In a period renovation always use traditional materials for accessories such as hooks, switches, door handles and other ironmongery. You may like crystal tipped stair rods but if you are trying to recreate a genuine period renovation, these are not appropriate.
Period finishes are limited to the following:
- Wrought iron with a black finish
- Brass – either polished or antiqued/aged
Traditional finishes do not include chrome either (polished or satin) although you could get away with chrome ironmongery in the bathroom to match other bathroom accessories such as toilet roll holders, taps, heated towel rails etc. Nickel is also not the most traditional finish. However if you like something you should buy it and not be a slave to history - once your project is complete, your house should be there for you to enjoy.
Brass and wrought iron hooks are manufactured in many different attractive designs – you can purchase single, double or triple hooks, in Fleur de lys, teardrop or crystal and bone tipped designs. A favourite is a hook known as the Opera Hook which features a place for a hat and a place for a coat – perfect for a hallway.
Bathrooms and bedrooms are the best location for the more luxurious brass hooks with crystal or porcelain tips – which look great with silky dressing gowns hung upon them. These are handy for items you use every day and so therefore there is little point putting them away properly. Many people use bathroom hooks for towels and shower caps.
The more rustic hooks are typically used in downstairs cloakrooms and hallways and somehow fit with heavy outdoor clothing. They are also useful for storing dog leads and other dog accessories such as poo bag holders. The danger is overloading your hooks which can make the whole area look untidy. Victorian hooks are not only very practical but can make an attractive feature in your entrance hall if left empty.
The Victorian Emporium sells a wide range of hooks including all of the designs shown above