Open any Pinterest board or catalogue and you’re bound to be enchanted by images of spaces framed with black hardware and windows. Without a doubt, matte black is having its ‘moment’ in the world of interior design and architecture. Perhaps it shouldn’t be too surprising then to find that ‘all black everything’ carries quite the significant price-tag. Unfortunately for us, we were surprised…
It all started with the windows (and sliding doors). With the focal point of our house being the family room with sliding doors that would allow for seamless indoor-outdoor living, we reasoned that sexy, sleek black windows and doors would be the whip-cream to an already decadent design. We opted for windows from Marvin’s Integrity line (windows with a thinner profile and more blackened color than the widely popular Milgard Windows) which are unfortunately only black on the exterior. As such, we needed to paint the interior frames black - yet another cost to add to the docket…and then of course we needed cranks for the windows. If we wanted them in black we needed to pay the 50$ upgrade for each one. As consistency is key, we swallowed the cost…
From there the downward spiral came swiftly. As we had now opted for the more expensive and labour intensive black windows, we reasoned that we ought to spring for hardware that would emphasize this choice. We didn’t quite realize that this ‘spring’ would turn into such a substantial leap. While you might reason that spending a little more on one kitchen faucet or one bathroom fixture is not going to break the bank, a painful lesson that we seem to continuously seek out is that all those extra costs tally up with lighting speed.
Consider this: the exact same kitchen faucet from Brizo ( a reputable brand with arguably reasonable price-points) is 25% more expensive in matte black then it is in chrome… the same applies to bathroom faucets, drains and shower heads (or so says the multiple numbers crunched using my rusty math skills). Admittedly there are cheaper sources for blackened hardware - but knowing that faucets will be used everyday, it’s recommended to invest in quality products that will last and stand the test of time and greasy fingers. Plus, much of the “black” hardware sold for less is actually a brown or bronzed finish masquerading as black - tread carefully.
There’s also the question of supply. Unlike widely popular chrome options which seem to be never-ending, the number of matte black options are far more limited (unsurprisingly as it’s a relatively new trend). This naturally pushes up the price and unless you’re exceedingly lucky, chances are the ‘look’ you like is going to be hard to come by and thus, pricey.
Undeterred, we forged ahead with our choice of black hardware. With our wonderfully OCD designer Nat who resolutely reiterates that “design is in the details” leading the charge, choosing a black faucet in one bathroom meant a total overhaul of them all. Chrome was banished from sight - shower heads, towel bars, toilet-holder, and even drains had to black (each bringing with them the significant percentage jump in price). Even our toilet flusher had to be upgraded from the chrome one that came free of charge with the toilet. At one point, we feared Nat’s zealous fervor would force us to return a bathtub on account of not being able to switch out the bathtub’s chrome logo. Luckily, the rest of us won that battle.
Considering that we ordered more than 40 blackened plumbing fixtures, the 25% price increase definitely tallied up. It’s sadly no surprise then that we exceeded our contractor’s plumbing fixture allowance by almost $3,000…. While this post isn’t intended to scare you away from matte black, it’s simply to share that choosing black hardware and windows isn’t just a question of bold design decisions, but also bold spending abilities.
And also to remind you that if you do make it to tour our beautiful house - please, make sure you take the time to enjoy the black flushers. Aren’t they something?