Updating the hardware on your doors and cabinetry is an easy, affordable way to refresh your space. Choosing the best hardware finishes for your style can add personal flair and instantly give your home an updated, individualized look. But which finish is best for you?
Which Hardware to Replace
A home has more hardware than many homeowners first realize when they consider switching styles. Not only does hardware mean the pulls, knobs, and handles on kitchen and bathroom cabinetry, but also doorknobs, levers, and hinges on both interior and exterior room doors. All types of latches, including windows, can also be considered part of a home’s hardware, as can hardware on furniture such as dressers, nightstands, trunks, wardrobes, closet doors, and more.
When you are considering different hardware finishes, you may want to create a coordinated look throughout your home and redo all the hardware, or you may want to concentrate on a single room or two. You can mix and match styles to suit the décor in different rooms, but take care not to have too many hardware styles throughout the house or it could look jumbled and piecemeal. Typically having just 3-4 different hardware finishes throughout a home is ideal, while in a single room, no more than 1-2 finishes are generally used. Many homeowners choose to coordinate changeable hardware with more fixed pieces, such as faucets or showerheads, to keep a seamless, professional look.
Top Hardware Finishes
There are many different hardware options to choose from, including the type of metal, the finish, and the texture of each piece. A wide variety of metals are used for hardware, and each one may have several color variations. Popular choices include:
In addition to the metal choice, the finish is another consideration. Most metals are available in several finishes that add extra character to each piece, such as:
- Aged / Antique
- Polished / Shiny
Texture is yet one more consideration for hardware choices, and while not every metal or finish option will be available in different textures, common choices include:
Finally, several more unique hardware choices are available. Want a rustic, farmhouse look? Consider wooden or leather hardware for cabinetry. Crystal, glass, or acrylic options can add a bit of sparkle to a vintage room, or specialty painted or themed knobs and handles can add whimsy to any space for a bit of fun flair.
Choosing Your Best Hardware Finishes
With so many hardware choices available, it can be overwhelming to choose the best finishes for your style. When selecting hardware, it is important to…
- Try Different Options – Get the look and feel of several choices, ideally trying different pieces against your actual cabinetry, doors, or walls to see what will look best in your home and in the proper light. Different brands may have completely different styles as well, so be sure to consider a broad selection to find just the right pieces for your home.
- Consider Your Lifestyle – Think carefully about how the hardware will be used and how it must function. Do you often have your hands full when opening a cupboard? Choose pulls or knobs that will be easy to grip. Do fingerprints drive you mad? A brushed or textured finish will hide fingerprints more easily. Do you need durable hardware? Metal options will be best.
- Count the Pieces You Need – Before your heart is set on one style, count how many pieces and what different sizes you need in a particular finish. This will help you choose a design that will work practically in your home, without needing to drill out new holes or mix and match styles because the finish you really like isn’t available for every piece.
- Consider Nearby Materials – Take nearby fixtures, colors, textures, and materials into account when choosing a finish to create a coordinated look with the overall appeal you want. Do you want your hardware to blend in to the overall scheme, or do you prefer a pop of contrast? Will you be redecorating or repainting the entire room, and how might that affect the hardware?
- Be Aware of Hardware Size – It is easiest to choose hardware that will already fit the holes and spacing on your cabinets, doors, and furniture, but you can always make new holes if necessary. Also be aware of how far different hardware pieces may stick out and whether they could cause bumps and bruises if run into. You might prefer a minimalist look or an oversized statement.
- Consider Your Home’s Style – Coordinating hardware to your home’s overall style is a great option for a professional finish. Does your home have Victorian, Art Deco, or post-modern influences? How about a farmhouse or ranch style, or a beach house vibe? Choosing hardware to match will give your home a more authentic feel.
- Be Budget-Savvy – While a single cabinet knob, drawer pull, or replacement hinge may not be expensive, costs can add up quickly if you’re replacing all the hardware in a large room or your entire home. Be aware of any budget constraints, particularly for larger projects. You can always opt to do just one room at a time to save on costs but still refresh your home.
Ultimately, choosing the best hardware finishes for your style is about finding what you like, what will work most practically in your home, and what will create a look you love. Don’t be afraid to choose finishes that may seem out of style or off trend if they truly bring you joy, and you’ll love the personal flair that comes across even in these small touches throughout your home.