hardware fixtures of all kinds are available here—door knockers, coat hooks, towel bars—but knobs and pulls are their specialty. I don’t think it’s exaggerating to say there are choices to suit any possible style or purpose. Hand-carved baby’s head knob for your changing table? Check. Glazed ceramic Chinoiserie pull for your Zen bathroom? Check. Knob in the shape of your dog’s breed for the drawer where you keep his treats? Check.

If you’re looking for cheap hardware, Bauerware is not the place, and the only downside of shopping here is that most of the selection is on the high end, which increases the likelihood, of course, of falling in love with something you can’t afford. Still, they do have some nice low-budget options; it’s worth browsing their online shop to check out the range. Their website even offers some helpful tips for hardware shopping.

(Images: Susie Nadler)

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