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Should You Mix and Match Kitchen Hardware?

Kitchen with white cabinets, gray tile backsplash, and stainless steel appliances.

Mixing and matching your kitchen hardware can add more interest to your kitchen and allow your personality to shine through. There's no reason not to mix and match, as long as you follow the guidelines for doing so. Create a cohesive unique look that you can easily change later!

Everyone dreams of a kitchen that is functional and reflects their personal style. The kitchen is called the heart of the home for good reason. It sets the tone for the rest of your home. While the value of a great looking kitchen is easy to see, it’s easy to overlook your kitchen hardware.

It’s often seen as an afterthought, perhaps right before light switch covers. However, changing up your kitchen hardware can change the look of your entire kitchen.

Can you mix and match your kitchen hardware? Absolutely. Will it look good? If it’s done right, it can add texture and interest to the room. If it’s done wrong, it can create a sense of chaos that detracts from the look you were going for.

Should You Mix and Match Hardware?

The answer will depend on your personal style and the style of your kitchen. If your kitchen is very sleek and modern, mixing and matching kitchen hardware is almost a must. It creates character and visual interest. It can turn a bland kitchen into an interesting one.

If there’s already a lot going on in your kitchen, it’s not as essential. However, it can still add a little more flair when done correctly.

Another reason to mix and match hardware is a function. Using different hardware for different things allows you to know what to expect when you are opening it. It can make cabinets and drawers easier to open and make it easier to find hidden appliances.

Lastly, kitchen hardware is relatively inexpensive and easy to change. It’s a great way to create the look you want in your kitchen without a big investment. When you want a change, simply change your hardware instead of having to repaint your cabinets.

Types of Hardware

White kitchen with shaker cabinets, subway tile backsplash, white granite countertop, stainless steel appliances, and brushed gold faucet.

There are four basic types of kitchen hardware. Knobs, t pulls, bars, and bins. Knobs are round and attach to the cabinet with one screw. They range from simple to ornate. Bars are attached with two screws. They have two short sides attached to the cabinet with a bar running between them. T pulls are a cross between a knob and a bar. They attach with one screw like a knob. Bins are curved, with an area underneath that you grip with your finger.

Know the Why

Why you want to mix your hardware is important. What are you trying to achieve? Do you want to create visual interest? Do you want to separate the top from the bottom, or door from the drawer? Do you want to highlight a certain area or cabinet? Do you want to showcase your personality? Would you like to take a chance on something that’s relatively easy and inexpensive to change if you don’t love it?

Logical Mix & Match

This method is simple and basically foolproof. The easiest way to mix and match hardware is to follow these rules. With this method, you’ll want to choose one type of hardware for your cabinet doors and one for your drawers. Or you could use one style for the top and another for the bottom. Another no-fail method is to use bars that are both vertical and horizontal. Use vertical bars for the cabinet doors, and horizontal for the drawers.

Our brains thrive on patterns. In fact, they even search for patterns where none exist. Patterns are an essential part of good interior design. These methods create an easy to follow a pattern that adds a sense of continuity. If you have drawers of different sizes, you’ll want to use bar style handles and match the handle length to the drawer size. You’ll also want to choose the same material and finish for all the hardware.

Accent Area

This can be used in place of or in addition to the above method. If you have one cabinet that you want to stand out, you choose different hardware for it. With this method, you don’t have to stick to the same finish as the rest of the hardware if you have a reason not to.

If you have a glass door cabinet and your hardware is brushed nickel, it’s reasonable to add crystal nobs to the glass cabinet. If you want to use a bin pull to set your trash disposal apart, it makes sense to use the same finish as the other hardware. If you have your grandmother’s antique china cabinet, you would want to choose a more ornamental style for it, but keep elements of the finish you are using.

Breaking the Rules

Blue and white-themed kitchen with subway tiles.

These methods are great for achieving a unique look in your kitchen without a lot of risks. But what if you want to get more creative? Can you mix and match different metals and colors as well as style? According to many designers, the answer is a resounding yes. According to Zoe Feldman, a D.C. interior designer, “it keeps a space from feeling too one-note, and it gives a more collected and layered look”.

There are a few rules to keep in mind when breaking the rules, however. First, you’ll still want to use logic. There should be a rhyme and reason to your choices. If you use knobs and bars, keep the knobs one material and the bars the other. You’ll want to keep it to two or three metals or colors in the room. It’s usually a good idea to use one main material and use another as an accent.

You’ll also want to avoid metals that are too similar. Chrome and nickel, for example, look almost the same. Instead of contrasting each other, they just look a little off together. The same goes for using the same material in different finishes. You’ll want to avoid using the same material in both brushed and polished finishes.

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