If like us you've been a glued to the latest series of Selling Sunset, you might have noticed a small recurring detail that seems to just catapult these affluent LA homes to the next level - luxury kitchen hardware. Not just any expensive hardware though, we're talking about a specific brand that social media's obsessed with: Buster & Punch.
The London-born hardware brand is known for fitting elite homes with some of the best handles, taps, and lighting fixtures the high-end market has to offer. It's no surprise, then, that they've been cropping up inside the sun-soaked Hollywood homes on our Netflix screens.
Realtors at the Oppenheim Group certainly know what makes a luxury modern kitchen, but let's be honest, their market doesn't really reflect reality. To find out if cabinet hardware (and Buster & Punch, if the budget permits) really is the secret to increasing your home's value, we asked some real estate agents for their insights. Here's what we found out.
How important is hardware in kitchen design?
For many of us, hardware is a mere afterthought when it comes to kitchen design. In fact, in many cases, cabinetry comes with handles already fitted meaning you quite literally have no choice in the matter. The question is, should we be paying more attention to kitchen hardware trends if we want to curate homes that wow?
Hit Netflix shows like Succession have shown us the real value of 'quiet luxury' - the effortless display of wealth that bypasses any hint of ostentation. True, the homes on Selling Sunset certainly aren't making a conscious effort to hide such wealth, but some core principles remain, and one thing both shows taught us is the importance of small details.
'As a professional homebuyer, the importance of kitchen hardware cannot be overstated,' says Martin Boonzaayer, real estate agent and CEO of The Trusted Home Buyer. 'High-quality kitchen hardware can significantly boost the value of a home, and for prospective homeowners or tenants, a well-appointed kitchen with modern and efficient appliances is an appealing feature.'
Of course, all hardware has functionality at its heart, but Martin says the key to a luxury kitchen is handles that go beyond this in their aesthetic appeal. 'Stylish hardware can accentuate the kitchen decor and create a visually pleasing environment - deciding factor for many potential buyers or renters,' he says.
Why sweat the small stuff, though? If you want a truly beautiful design that steals the show, why not invest everything in the more obvious components like the cabinetry itself, or even the island? Well, according to Beverly Hills based realtor Judson Rothschild, the minutiae should actually take precedent.
'When purchasing hardware you have to think of it like art - it's the bow on the package, so choose wisely,' he says. 'You have to look at hardware like it is a great piece of jewelry. It needs to be beautiful, but not ostentatious, nor do you want it to appear weak. Hardware needs to stand the test of time and ultimately not be dateable.'
Is luxury hardware a detail people are looking for when buying a home?
How important is hardware when it actually comes to prospective buyers, then? It's easy to think something as seemingly insignificant as some cabinet pulls falls bottom on a list of priorities, and it might for some, but if you want a kitchen that really delivers on the luxe factor, you shouldn't dismiss them.
If you know your home's in a luxury market, these finer details can be make or break. Hardware after all is the one other few things in your home a potential buyer will actually touch. 'When sellers pay attention to detail and use high-quality hardware, it demonstrates that they have taken good care of the property and pride in ownership,' adds Ben Gold of Recommended Home Buyers. 'Buyers are often willing to pay more for a home that has been well-maintained.'
Is Buster & Punch worth the hype?
The social media craze has put Buster & Punch hardware on the top of every design buff's wishlist, but is it all it's cracked up to be? With prices for cabinet pull bars starting at $54 per handle (and ranging up to $282 each), they certainly don't fall within most people's spending bracket, but they can't be judged on cost alone.
Even before featuring on Selling Sunset, the brand has definitely made its mark on the design world as the name in hardware. 'The brand represents the ultimate in luxury kitchen design and has made a name for itself in high-end real estate,' says Ben. 'While it may not be necessary for everyone, for those looking for a specific aesthetic, Buster & Punch hardware is worth the investment.'
With their sleek and contemporary trademark look, they might not be the hardware choice for a more traditional style space though. 'Not everyone is building a contemporary home with straight lines,' says Judson. 'Plus, there are plenty of lower-priced brands of hardware out there that are just as beautiful.'
Get the Selling Sunset look
This pull bar is made of solid black anodized metal and features Buster & Punch's signature, diamond-cut, cross-knurl pattern. Sharp eyes might have already spotted it in one of the Selling Sunset kitchens.
We love the sleek and elegant design of this handle from Anthropologie. It has an industrial feel that's right on trend and suits most styles. We especially love how the cut out design gives it some edge.
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Lilith Hudson is the News Editor at Livingetc, and an expert at decoding trends and reporting on them as they happen. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.
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