Devil in the Details—Hardware as Crucial, Careful Punctuation

Like punctuation, hardware clarifies the statements made within an interior design story. Like a period at the end of the sentence, cabinet pulls and door knobs represent one of the last decisions made, and yet their presence is fundamental. For Elisa, a kitchen without hardware feels lacking—a missed opportunity to make a tactile connection between people and place. Over the course of a day, everyone in a home interacts with its hardware: grabbing the closet handle at dawn, pulling open a drawer for a coffee spoon, pushing in the front door after a full day. These countless interactions accumulate into a real—if overlooked—relationship with design: the pieces we reach for constantly—their feel, their visual comfort—serve as quiet reminders of care. For instance, the frosted glass door leading into Elisa’s office in the back of Twenty Two Home features a 4-foot-long, 2-inch-round blackened metal handle. A statement piece, its heft lends character and strength to the door, contrasting the soft lightness of the frosted glass. Pushing open the door becomes an affirmation of empowerment, a threshold of layered confidence.

When sourcing hardware for a home, Elisa considers her clients’ preferences and style. Would they rather open a cabinet with a push latch or a pull? What finishes are featured throughout the home? Should flourishes made elsewhere—in the form of statement lighting or decorative accents—be considered in contrast? Or can the hardware act like jewelry, a decorative turn unto itself? Often, Elisa gravitates toward timeless silhouettes, clean in profile yet substantial to touch. Though fundamental, hardware need not be boring; approached as jewelry, the presence of hardware can convey play and personality.

A client’s call for a clean, contemporary kitchen directed the use of push latches in lieu of pulls. Mirroring the modern faucet, angular brushed nickel handles on the paneled refrigerator complement the sleek millwork of the custom cabinetry.

Channeling the layered story made by the Shaker cabinetry within such a modern setting, the drawer pulls strike a traditional note while still embracing sophistication.

Having chosen brass as the color accent within the white kitchen remodel, rounded brass pulls bridge the distance between the glossy white and natural warmth of the walnut shelving.

Within the richness of the mahogany cabinetry, the brushed-stainless pulls set a light tone in keeping with the accenting stonework.

The visual statement made by the logs becomes softened by the flat planes of the millwork and modern style of the expansive stainless steel sink and the industrial pendant lights. As such, oil-rubbed bronze pulls marry the warmth of the wood with the edginess of the accents.

The Green Light of Spring

Spring signals a verdant design palette

Every spring, Elisa drives around awestruck by the explosion of fresh growth in the valley. Along Teton Pass. Down Snake River Canyon. Everywhere she looks, a riot of green greets her. Thanks to the continued wet weather, the lush profusion has carried into early summer.

“It’s hard to comprehend how many greens exist in nature: evergreen, brown green, rich blue-green. Even the green of grass looks different when mowed or wild,” Elisa says. “I only think about green in the spring, probably because we are so color-deprived all winter. There is hope and life after a Jackson winter.”

Despite being a self-professed “blue girl,” this verdant profusion has—quietly, subtly—made its way into her interior design. A review of recent projects reveals a bounty of green hues accenting her otherwise neutral aesthetic.

The shades’ names alone speak to their sourcing in nature: citrus, forest, fern, moss, sage, pear, basil, pine, seafoam, kelly, lime, crocodile. Texture and pattern enliven such hues: boldly graphic upholstery feels more grounded in forest; an Ann Sacks mosaic tile feels freshly antique with its verdant tones; an open weave makes a pistachio textile seem less pastel, more organic. By carrying the natural inspiration into her design applications, Elisa makes green moments feel as fresh, as welcome, as spring itself.

Kitchen Confidential

The heart of the home can be both serene and functional

For Elisa, kitchens epitomize the dualism of home design: a kitchen must achieve total functionality as well as complete serenity—characteristics that threaten to conflict if not expertly balanced. As such, Elisa considers kitchens successful when they meet the needs of the people who occupy them, while simultaneously providing them with a refuge from the hustle and bustle of their busy lives. “It’s a puzzle,” she says. “You are trying to take all of these pieces from a client and put them together in perfect union.” She designs homes—and specifically, kitchens—as harbors from the hectic world, and therefore the following “trends”—compiled for a feature on The Scout Guide—speak less of implementing new styles and more of responsively listening to individual living patterns.

Forget kids gloves

Some may shy away from using marble in a kitchen built for four young kids. Not Elisa: she finds beauty in the texture that accumulates with high traffic. Gone is the gloss of its original polished finish; now the island feels honed, like those found in historic villas in Italy. Far from finicky, the countertops tell the family’s story: of the red wine spilled by the father only months after moving in—the rose stain that seeped into the porous surface now only a memory shared with laughter (and praise of Comet); of the countless evenings spent making fresh pasta; of the kids hunching over their homework atop the island stools. Every element of this kitchen has proved to be user friendly, particularly the MVP marble.

Embrace color

To enliven a jewel-box guest cabin, Elisa applied pops of buoyant blue, including painting all of the custom cabinetry in the kitchen. Small spaces require multifunctional elements; everything must have a purpose. Color softens such functionality, introducing a refreshing brightness into quaint quarters, all while maintaining the calm of clean lines.

Let there be light

To breathe new life into a century-old homestead cabin (and its subsequent log addition), Elisa insisted on adding more light, even when the architect thought it impossible. By cutting the pair of panoramic panes and the portal above the backsplash, the kitchen now feels airy and expansive, a modern aesthetic underscored by the exquisite treatments used throughout, from the blackened steel hood to the walnut cabinetry and Taj Mahal quartzite slab island (topped by a bison-hide bowl). Historic and contemporary can coexist.

Timeless as trend

A mahogany-and-stone-clad kitchen still feels as sleek and new as when it was originally designed a decade ago. When Elisa thinks about trends, she often rests on what endures: functionality and serenity. No matter the style, a kitchen fulfills its purpose when it allows for effortless gathering around food—true of this kitchen with its expansive counterspace, all on the same plane. Seamless cooking and sharing have become a hallmark of the clean space, which makes it a testament to timelessness.