Choosing Decorative Hardware For Your Kitchen

  • Begin with the end
    The decorative hardware in you kitchen will add the final touch to your design. Because of this, most people don’t think about the decorative hardware until the cabinetry is already installed. If you are just beginning a renovation, it can be interesting to think about your decorative hardware before or during the conceptual phase of your kitchen, this way it can be incorporated into the design. (see ‘How to design your dream kitchen’ ) In a contemporary kitchen, for example, you may want to not use any protruding pulls or knobs at all. Instead, you can use a continuous, recessed strip that is attached to the edge of the door or drawer in order for you to tuck your fingers into and pull. It creates a smooth, minimal look that needs to be planned for before the cabinetry is built and installed.
  • Think Logically
    When it comes to decorative hardware, size matters. If you have a large, heavy drawer, it wouldn’t make sense to use a small 2″ knob to open it. You will need to distribute the weight of the pull throughout a larger part of the drawer in order for you to open it with ease. Oversized pulls on a drawer can not only help open the drawer smoothly, but it also adds to the aesthetic of your kitchen. Long, thin stainless steel pulls are very popular now and come in a variety of sizes. These work well in a more contemporary space. These types of oversized pulls are also available in thicker, hammered metal in darker finishes for more traditional kitchens.

How to place your hardware.

  • ┬áThere is no correct way to place your hardware, especially if you are not using a standard pull or knob. As mentioned above, begin with logic. Make sure that the knob or pull is at an accessible height. Generally, if a knob is going on a cabinet door, it is placed in the corner of the door frame, on center. Sometimes it looks better to go a bit higher, about an inch up from there. (insert photo or sketch of these placements)
  • Mix and Match
    Regardless of your style preference, kitchens look more interesting when the materials are mixed and matched. You can produce a subtle layering affect by using tone on tone colors in different textures, or you can create a vibrant eclectic feel with bold colors and a variety of materials. This applies to your hardware as well. At its most basic mix and match, you can use one type of decorative knob or pull for drawers and one for cabinet doors. (kitchen_decorative_mix) These items can be made of the same material or color as the cabinets for a subtle look, or they can be a drastic contrast in color or material in order to enhance the variety.
  • Selecting your finish
    Hardware is available in many different finishes and materials. Each company has their own interpretation of each finish. An oil rubbed bronze in one manufacturer may not look the same as another manufacturers. Sometimes the names vary as well, even though the finishes are very similar. Try to see samples of the companies finish in an actual piece, rather then a color rendition on the internet or a catalogue. Finishes tend to look different in person. This is particularly important if you are trying to match a similar finish from two different companies. Also be aware that different finishes age differently with time and use. For instance, an oil rubbed bronze finish tends to patina (link this word to dictionary) with time. The color will change and the finish is not always smooth and consistent looking. Some may see this as the benefit, whereas others see it as a problem. Either way, it is part of it’s look and character.
  • Screws and hardware
    When ordering your decorative hardware, make sure you find out if the hardware needed to install it is included. Some companies require you to specify this separately and if you are not aware of this, you may be stuck without screws when you are ready to install. o6 Where to buy and how
    Manufacturers are often represented by different vendors. A manufacturer distributes their hardware to be sold through different outlets like hardware stores, online websites or retail stores. Each vendor has their own policy and pricing. It is always best to see the product in person before buying. If you are buying over the internet, make sure there is a good return policy in case the item does not suit your needs. Some online websites offer samples at discounted prices. (link to a listing of websites)
    Decorative kitchen hardware can be a fun detail to your space. Remember that it is also something that can be changed down the line if you wanted to give your kitchen a quick re-facing.

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