When I first moved into my small Brooklyn apartment, my primary design concern was that the main hallway takes up a ton of visual real estate—it can be seen from every room (the bathroom, kitchen, open living and dining space, and the bedroom). And both hallway walls are almost completely dominated by doors. A small-but-mighty solution: repurposed curtain tie-backs and tassels hanging on the doorknobs. This striking room designed by Studio Giancarlo Valle first brought my attention to tassels as a way to spruce up hardware, and House Beautiful’s inimitable style director, Robert Rufino, has sworn by them for years.
“I’m a great collector of tassels,” Rufino says. “I have tassels in my bedroom on every doorknob, and they’re all antique. Then I have shorter ones on my two French desks. I even have tassels on my bulletin board at work. I just find them to be a very beautiful decorative detail.” Tassels, antique or thrited or brand new, can be lovely ways to incorporate a personal, sentimental touch that remind you of a certain time or place. Admittedly, most of my tassels are from Amazon. But with one on every doorknob, the hallway space looks so much cooler (I was hoping for a glimmer of French boudoir vibes!) and more connected.
Here’s an example of it in my apartment:
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I chose the iridescent sage colorway since it’s neutral enough to speak to the surrounding rooms, each of which has a slightly different color scheme. They definitely spruce up the hallway—though I still need to add a runner and artwork (both bigger investments than $8 tassels, so all in good time).
Click through the gallery of designer examples below for more tassel inspiration.
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Hadley Mendelsohn is House Beautiful’s senior design editor and the co-host and executive producer of the podcast Dark House. When she’s not busy writing about interiors, you can find her scouring vintage stores, reading, researching ghost stories, or stumbling about because she probably lost her glasses again. Along with interior design, she writes about everything from travel to entertainment, beauty, social issues, relationships, fashion, food, and on very special occasions, witches, ghosts, and other Halloween haunts. Her work has also been published in MyDomaine, Who What Wear, Man Repeller, Matches Fashion, Byrdie, and more.