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The Right Hardware Finish - From Start to Finish

Updated on May 1, 2011

The Power of Hardware Finishes

Cabinet hardware can transform a room in a matter of minutes. Which cabinet hardware finish you choose will create the atmosphere, style and impression you want, so consider your options when redecorating your home. From unique oil rubbed bronze cabinet hardware to contemporary stainless steel cabinet hardware, finish will set the tone to whatever you want. Learn how to navigate through the different hardware finishes, and you have advanced tremendously in your interior design skills. Use this cabinet hardware finish guide to discover the power of a few well placed cabinet knobs and pulls.

Hardware Finishes
Hardware Finishes

Changing your bathroom, bedroom, living room, dining room, or kitchen cabinet hardware is an easy do-it-yourself project that has amazing results on the overall appearance of a room. Surprised? Don't be. Our minds are trained to respond to subtle insinuations, subliminal messages and changes in the minutia. It is these variations that we see and feel the most. So, while an entire room revamp will obviously make a difference, exchanging old cabinet hardware for new cabinet knobs and cabinet pulls will have a dramatic effect without all the time, expense and headache of larger renovations.

Style, shape and size all play a role in the personality or impression that cabinet hardware will create. The most prominent and lasting feature, however, is the cabinet hardware finish. Different hardware finishes will send drastically different messages to the onlooker. Black cabinet hardware has one language, while pewter hardware speaks another. Knowing which hardware finish talks the talk that you are looking for will help you convey the exact message to the world that you want. Here is my own humble assessment of each hardware finish and what transformations each one can make.

Black Cabinet Hardware
Black Cabinet Hardware

Black Cabinet Hardware

As with many hardware finishes, black cabinet hardware has the ability to blend with a variety of décor themes. Sleek black cabinet hardware, such as one of my all-time favorites black nickel, is distinctly contemporary, and silently exhibits both class and magnetism. Black iron, on the other hand, will create an authentic revisited Colonial period room, down to the barn door hardware and hinges. Decide which direction you are going with, and choose the black cabinet hardware to go along.

Brass Cabinet Hardware
Brass Cabinet Hardware

Brass Cabinet Hardware

Brass has a regal air, a timeless presence that states, "It's no coincidence that I've been around for awhile." Antique brass cabinet hardware offers this timeless beauty in a gently aged manner, while polished brass is bright and inviting. The yellow glow of brass cabinet hardware is warm and friendly, regardless of the style.

Bronze Cabinet Hardware
Bronze Cabinet Hardware

Bronze Cabinet Hardware

Bronze is another hardware finish rich in flavor and character. The range of colors that bronze cabinet hardware is available in allows you to indulge in a variety of tastes. From the delicious chocolate bronze cabinet hardware to the deep oil rubbed bronze finish, bronze will be comfortable in an array of settings from a cozy living room to a posh bathroom. Use bronze cabinet hardware as the basis for your next room revamp.

Chrome Cabinet Hardware
Chrome Cabinet Hardware

Chrome Cabinet Hardware

Chrome is to stainless steel what Windows 7 is to Windows XP (or what Snow Leopard is to Tiger for my Mac-fans). Chrome cabinet hardware takes the beautiful silver color of nickel cabinet hardware, adds a cooler, bluish tone and turns up the volume to create a modern symphony in hardware finish. Use this hardware finish to make a cool, clean and collected impression on friends, family and clients.

Copper Cabinet Hardware
Copper Cabinet Hardware

Copper Cabinet Hardware

The red tone of copper cabinet hardware is warm and inviting. Use this classic hardware finish to introduce not only style but also a colorful flair to a room. Illuminate a dingy bathroom or transform a dull sitting room with vibrant copper cabinet hardware.

Glass Cabinet Hardware
Glass Cabinet Hardware

Glass Cabinet Hardware

Glass is smooth, clean and appealing. Glass cabinet hardware will create a confident, contemporary atmosphere, so use it liberally throughout your home or, better yet, office. Chic to the touch, glass cabinet hardware comes in a tremendous variety of vibrant colors and patterns, so you can coordinate your room's current color palette easily or fashion a new one with these exciting cabinet pulls and knobs.

Iron Cabinet Hardware
Iron Cabinet Hardware

Iron Cabinet Hardware

Iron cabinet hardware is straightforward and subtle, so you can use it to supplement nearly any room. Iron hardware finish has two versions; the gray iron hardware finish and black iron cabinet hardware. Gray iron cabinet hardware has a neutral tone that will help any standard room design along. The black iron is more solid in presence. As mentioned above, black iron cabinet hardware creates a Colonial America kitchen or even a gothic entrance way. Play around with this hardware finish for an authentic and profound impression.

Nickel Cabinet Hardware
Nickel Cabinet Hardware

Nickel Cabinet Hardware

Nickel cabinet hardware is similar to chrome cabinet hardware with a slightly more amber hue. While this hardware finish has a number of themes that it can incorporate, the chic look of bright silver runs through them all. Brushed nickel cabinet hardware is a slightly weathered nickel, perfect for an urbane living room, while polished nickel is the super-reflective sheen that cries out "modern living". Satin nickel cabinet hardware is also a more matted nickel color that will offer an elegant climate to your home.

Pewter Cabinet Hardware
Pewter Cabinet Hardware

Pewter Cabinet Hardware

As solid and dependable as a St. Bernard yet as refined as a mare, pewter cabinet hardware is clear-cut sophisticated. Pewter has a regal silver color that is slightly aged to perfection. Investing in pewter cabinet hardware ensures that you will not have to think about replacing your hardware for years and years. Don't think this hardware finish is all work and no play though. Many companies such as Anne at Home and Betsy Fields have novelty pewter cabinet hardware that you are going to love. Introduce a bit of whimsy into your life with these delightful cabinet knobs and pulls.

Stainless Steel Cabinet Hardware
Stainless Steel Cabinet Hardware

Stainless Steel Cabinet Hardware

Stainless steel cabinet hardware is the badge of an utterly contemporary home. Combine this sleek, metallic hardware finish with black marble countertops and stainless steel sinks, and you have the ultimate modern kitchen. Stainless steel cabinet hardware is also a great choice in the bathroom because it won't stain. Bathrooms and kitchens are prime water areas, so rusting and water stains are common cabinet hardware maladies. Rust and stain resistant, stainless steel cabinet hardware will save you the hassle.

Wood Cabinet Hardware
Wood Cabinet Hardware

Wood Cabinet Hardware

Wood cabinet hardware brings a rustic and natural feeling into the home. Even the elegant and expensive types of wood cabinet hardware hint towards a softer side of grandeur. Use wood cabinet knobs and pulls to create a South Western, rustic or country style kitchen. Bring wood cabinet hardware into the bedroom or living room for a soft, natural touch, as well.

Most cabinet hardware finishes can accommodate a variety of room decors. It is all a question of the finish type and the surrounding details. Express both your personality and your style clearly with the right hardware finish. So what's your flavor of the month?

Hardware Finishes Poll - How does your favorite hardware finish rate?

Cabinet Hardware Finishes
Cabinet Hardware Finishes

Vote for your favorite hardware finish and see which finishes are the most popular among other readers.

What's your favorite hardware finish?

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Questions and comments are always welcome. So feel free to contribute or query.

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    • IlanaMoore LM profile image
      Author

      IlanaMoore LM 6 years ago

      @Gamganny: Yes, us DIY moms should stick together :) Thanks for the encouragement!

    • Gamganny profile image

      Gamganny 7 years ago

      From one do it yourself mom to another, great job on the lens.