PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston December 2022

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How a Hardware Line Born from a Jewelry Collection Captured the Zeitgeist of Vibrant Young Designers By Rebecca Sherman F or designers Kat Weeks Mulford and Lee Addison Lesley, the road to success is paved with gemstones. Friends and business partners for 20 years — they met while studying graphic design at the Portfolio Center in Atlanta — they launched their jewelry collection Addison Weeks in 2012 with a focus on semiprecious stones set in 24K gold-plated metal. In 2016, Oprah fell in love with a pair of their stud earrings and included them on her Favorite Things list. The recognition was life-changing, garnering Addison Weeks national attention that skyrocketed sales and infused the fledgling company with money to pursue another dream: home design. How They Built It When Charlotte interior designer Barrie Benson asked them to translate a favorite Addison Weeks bracelet into a cabinet pull for her collection of furniture for Highland House, Mulford and Lesley came up with 20 designs, all of them studded with gemstones — "and a hardware line was born," Mulford says. Modern Matter — founded in 2019 and based in Norfolk, Virginia — quickly filled a niche that had been missing in the decorative-hardware market. "There's a lot of really cheaply made hardware out there, and we've always loved heavy vintage hardware we'd find in flea markets," Mulford says. Since we weren't inherently hardware designers, we weren't concerned with the limitations of scale or dimensions, and that turned out to be a blessing. We just designed what we wanted in our own houses." Handcrafted in solid brass by artisans, the pulls, knobs, and hooks come in different finishes and sizes. Backplates allow for customization with a dozen different gemstones, including tiger's eye, lapis, malachite, Dalmatian jasper, and moonstone — a best seller. There's also a rotating collection of exotic stones such as pink onyx or chrysoprase. Most of their hardware can be customized via their website, with delivery in three to four days. Collaborations with top designers include Michelle Nussbaumer, Eddie Ross, Sarah Bartholomew, and Young Huh; Mark D. Sikes will debut a collection in early 2023. Modern Matter, at Elegant Additions, 104 W. 12th St., Lee Addison Lesley and Kat Weeks Mulford Above: Star backplate and scallop knob by Michelle Nussbaumer for Modern Matter Left: Barrie Benson's Dogwood knob with prehnite stone 66

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