Maker Monday: An ASPIRE Exclusive Interview With Krista Hoffman

After designing a unique and sculptural brass hardware pull in 2017, Krista Hoffman decided to create Hoffman Hardware. Each piece produced by the studio is entirely made in the United States and is inspired by vintage jewelry and historic metalwork. While collaborating closely with other artisans, Krista is able to innovate future designs for unique hardware pulls. She always strives for raw, exaggerated, and linear elements for all of her creations, which is why her work has been featured in many publications such as, California Home + Design and Modern Luxury Magazine. Introducing this week’s Maker Monday, Krista Hoffman of Hoffman Hardware.

These clean and sleek pulls are perforated 4” Satin Nickel Cuffs with a soft finish on a bold shape. Photo by Aubrie Pick.

Andrew Joseph: Describe your design style as if you were explaining it to someone who cannot see.
Krista Hoffman: Sculptural, chic, modern, innovative, fresh, current, earthy.

Andrew: What is something you hope to see trending in design in the future?
Krista: In recent years, there has been an increase in the demand for handcrafted products by the design community — for example, handmade tiles, hand-blown glass on lighting, hand-blocked textiles. These products have more DNA and personality and you won’t see them in every home you walk into. People like to know the “story” behind the design, how and where the products are made. I’m encouraged to see the success of new and modern craft and maker fairs such as Field & Supply and West Coast Craft. As designers, we need to continually support this so we can keep the craft alive.

Andrew: If you could live in any home in a movie or television series, what would it be?
Krista: Without a doubt, Cameron’s house from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I remember watching this movie for the first time in the late 80s and I was completely gobsmacked by it …. and still am. The mid-century glass and steel home situated over a ravine with spectacular views of the surrounding woods is absolute perfection. I’d take Cameron’s dad’s red 1961 Ferrari too.

The Gold Cuffs are one of Hoffman Hardware’s best sellers. Every piece is created by hand, for a smooth edge that complements the cabinetry. Photo by Aubrie Pick.

Andrew: What’s your favorite cocktail?
Krista: Mezcal Paloma. I’m late to the Mezcal party but it has been my go-to ever since our introduction. I’m currently loving it with fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, rosemary simple syrup, and a splash of La Croix. On the rocks with a wedge of lime, of course!

Andrew: What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
Krista: I graduated with a degree in Elementary Education and studied to be a math teacher. But instead of going straight into teaching, I accepted a job right out of college as a computer programmer, traveling to external clients all over the country with a large consulting firm and followed that path until I had my first daughter. People are often surprised that I pivoted from computer programming to design, but to me, it is a logical leap when you consider the ability to understand proportions, spatial values, and scale.

Andrew: How would you describe your personal style?
Krista: My personal style is very much like my design style. I’m drawn to unique pieces in textural and unique materials. I like to pair timeless pieces with a pop of something surprising or more on trend to shake things up. One of my favorite everyday pieces is a vintage light knit gold wrap cardigan with bell sleeves; paired with a great pair of jeans and white tank top, I’m ready to go!

Andrew: Are you a pet person? Why either way? Dogs or cats?
Krista: Dogs, for the win! We have a miniature Schnauzer, Blue, and a one-eyed, rescued Shih Tzu/Maltese mix, Wiggy. They love Sheltering in Place with our entire family home and eager to take them for walks.

These structural pieces are the rectangular black perforated brass cuffs. Each piece is handmade and hand finished in the United States. Photo by Brad Knipstein.

Andrew: What are your beauty secrets?
Krista: I started using Vintner’s Daughter about six months ago and am hooked. Before that, I, like most women I knew, had a multi-step routine of layering expensive cleansers, serums, and treatments. I’m not even sure I could tell you the purpose of each one. At a certain point it just became so complicated that I went searching for a simpler, more holistic approach. Vintner’s Daughter’s serum perfectly matched my approach to the rest of my life (including design!) – simple, organic, high quality and clean. My skin has never looked better.

Andrew: Design icon?
Krista: Charlotte Perriand. She broke rules with her bold geometric forms and the use of reflective metals, like aluminum and steel — all while breaking the glass ceiling in furniture design. Steel was a material mostly used only by men during Perriand’s time, so not only do I love her designs, but I love her spirit just as much.

Andrew: What are three things you can’t live without?
Krista: Family, travel, my “tools” (ruler, pencil, sketch pad). Oh, and a great cup of coffee in the morning. Or maybe two.

Andrew: What’s one ingredient you put in everything?
Krista: Cinnamon.

Andrew: What’s your current TV obsession?
Krista: Ozark (like the rest of America). The mid-century house with its lake views, wall of windows, interior stonework, and asymmetrical pitched roofline is just a bonus.

Pictured here are the blacked square brass on white cabinetry, that have been perforated to enhance their airy and effortless look. Photo by Aubrie Pick.

Andrew: Must have jewelry everyone should have?
Krista: A great set of hoops. Start with simple gold hoops. Then go next-level by adding a set with stones — white diamonds, black diamonds, sapphires, whatever you prefer. My husband surprised me with a pair of Susie Fox hoops with yellow sapphires years ago. They are my signature piece. I wear them with everything — from jeans and a sweater to a cocktail dress — and feel comfortably chic regardless of the outfit!

Andrew: What’s inspiring you in life (in the industry) right now?
Krista: I am both inspired and humbled by the overwhelming support the design industry is giving one another in this challenging time. From cross country Zoom meetings to one on one conversations, I feel more connected than ever to my colleagues and clients.

In terms of aesthetics and design, I’ve lately been drawn to Brutalist architecture, specifically the work of Marcel Breuer. Raw, exaggerated, and linear — I’m drawn to the honesty of it. There is no hiding behind paint or layers or ornament.

About The Maker  (Photo by Nicole Scarborough)| In 2017, Krista launched Hoffman Hardware after designing unique hardware pulls for her space in the 2017 San Francisco Decorator Showcase. Within the first few days of Showcase opening its doors, she knew that the hardware was something special. It was the highlight of the room and the most inquired about item during Showcase. She launched the line in September 2017 with the original Perforated Brass Cuff.

Hoffman Hardware will launch new designs this spring including a tab pull shaped from a decorative metal, leathered brass. “The brass takes on the texture of a beautiful pebbled leather which we shaped into minimal tab pulls,” says Krista. In addition to the new designs, she is working on introducing leather to her hardware and creating custom pulls for high-end appliances. As with all of her designs, Krista finds inspiration in vintage jewelry and antique metal work.

Krista Hoffman began her design career as a residential interior designer focused on creating beautiful, approachable spaces tailoring interiors to reflect the lives of her clients. She spent her childhood foraging antique fairs with her parents and tinkering in the workshop with her dad, who shared his appreciation of DIY, a good tool kit, and the beauty of handcraft with her.

Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine. See more of his work here

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