Accessible Beauty

Published: August 1, 2022
Decorative hardware is an important design element that not only creates visual interest but also improves the functionality of a space. While professional designers are masters of choosing design elements and materials that align with their client’s current lifestyle, many are embracing Universal Design principals to meet the future needs of clients. These are considerations a homeowner might overlook, but the savvy designer knows will impact their satisfaction long after the project is completed. Striking the balance between creating a look they will love with accessibility features they will appreciate in the future is made easier with decorative hardware solutions from Hardware Resources.

Hardware Resources offers two distinctive brands of decorative hardware, Jeffrey Alexander and Elements by Hardware Resources®. Both brands offer a wide range of shapes, styles, and finishes to complement any decor. Inspired by the principles of Universal Design, many pull style options not only comply with federal guidelines for accessible design but exceed them and offer exceptional functionality and style.


Elements Hadley Collection in Matte Black

Access for All

Get the latest kitchen and bath products, trends and news delivered to your inbox.

In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law. The objective of the law is to ensure that people with different ability levels have equal access to public facilities. In recent years, architects and designers have been incorporating this thinking into residential spaces. The concept of Universal Design, designing spaces for people of all ages and abilities, has become mainstream and is expected to grow as the population ages.

According to the U.S. Census, people age 65 and older represented 16% of the U.S. population in 2019. That number is projected to grow to 21.6% by 2040. While the aging population is certainly healthier and enjoys more active lifestyles than previous generations, anticipating mobility and accessibility challenges is important. Aging in Place, people choosing to stay in their home rather than move into elder care facilities, is becoming increasingly common. Multi-generational households are also on the rise. These changes will increase the need for thoughtful design that incorporates the best of accessibility without sacrificing aesthetics.


Jeffrey Alexander Marie Collection in Satin Bronze

Trends Align

The ADA provides broad guidance on drawer or cabinet pulls, considered “operable parts” in sections 309.3 and 309.4 of the law. The guidelines state, “Operable parts shall be placed within one or more of the reach ranges specified in [section] 308. Operable parts shall be operable with one hand and shall not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist.” Although the ADA guidance may be seen as subjective, when choosing decorative hardware, designers experienced with accessible design suggest focusing on cabinet pulls over cabinet knobs, and look for pulls that have a higher hand clearance where it can be gripped easily. Both the Jeffrey Alexander and Elements brands offer multiple styles that satisfy the ADA guidelines and meet with the approval of designers experienced in accessible design.


Jeffrey Alexander Key West Collection in Matte Black


Trends in cabinetry throughout the home include more wide drawers for storage. Wide drawers are popular because they provide easier access to stored items than traditional cabinet shelving. In the past, it was common to see two knobs or short pulls installed on long drawers. This not only impacted the visual continuity of the space, but also required two hands to open the drawer.  Choosing pull styles in multiple lengths helps to create a consistent look in the space. When used for longer drawers, a single, centered, longer pull allows the drawer to be opened easily with one hand.  Jeffrey Alexander and Elements by Hardware Resources offer a wide range of options from traditional to transitional to modern that meet the challenge from both a style and function perspective. The Key West and Key Grande pulls offer lengths that are ideal for long drawers that historically would have had two pulls or knobs. Several Jeffrey Alexander pull styles also include appliance handles in longer lengths to complete the elegant, clean look.

Jeffrey Alexander Philip Collection in Satin Nickel

Future-Proof Design

While trends come and go in interior design, Universal Design principals are here to stay. As the population ages, demand for designers with the knowledge and experience offering stylish, accessible solutions will continue to grow. The product design team at Hardware Resources for Jeffrey Alexander and Elements view these demographic shifts as an opportunity to expand their product offering to include more products that meet the needs of people aging in place. Check out the diverse range of ADA-compliant Jeffrey Alexander and Elements decorative hardware options here. Visit to see the full line of Jeffrey Alexander and Elements decorative hardware.

Top photo: Jeffrey Alexander Roman Collection in Brushed Gold

Strategy & Planning Series
Strategy & Planning Series
B2B Marketing Exchange
B2B Marketing Exchange East
Buyer Insights & Intelligence Series
Campaign Optimization Series