It can be tempting to stick with hardware that “matches” the style of your kitchen cabinets. But what if you don’t like the style of your kitchen cabinets? Lead with your own style first, and you’ll move the kitchen more into the direction you want it to go. I swapped the more traditional hardware in this San Francisco kitchen above with two patterned, shapely styles.
If you like the idea of mixing metals, just make sure that the mix looks intentional instead of haphazard. To make your design of mixed metals look intentional, choose 2 or 3 metal finishes and use those finishes in at least 2 or 3 areas within the space. That way, each metal finish has coordinating partner in the same space. Take a look at the 3 photos below.
For customers who have homes near the ocean, Cliffside recommends choosing non-metal items such as marble or wood for your projects. Salt air acts as an abrasive, and quickly erodes the lacquer coating. If you absolutely need (or desire) metal hardware, Cliffside recommends solid stainless steel, or certain solid brass finishes such as Black, Polished Brass, or Polished Chrome. Note that, even in optimum indoor conditions, no Cliffside finish has a lifetime guarantee under any circumstances.
Consider the style that you have used to decorate your home. Traditional styling indicates a need to use cabinet hardware that has a brushed finish. Pewter, nickel, and polished brass blend well with traditional styling, although other styles will look nice as well. Perhaps you would prefer to contrast the traditional cabinets with some hardware that leans more toward the unique and modern.
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White cabinets really help bring out the light and area available in a room. My kitchen is currently really dark and doesn't let much light in. I feel if I were to add windows and make the room a lighter color it would appear a lot happier and feel like I have more room. Thanks for the inspiration I am going to start looking for pieces to make my kitchen lighter like yours!
If the idea of metal tarnishing is not your cup of tea, a dose of chromium may be just what the doctor ordered. Stainless steel is steel infused with around 10.5 percent chromium, which keeps it from tarnishing and keeps it low-maintenance. It is also a self-healing metal, meaning if it is scratched, the chromium content will quickly restore a protective oxidizing layer over the blemish.
Over time, switch plates and outlet covers can become dingy and dirty. Replacing your old outlet covers is a quick way to add some new life to your kitchen décor. Switch plates and outlet covers are no longer stuck just being basic functional pieces on your wall. There are many different designs, materials and finishes that can complement the look of any room. Choose switch plates and outlet covers that are made from high-quality metal materials because they are more durable and stylish than basic plastic ones. Plus, you won’t have to worry about kitchen splatter creating unsightly stains on your covers, as this material is super easy to wipe clean!
Recessed Pulls mimic the utilitarian style of traditional office cabinetry. They’re built into the cabinet door and can be crafted from the same material to blend in or a contrasting material to highlight their presence. They’re also great for high-traffic kitchens because they don’t protrude from the doors, meaning there is little risk of them snagging on clothing.
Sandra, thank you so much for this awesome post! I’m remodeling my 40 yr old kitchen, and wanted to get rid of the visible old fashioned hinges that show! I had absolutely no clue as to what type of cabinets I have until I read your post! I completely understand now, and will be purchasing the “concealed surface mount overlay hinges for face frame cabinets” I know the 3 holes on the outside will be visible when I change out the hinges, so I’ll just fill them in with wood filler and sand before repainting. You’re so smart, informative and detail oriented just like me! Thank you again so much for this wonderful lesson on cabinets and hinges! I’m subscribing to your website or blog or whatever you have!
You’ll also want to think about how visible your hinges will be—do you want them to be a major design feature and mounted directly to both the outside of the frame and the outside of the cabinet, known as a surface-mounted hinge? Or take a more minimalist design approach and have them virtually invisible from the outside when the cabinets are closed, known as a concealed hinge? Are you worried about the noise of cabinet doors closing, and think that soft-closing hinges are important?
Contemporary kitchens have sleek lines, very little ornamentation and minimalistic colors. So, for a contemporary style kitchen, it is wise to choose hardware that is simple and streamlined. Linear bar handles with straight lines or curved barrel handles are the perfect choice. Since stainless steel appliances are a hallmark of a contemporary kitchen, you can also select handles for your cabinetry in a similar style and finish as your appliance handles.
It’s important to choose hardware that will complement the rest of your kitchen décor and accentuate its worthy features. Generally, most people want their cabinet and drawer hardware to coordinate with the handles on their appliances. The colors should work well together, and the finishes shouldn’t clash. Drastically different shapes can also make your kitchen feel cluttered. You should use functionality and your personal preference to approach choosing knobs vs. pulls, but there are a few general guidelines to follow that correlate with your style of cabinets.
