2011 Hardware Design Competition

Design Your Own Line of Lucury Cabinet Hardware
In the Spring of 2011 Baldwin Hardware offered interior designers and architects the opportunity to design an original line of luxury kitchen and bath hardware. Two finalists were selected and showcased from April 26-April 28 at KBIS, where customers and fans were given the chance to vote for their favorite. We're happy to announce Michael Friedes is the winner and his collection is planned to be launched in early 2012.

Meet our winner Michael Friedes and runner-up Kathryn Scott.
Michael Friedes

Michael Friedes, Winner

Winner of the Baldwin's Hardware Design Competition, San Francisco-based designer Michael Friedes of Michael Friedes Design Associates sat down with Baldwin to answer a couple questions about his design entry, his design aesthetics and what inspires him to create beautiful interiors.
  • What was the inspiration behind your design? I call this piece The Maxwellton Pull. The inspiration came from a beautiful piece of jewelry; specifically a classic chain link necklace or bracelet. I love how it is a combination of modern and traditional, while being masculine and feminine.
  • What is the design process you typically go through to design a space that meets your vision? My design process is all over the place. I would love to say I have one way of working, but honestly design is such an organic and creative process. It is always changing and evolving for me, and every space and client is unique. I often think of ideas in the middle of the night or when I catch an image from the corner of my eye. I implement all of these experiences into the spaces that I create.
  • Is there anyone in the world of art, architecture and design that you think is a pioneer and/or role model? Why? Absolutely! I am inspired and moved by so much in the world of art and design, it has been my passion since I was kid. One of my role models is my late father, Harry Friedes. He was a prominent textile designer for menswear and the most elegant and stylish man I have known. I am from Manhattan and the architecture in the city never ceases to inspire me. Lastly, I am a big fan of the designer Kelly Wearstler in LA. She has a great sense of whimsy, glamor and detail.
  • If you had to describe your design aesthetic in one sentence or less, what would you say? Livable luxury with a refined eye for detail.
  • Do you have any advice for homeowners who want to create a space that reflects their personal style? I am always asked for advice by homeowners, friends and family and love to give my input. My general advice would be don’t be afraid to think outside the box and mix things up. Not everything has to match. Also, the best way to make your space the most personal is to surround yourself with a few items that you truly love and/or have a personal connection to. With all design though, balance is the key.
  • What are three things you can’t live without? My kids, creativity and music.
Kathryn Scott

Kathryn Scott, Finalist

Finalist of Baldwin’s Hardware Design Competition, Kathryn Scott, founder of Kathryn Scott Design Studio from Brooklyn, New York sat down with Baldwin to answer a couple of questions about her design entry, her design aesthetics and what inspires her to create beautiful interiors.
  • What was the inspiration behind your design? My design was inspired by the artisan detailing found in historical hardware, but used in a simpler, more minimalist context. I like styles that fit or clash comfortably in both contemporary and historical settings.
  • What is the design process you typically go through to design a space that meets your vision? I start out making some basic sketches, and often look through images of places, patterns or things that can inspire proportional ideas and new ways of combining materials. Sometimes new styles are not much more than taking pieces of existing things and putting them into a new context.
  • Is there anyone in the world of art, architecture and design that you think is a pioneer and/or role model? Why? I love the pure, minimalist simplicity in the work of the Japanese architect, Kengo Kuma. For the same reason I have always admired the work of my first boss, Lella and Massimo Vignelli, and of course, I am deeply influenced by the artwork of my husband, Wenda Gu. As an interior designer, I love serene, sculptural spaces that transcend the latest fashion style.
  • If you had to describe your design aesthetic in one sentence or less, what would you say? I am passionate about searching for new ways to intertwine historical and contemporary elements, hoping to stumble on something fresh.
  • Do you have any advice for homeowners who want to create a space that reflects their personal style? It is extremely satisfying to express yourself in your surroundings. It really begins with an introspective process. It is more difficult than you might realize to identify yourself and what you want to express about who you are. Once you have overcome that feat, your challenge is to translate your personal identity into visual elements while maintaining a functional space. In the end, the harmony you create between your personal thoughts and your environment makes you feel grounded and at peace in our fast-paced world, which is a wonderful gift.
  • What are three things you can’t live without? The three things I need in my life are my family, my dreams and enough quiet time to use those dreams to inspire my projects.

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