Jay Jones sells high-end hardware and plumbing for homes or well-appointed businesses. His store, Home Hardware Designs at the Glen Roc Plaza in Ewing, sells faucets, sinks, bathtubs, toilets, medicine chests, matching sets of front-door knobs, hinges, and locksets, but not the ordinary ones you’d find in big box stores or in a tract home. Some drawer handles are hand-pressed brass from England, as they have been for centuries, he said.

“Your hardware is the jewelry for your home. It ties the whole thing together. It’s like when you hang a picture on the wall. It’s really the frame that finishes it,” Jones said.

These items don’t just do their jobs, such as opening a door or shutting off water. Their materials, finishes, lines, textures, and craftsmanship establish the ambience of a home or business, Jones said.

Jones said the business is natural to him, as his family owned a hardware store in upstate New York and his father built custom homes. “It’s in my blood,” he said.

The most important ingredient of his business is good customer service, therefore he does not sell out of a catalog or over the Internet. He displays 40,000 cabinet knobs, 500 door knobs, and hundreds custom faucets so his customers can see them, touch them, and view them with paint chips and fabric swatches.

Sometimes new cabinet handles and hinges can improve an out-of-style room. Clients should bring doors and drawers to the store to make sure the new hardware is compatible.

Even the humble faucet can make a decorative statement, Jones said. “I can do silver. I can do gold. This is Swarovski crystal,” he said, pointing out the highlights of a wall of faucets.

“Then we can take a new faucet and make it look 200 years old through a process called tumbling. It used to be that if you dropped a brand-new faucet it was ruined, now it sells for more money,” he said.

Satin nickle and bronze are a popular material, now, which Jones attributed to its antimicrobial properties. A 2004 study by the University of Southampton found MRSA bacteria died much sooner on a copper surface than stainless steel.

Another art-inspired option is a ceramic bowl-style lavatory mounted atop a wrought iron stand with wall faucets. One floral-patterned model had a sink stopper in the shape of a turtle. Other choices include sinks of onyx, marble, or travertine. Another model is hollowed out from mesquite wood reclaimed from a previous use.

Bathtubs include ones with options for colored water or tiny holes in the bottom for effervescence. Jones said you might not think that porcelain convenience, the toilet, could be improved upon. However, the Neorest by Toto has a heated seat, a remote control, and a sensor that “knows” when the user approaches.

“It performs all hygiene functions. Let’s leave it at that,” Jones said, pointing to discreet, yet descriptive, diagrams.

Home Hardware Design, 192-194 Scotch Road, Glen Roc Shopping Center, Ewing. 609-883-5353. homehardwaredesigns.net

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