Best of the Bay 2012: BEST KNOBS OF GLAMOUR

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In addition to being part of a string of friendly neighborhood hardware stores, Belmont Hardware's Potrero Hill showroom brims unexpectedly with rooms of fancy doorknobs, created by the companies who design modern-day fittings for the likes of the White House and the Smithsonian. A gold-plated door handle with an engraving of the Sun King? A faucet set featuring two crystal birds with out-stretched wings, vigilantly regulating your hot and cold streams of water? It's all at Belmont Hardware. With a broad range of prices (you can still go to them for $10 quick-fix drawer knobs and locks, don't worry) and an even broader scope of products, Belmont represents a world where hardware can inspire — check out the local chain's four other locations for more ways to bring the glory home.

Various Bay Area locations. www.belmonthardware.com