Like Putting Earrings on a Woman! Hardware for Your Kitchen or Bath

By Carolin Santangelo

Just when you think the new house or remodel is almost complete; selections of the myriad of finishes and material options are behind you, there remains one last item to really put the icing on the cake.
You coordinated the floors with the cabinets, picked the ideal countertops and decided on a complementary color palette for the walls. It’s all coming together. So what could possibly be left?
The piece d’resistance will be the way that your cabinets are accessorized. And by that I don’t mean the decorative items hanging from the walls. Those are all nice. The final feature that your new kitchen or bath requires is cabinet hardware.

Oh, sure, you’ve seen others that don’t use hardware – are you really going to grab that sticky edge of the door until the varnish or paint rubs off over time from the grease and oils? From a strictly functional standpoint, you could get by without hardware, knobs or pulls. Although the best thing you can do to promote the longevity of the finish is to go ahead and drill holes in those new doors (eek, yes, I know it is hard to drill a hole in the perfect finish, but it’s for the best) and prepare to mount hardware.

The materials are reasonable, although the dollars can really add up, depending on your choices and size of your kitchen, and this can be a DIY project. Check for instructional videos on-line that should assist, or ask for assistance at the big box store. Here’s my tip: Measure twice! Prices can range from as little as $1.59 each, up to $30 and higher, per piece. The average kitchen may contain just 20 or 30 doors and drawers, and yet this number can easily climb to 70 to 100 individual pieces and more in large kitchens.
It can be important to coordinate a hardware finish with lighting fixtures or other features of the room; this should still leave you plenty of options. Select from matte black, rubbed bronze, antique brass and copper, weathered, polished or satin nickel, stainless steel or pewter. Knobs and pulls are also available with inserts of ceramic, crystal or glass.

You may be able to find hardware in shapes of forks and spoons, fruits or vegetables, seashells, fish or whatever floats your boat. There will be options, which lend themselves to contemporary, modern and traditional, even colonial, country and farmhouse styles. See the Bucksnort Lodge collection at www.kitchencabinethardware.com/Unique_Novelty_Knobs.html for unique tropical and nautical choices.
If you are unsure how new hardware may look on your cabinet color, Merillat Cabinetry has a cool and simple interactive web tool that allows the user to select a cabinet door style and color finish, and then grab and place a Merillat hardware item to see how the finished product will look. You can place a pull or knob on both door and drawer to get the big picture. That helps eliminate the guesswork. The hardware and doors are shown to scale, leaving no room for error: www.merillat.com/our-products/product-types/cabinetry/classic/decorative-hardware/index.html.
If you are just looking to dress up existing cabinets, you may still be able to find a wood color that is similar to your own to select from. Then again, if you are ready for a full kitchen or bath remodel, you may be able to get great ideas from their website.

If your kitchen or bath already has old pulls on the doors or drawers, it is important that you seek replacement hardware with the same center-to-center dimension of the mounting screws, to match the existing drilled holes. There isn’t really a standard; there are many size variations. Check, too, that removal of the current hardware won’t leave a telltale outline in the stain or paint that may be hard to cover without refinishing. Replacement of knobs is much simpler.
This will be an easy and reasonable way to instantly dress up your kitchen or bath. An eye-catching design and complementary finish can provide the finishing touch that the room needs.
My dad always says, “It’s like putting earrings on a woman.”
Seaside Home Design, LLC endeavors to educate Islander readers regarding a full spectrum of home design and construction issues; products and materials and construction techniques; particularly those specific to seaward construction, and also profiles interesting custom-home design projects. Carolin Santangelo is a home designer and owner of Seaside Home Design, LLC. Contact SeasideHome@windstream.net or 409-632-0381, or visit www.SeasideHomeDesign.com.

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