'Hard'ware Made Easy!

Your project is almost done. The seemingly unending parade of decisions is nearing an end. You’ve made the call on cabinetry style, wood species, stain, paint or specialty finish, backsplash, flooring, wall color, appliances, countertops, seating, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, and pardon the plumbing pun, but you are tapped out!  You may be ready to just mail it in on whatever decisions remain, but hold up—you still have a fairly important and prominently displayed decision to make: The Hardware.  This is one of the only choices you will make that will affect every functional piece in the design. It is the piece that you will touch every day- so it must be comfortable, stylish, and do its job. I am here to tell you that the hardware- the knobs and pulls- that you choose for your project should never be an afterthought. They should be decided upon early in the design phase of the project, as their selection is integral to so many other selections in the project. I see a few main drivers in hardware design selection, I will share some examples I believe best represent:

Below, great care was given to source the exact brass finish for the hardware found in the lighting and plumbing fixtures. This decision had to be made early on, in order to ensure everything was available in matching finishes. If any of these brass finishes was more of a matte finish, or if one of them was done in a black finish, the effect would not be nearly as stunning. I also look at this bathroom, and with the gorgeous silver patterned wallcovering, imagine all the metal finishes being a polished chrome. I think that would be very beautiful too, as long as it all coordinated.

Dura Supreme Cabinetry, North Shore Kitchen & Bath, Designer Theresa Major

Below is another example, but with the pulls coordinating with the metal strap on the hood and the range knobs.

Dura Supreme Cabinetry, The Advance Design Studio, Designer Michelle Lecinski

Here is another view of this lovely kitchen, showing the wire mesh inserts, sconces and faucet and how they pair beautifully with the hardware.  Again, a decision that had to be thought out well in advance.

Dura Supreme Cabinetry, The Advance Design Studio, Designer Michelle Lecinski

Below, we see stainless pulls in this kitchen. With the silver banquette upholstery, hood and light fixture, I can’t imagine any other hardware finish working as well.

Dura Supreme Cabinetry, Bob Michels Construction

Below is another example of coordination of finishes. I can also see this looking great with all black hardware, fixtures and mirror frames because of the tile. The key here is to decide early on what your design style is, and stay true to it throughout your selections.

Dura Supreme Cabinetry, dRemodeling, Designer Devin Mearig

Below, the designer chose instead to play off the backsplash, choosing black hardware to make the black curves in the tile pop.

Dura Supreme Cabinetry, Designer Michelle Raymer, Photography by Monica Malewski

There are also spaces that call for bare functionality, or minimal flare. Below is an example of garage storage with a dog bath and hardware that is purely functional. Large straight pulls such as these are great when arms are full and when the cabinet door is tall.

Dura Supreme Cabinetry, Mingle Design Studio, Designer Tricia Tidemann

Another example is this kitchen where less is more. Touch latch (hands-free) opening/closing could also be employed in a kitchen like this.

Dura Supreme Cabinetry, Drexel, Designer Mira Thor

A few more modern, minimalist hardware selections are below. Anything more would detract from the contemporary design of the space.

Dura Supreme Cabinetry, Designer Tina Holland, Photography by Red Boat Photography

Dura Supreme Cabinetry, dRemodeling, Designer Lauren Strain

Sometimes a space has a certain vibe that you want to capture. Perhaps it’s a beachy theme (check out these great leather and twine pulls!)-

Dura Supreme Cabinetry, Designer Tricia Tidemann, Studio M Interiors

Drawer Knob Made of Wrapped Twine

A children’s play space-

Drawer Pull Made From Legos

A wine country ambiance-

Drawer Pull Made From Wine Corks

A world traveler's office space-

Drawer Pull Made From Maps

Or a lakeside retreat-

Drawer Pull Made From Natural Rocks

In smaller installations, I have also seen beautiful vanities, dressing stations and personal office spaces adorned with knobs like these-

Drawer Pull Made From Decoupage

The bottom line is to decide early on what matters to you and stay true to that. Whether it be your love of copper, your eclectic artsy side or your love of minimalist simplicity, find a way to inject your project with your personality. Maybe the start to your perfect day just has to include the perfect crystal knob every morning to get to your toothpaste. Whatever that is for you, be thinking about that when you are considering your hardware along with all the other components in your project.

Sandy Kloncz's picture

Sign Up For Cabinet Tips, Trends, & More!