The “Maxwellton” collection for Baldwin designed by Michael Friedes (Image: courtesy of Michael Friedes)
I love designing custom pieces for clients. More often than not it is the small details that really make the difference, and decorative hardware on a piece of furniture can have a very big impact. Knobs and pulls are the jewelry on casegoods. Generally we choose from the millions of selections provided to us, generally designed for kitchen and bath cabinets. But once in a while, when the budget allows, we may also get the opportunity to design special pulls and knobs for a piece and have them cast in a small quantity.
Conceptual sketches for “Maxwellton” collection (Drawings: by Michael Friedes)
But how exciting is it to know that the hardware you designed will also be on hundreds of thousands of dressers, armoires and side boards, as well as kitchen and bath cabinets? One such lucky interior designer is my friend and colleague Michael Friedes who beat out countless talented designers and took home the grand prize at Baldwin’s national hardware design competition. Designers from around the country were asked to create an original line of luxury kitchen and bath hardware to win their very own Baldwin collection. Michael was one of the two finalists and was chosen as the winner at the International Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas last week. Designs by both Michael and the other finalist, New York designer Kathryn Scott, were on display at the show, and attendees voted on their favorite design.
Collections by Michael Friedes and Kathryn Scott (Image: courtesy of Michael Friedes)
The happy winner with his collection at the KBIS (Photo: courtesy of Michael Friedes)
Michael’s inspiration came from jewelry of the 1930s, especially chain link necklaces and bracelets, the kinds of pieces that combine both modern and traditional designs and also have masculine as well as feminine qualities. This does not come as a surprise to me considering that Michael’s father Harry Friedes was a prominent menswear textile designer who was known for his elegance and display of sartorial splendor. I have first-hand knowledge that the apple has not fallen far from the tree, and I am certain that the “Maxwellton” collection will be not only a stunning but also very popular addition to Baldwin’s cabinet hardware collection.
Bracelets the were the inspiration for the hardware collection (Photo: courtesy of Michael Friedes)
The collection will soon be available around the country. The pieces are so fab, who knows, there may be a even a waiting list. Congratulations to the multi-talented Michael Friedes!