When choosing your new cabinet color, the options are limitless! White is a popular choice for cabinet colors because it goes with just about everything and will lighten up your kitchen. If the idea of having a kitchen that stands out is your thing, however, then pastels like sage green and light robin’s egg blue will give your kitchen a rustic feel with a subtle pop of color. Additionally, modern colors like bright red and deep gray are bold choices that will certainly have your kitchen making a statement in your home.
I love to see your work in progress! And I agree that the wood valance over the window looks so much better painted white, you almost don’t see it now. Funny story, I had a similar valance in my last house and as part of my kitchen refresh, I had the contractor knock that out and oh what a difference it made! I had only 1 tiny window in the kitchen and that stinking valance blocked so much light. Your home is much more open and bright with all the white now, thanks for sharing! You’re in the home stretch now!!
What if you can’t decide on kitchen hardware? It’s OK to mix and match! Pick patterns and finishes that complement each other and install them in a repeating pattern for a look that is custom to your style. It’s easy to switch up this look as you please. However, this might not impress a potential homebuyer if you choose to sell in the future. Consider updating to more traditional cabinet hardware when it comes time to sell.
Hello Mr. TretheweyMy name is terry cotto, when we built our beautiful home 16 years ago, in Sierra Madre Ca I had my claw tub installed,( my child hood remembrance) It appears, that the claw legs of the tub were not installed properly, and one leg fell off , tub was slightly tipping to the right. I had a handyman come over and reinstall the claw legs, tighten so this would not happen again. The other day, while I was bathing I noticed the seal of the drain on the outside rubber was not laying properly, plus it was leaking, ( I think this was due to the leg falling off and unbalancing the ring. Well, now I really don't know what to do about that. I believe the thing to do is remove the cover off the top drain , ok, but than what do I have to move the claw tub, impossible. How do I replace the rubber of the outside of the top drain pipe, it appears to be brittle. (Not good)Please answer my questions, and I will hire the handy man again to help me. Thank you. I have learned so much from T.O.H weekly shows, I am a loyal fan at 75. I tell my 80 year old husband, you need to watch these shows with me, and we can do it ourselves, the right way. God Bless you all for the great job your doing, I need to know how to do it right, so it doesn't happen again. a picture would be good, I can see exactly how its done?
3. Know when to use knobs over pulls. In traditional and country kitchens, putting a knob on a cabinet is not uncommon. In fact, with many cabinets, knobs may a better option than pulls. How do you know the difference? When kitchen cabinets are ornate or finely detailed, go with a knob rather than a pull. A knob is smaller and simpler and doesn’t take attention away from the design of the cabinets.
Hi Diane, I am so darned impressed with the work you are doing on your kitchen cabinets. We have high end oak cabinets painted in a washed white finish and they need a refresher too. I am going to follow your lead and try and do them myself. I am a novice at this but, you give such excellent instructions that I feel I can do it, starting in January. I want our island to be a dark, almost blue/black finish and the other cupboards done in white. Love yours. I am going to do the counter tops with the paint (Carrara Marble) if I can find it in Canada. I think Home Depot will sell it. I have one big problem. When we originally had our kitchen done back in 1987, they put corrian edging around the edges and I want it taken off. Do you have any suggestions on what to put there to replace it? A friend suggested putting a wood molding there and just painting it too. I just don’t know if it would stand up. Help! Love your great ideas. Thanks so much, Peggy
Solid brass, bronze and stainless steel knobs are durable and long lasting, even under heavy use. If elegance is your thing, then opt for knobs made of crystal or marble to take your cabinet décor to the next level. These materials look sophisticated and classy. This simple change of replacing cabinet knobs is easy to implement on your own, and it will cost a whole lot less than replacing your cabinets entirely.
The size of your cabinets will influence the size of your knobs. If your cabinets are smaller in scale you’ll want to opt for hardware that is likewise, such as minimal-scale circular knobs. Longer hardware is necessary when you have extra long cabinet doors—or can be used if you want to make a more of dramatic statement. Most cabinet doors are 24”, so you want a knob about 2”-3” size knob. For a larger cabinet door you can size up to 3½” or 4”. For a cabinet door under 20”, source hardware that’s closer to 1” to 2” size in diameter or length.