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.
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.
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.
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!)-
A children’s play space-
Cabinet Drawer Pull Made From Legos
A wine country ambiance-
A world traveler’s office space-
Or a lakeside retreat-
In smaller installations, I have also seen beautiful vanities, dressing stations and personal office spaces adorned with knobs like these-
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.