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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

Dura Supreme kitchen design by Michelle Raymer or Andersonville Kitchen & Bath, Chicago, IL. 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, design by Studio M Kitchen & Bath, Minnesota.

Dura Supreme Cabinetry, design by Studio M Kitchen & Bath, Minnesota.

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

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

Dura Supreme kitchen design by Tina Holland of Kitchen Sales, Inc., Tennesse. Photography by Red Boat Photography.

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 bathroom design by Studio M Kitchen & Bath, Minnesota. Interior design by Studio M Interiors.

Drawer Knob Made of Wrapped Twine

A Cabinet Drawer Knob Made of Wrapped Twine.

A children’s play space-

Cabinet Drawer Pull Made From Legos

Cabinet Drawer Pull Made From Legos

A wine country ambiance-

Cabinet Drawer Pull Made From Wine Corks

Cabinet Drawer Pull Made From Wine Corks

A world traveler’s office space-

Cabinet Drawer Pull Made From Maps

Or a lakeside retreat-

Cabinet Drawer Pull Made From Natural Rocks

Cabinet 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-

Cabinet Drawer Pulls Made From Decoupage

Cabinet Drawer Pulls 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 is the Lead Designer for Dura Supreme with 15+ years of involvement in the field and a degree in Interior Design.  Sandy’s experience ranges from running all aspects of a Design+Build firm to creating beautiful cabinetry designs at Dura Supreme.  She has been a judge through the Builders Association of the Twin Cities for their semi-annual Parade of Homes Tour and is continually inspired by creative uses of space, appreciating projects where form and function are blended seamlessly.

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