Hardware is to cabinetry as jewelry is to a dress. It perfects the outfit, is icing on the cake, the piece-de-resistance. Hardware should never be an afterthought–it should very thoughtfully be chosen as the final piece of the puzzle when designing a room. There are many ways to approach hardware–here are some ideas from our projects and the reasoning behind each selection.
The diamonds of the hardware world, like real diamonds, never go out of style. Crystal has always been a part of traditional design but can work equally as well in the modern world.
For this custom dressing room built-in, we chose a chunky square crystal (nope, square crystal isn’t an oxymoron) to add a more contemporary look that sparkles against the dark cabinetry and mimics the feel of perfume bottles.
In a more traditional bathroom, sleek round crystal again displays nicely against black cabinets and adds a little formality to the space.
In another more traditional bathroom, we paired Swarovski crystal knobs with a faucet that had an option for a Swarovski crystal knob on the drain pull. Swarovski is always stunning perfection.
In a primary bath where the dramatic tile takes center stage, crystal knobs are the perfect choice–they don’t fight for dominance but command their own attention against pale blue painted cabinets.
HORIZONTAL VS. VERTICAL
Don’t assume that your cabinet door hardware must be hung vertically! Be a little daring, go out on a limb and attach every handle horizontally. It is unexpected, yet dazzling in its simplicity and symmetry. Enough said.
JUST SAY NO!
Sometimes, hardware should just not exist. It’s true. Look at these photos and try to envision hardware where there isn’t any. All of these cabinets use a “touch-latch” system–push on the door, and it springs open, push again, and it latches again.
(left): “Invisible” shelves to hold a cup of coffee or glass of wine–the whole idea here is that they disappear when not in use.
(right): This gorgeous walnut vanity is actually a huge drawer, cut out in the middle to fit around the plumbing. This bathroom is such perfection, who needs hardware? Besides, this is the perfect place to hide clutter from your guests, making them think your house is always spotless!
In this dramatic powder room, the wood below the countertop reads as one continuous slab until you look closely to see the vertical breaks. There is a lot of room for storage behind these doors but hardware would have destroyed the sleek look.
MATCHING THE MOOD
Hardware often is the final exclamation point that really seals the deal on the feel of a space. In each of these projects, the hardware we’ve chosen helps to enhance the vibe our clients wanted.
In two separate projects, we created dramatic built-in cabinetry which needed hardware that could hold its own against all that drama. These projects were more on the traditional side so in both cases, I chose filigreed, or cutout, shapes that are reminiscent of traditional ironwork and which gave their own specialness to the look. And how cool is that bookcase that reveals a hidden door!
Photos by Alise O’Brien
Glitz and glam was the name of the game in this condo remodel. Even with all the WOW of the countertop, backsplash and other features in this kitchen, the hardware needed to stand out also. Enter brushed contemporary brass to fill the bill. Notice the backplate behind the handle–these are the original cabinets, painted white, with existing holes for hardware. The holes didn’t exactly match our new hardware, so the backplates keep the original holes from peeking out.
Even a small hallway bath needs to be awesome! While the hardware in this room definitely takes a backseat to all the other beautiful elements, notice that the gentle curve of the faucet is repeated in the handles and also in the mirror and sink–a very small detail that adds to the perfection of the room.
This bath has lots of “chunkiness”. While it definitely has a spa feel, all the squares and rectangles in the mirrors, cabinets, plumbing fixtures, sinks, floor and wall tile give the bathroom a little more masculine vibe. Chunky, simple hardware fits the mood perfectly.
In a community service project I worked on many years ago, everything we used was donated. A client of mine donated leftover backsplash tile, which was the starting point for this kitchen. The tile is so dramatic that everything else needed to play well with it. All the donated appliances were stainless steel, so in order to coordinate the gold tile with the stainless appliances, we chose a brass faucet but used brushed nickel hardware. Mixing metals is a favorite of mine but it takes a lot of care and thought to get it just right.
Photos by Matt Hughes
MAKE A STATEMENT
Sometimes enough just isn’t enough. The statement making hardware we chose for the cabinets in each of these beautiful kitchens took the look to over the top gorgeous.
The main part of this kitchen has small, unobtrusive cabinet handles so the beauty of the cabinets and countertop/backsplash would stand out. On the large pantry unit, however, we added large wavy handles for better stability on large doors and a little bit of drama.
This very beautiful, traditional kitchen would have been stunning no matter what hardware we used. My client enjoyed adding a little whimsy into her home and loved animal figures, so we used some very interesting hardware to dress up her kitchen. At first glance, it looks like all the hardware is a very normal, traditional look. Up close, there are snails, butterflies, owls and tree frogs. How fun is that?!
We added adorable tree frog pulls to the cabinets on either side of the cooktop and a whimsical owl to one of the base cabinet drawers.
Snails were a fun addition to the dark wood china cabinet.
And a beautiful butterfly made its way to the upper glass cabinets.
Sometimes hardware has to be there for functionality but doesn’t need to provide any additional interest in a room. In this case, minimalism is the word of the day. These projects all fall into that category, barely visible but easy to use, minimal intrusion.
STICK WITH A THEME
There’s nothing wrong with a theme, as long as it’s done right. In these bathrooms, we found a common theme and ran it throughout in very tasteful ways. Take a look!
A guest bath remodel started with the gorgeous floor tile. Notice the flower pattern in it? We repeated that pattern in the acrylic backplate of the sconces and in the acrylic cabinet pulls. Flower Power!
Who doesn’t love coastal design? It seems to be a favorite of lots of people who live here in the Midwest. In these three bathrooms with very very different coastal vibes, I used cabinet hardware and faucets in various shades of burnished brass, a similar look to aged brass that is seen on old ships. I love the authenticity it gives these rooms.
So as you can see, hardware should not be an afterthought when designing a room. It’s often the finishing touch that takes a room to over the top awesome. Do you have a project you’ve been dreaming about? Now’s the time to make that dream a reality! Give us a call at 314.395.1114 or CLICK HERE to send us an email, and let’s get going!
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