People spend a lot of time choosing the ideal cabinets for their kitchens, bathrooms, and other rooms in the house to make sure the style of cabinets suits the overall interior design of the house. When it comes to choosing hardware, the choices can be overwhelming:  all pulls?  All knobs? A mixture of both?  What’s the correct way to use hardware on cabinets?  We’ve pulled together a few basic suggestions on how to choose the right hardware for your cabinets.

Mix and match or matchy-matchy?

The biggest question we get is about whether to use all knobs, all pulls, or mix it up. The answer is, there is no right answer! This is strictly a personal preference though there are some details to keep in mind when deciding, which we’ll go into more detail later in this article. However, there is no real “right way” when it comes to knobs over pulls, so rest assured that whatever you choose, you’ve made the right decision. It’s OK to mix and match, and it’s OK to use all knobs or all pulls.

Let your cabinet style help choose your hardware style

There are many different types of cabinet styles, from ornate to modern. Based on your cabinet design, you may want to choose a style of hardware that suits the cabinet. If your cabinets are heavy and ornate, a sleek, thin, modern pull or knob might look out of place. On the other hand, if your cabinet style is more modern and minimalist, bulky or ornate hardware may really stand out like a sore thumb. When choosing hardware, actually hold it up against your cabinets and envision a whole room with that hardware. Does it complement the cabinets, or does it look out of place? We love eclectic, but don’t allow your hardware to detract from your cabinets!

Look at your cabinet colors

Consider the color of your kitchen cabinets. The color of your cabinets is as important as the style when choosing hardware. With white and painted cabinets, almost any finish will work, but some shades of brown are not as flexible. Contrasting colors will make the new hardware stand out and give some visual breaks to a kitchen or bathroom full of cabinetry.

Look at your faucets and other appliances in the room

You don’t have to match your faucets or your refrigerator, though many people find this to be the easiest choice. Want to be different? You don’t need to match your faucet or other appliances as long as the finish complements other finishes in the design. There are finishes that go well with brushed nickel or brushed stainless faucet: antique pewter, bronze (light to dark), satin brass, oil-rubbed bronze, aluminum, black matte, and rust. Finishes that go well with a chrome faucet are more limited, such as white, black, dark bronze, pewter, or clear glass.

Keep your hardware finishes consistent

It’s generally a good idea to keep the finish of your hardware consistent. Brass knobs and brushed nickel pulls in the same room might really look odd. On the other hand, there are all kinds of fun, unique cabinet hardware options out there, including glass, ceramic and more, many that offer a variety of looks within a set. Go ahead and be creative as long as it doesn’t end up looking like a mishmash of choices! Not sure how to mix metal finishes? Check out these ideas.

Don’t cheap out

We get it. Installing a room full of cabinets is not an inexpensive endeavor so oftentimes by the time choosing hardware comes around, the less money spent the better but don’t sell the concept of quality hardware short! There’s a certain amount of comfort as well as wear and tear resistance that comes with quality hardware. While you don’t have to spend a fortune, take the time to test out what the hardware feels like when you grab it or pull it. Make sure the finish is quality and that your brushed nickel knobs don’t turn black over time (or come off on your hands). Not sure where to find quality hardware that goes with your cabinets?  Ask a design professional to help you!

Knowing how to choose the right hardware for your cabinets can make a big difference in the overall look and functionality of a room. Take the time to do your homework, shop around, and test out your choices before installing your hardware. You’ll love the results!