I walked in and immediately thought, wow, did these guys name their business well. Hardware is the perfect one-word summary for their aesthetic.
There are no gentle curves in this space, no pastel colours, no soft edges. "Pretty" doesn't really apply to anything in here. There's a definite feeling of being on the edge of familiar space in this shop, at some sort of frontier. I'm not sure where the frontier leads to, but there's a touch of something raw.
This former grocery store looks like a stylish cavern, filled with reworked metal bits and wood slabs, as if a mining operation had been cleverly converted into a furniture shop by design-inspired gnomes.
Hardware is owned by a pair of self-taught furniture makers, originally a jewelry and graphic designer. They've been working for years, and have been housed in Riverside for the last 5. They sell furniture and lighting on spec to the public, but by and large, they like to do commissions. They work with "the trade" (designers) most of the time.
They don't advertise and don't do shows. They do a lot of work for institutional spaces, like restaurants, hotels, lofts and bars. They work with sketches customers give them, but their design sense is powerful, so everything they do has a pretty intense look. And they'll do anything. They once finished a kitchen, with a kitchen island and etceteras, and they designed it all to match a customer's favourite olivewood cutting board. The steel cabinets they have on display and a wall unit with glowing art set into a steel frame give a hint of what sort of work they like to do.
One fellow showed me the light but solid-looking frame for a table, displayed with massive knotted ropes to give it some industrial funk. The frame was decently cool enough on its own, and I imagined it would be fine with a massive glass top. But the tabletop being finished in the back was something else altogether. Made from solid wood planks, each plank was hand-cut, so the edges wandered. It had a tough, weathered finish. It was a dining table for private lairs and dark superheroes.
Their lighting looks like an odd collection of devices meant to trap and release light, or maybe like parts from strange generating machines. It's definitely a unique look. It has a coarse, hand-made feeling. It would be great in the right condo.
These people like to mix media, and by mix I mean use a blender on high speed. The wood is mostly reclaimed or recycled, and they like it grainy. Even after they finish it, it's tough, almost as if it's still alive. They seem to use a lot of iron or brushed steel. Glass, metal and wood are slammed together, and the end result is pretty powerful. Steel inserts in wood, wood inserts in steel, glass and metal bound together, it all seems to work. You could almost call it graceful, in a hard way.
It's well-made custom work, so don't expect it to be cheap. But it's definitely worth checking out if you're in the mood for something completely different.