ART IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND continued....

"As word got out, demand has increased," Adler says.

Because this is New England, most of the people buying decorative knobs buy traditional ones, according to Adler. The styles may be an average pull-knob or latch, he says, but the materials and craftsmanship are above average.

"Itís art," Adler says.

A common trend now, Adler says, is for people to buy stainless steel hardware to match their stainless steel kitchen appliances.

"People are being more adventurous in their kitchens even though they have traditional homes," Adler says.

Among the nontraditional knobs carried by Adlerís are sea shells, dogs and flowers.

"Some of the decorative hardware is, in fact, artwork," Adler says. "To me, itís sculpture."

The most popular line of nontraditional sculpture being bought and attached to kitchen cabinets, according to Adler, is by Soko in San Francisco. The line features stick-figure humans striking poses.

While conventional knobs sell for $2 to $6, Adler says, decorative knobs sell from $5 to more than $50, although the average is about $9.

"If you buy quality cabinets, you want quality hardware to go with them," Adler says.

Photo gallery of decorative knobs and handles

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