When designing cabinets for a kitchen or any other room in the home, the cabinetry isn’t quite complete until the hardware is attached. Not only is such hardware functional, but these pulls, knobs, backplates, or other cabinet accessories are also decorative. Such hardware can come in various sizes, styles, and types, made from various materials with differing finishes. Whether it’s chic stainless steel pulls or minimalistic designs requiring no hardware, styles for cabinetry within the home depend on the homeowner’s desired look.
Types of Cabinet Styles
The overall style of a room, especially a kitchen, should be more or less uniform, though certain styles have a more blended look.
There are five basic styles of cabinet hardware:
- Contemporary: Using smooth lines with little ornamentation and neutral colors, contemporary hardware is basic and efficient. It might feature finishes and styles that go with appliances made from stainless steel. Pulls should match appliances, while curved barrel handles or linear bar handles bring together a more or less consistent appearance.
- Traditional: Featuring intricate edgings, trappings, and other details, the traditional look might include elegant knobs or opulent drop-handles that make cabinetry seem more like furniture than other styles.
- Transitional: Blending traditional with contemporary, this style combines wholesome-looking inset doors paired with rounded, yet not overly ornate, cup handles that feature matching knobs.
- Rustic: Like the old-style farmhouses they’re meant to emulate, rustic designs communicate warmth. Using simple knobs or pulls in copper, bronze, or black oil-rubbed finishes that develop a patina over time, this style imparts an inviting, homelike feel.
- Eclectic: This sort of look offers a means for the homeowner to show off their personality and utilize unique types of hardware, such as handles made from seashells at a beach house, brightly painted knobs to bring color to a bathroom, or simple stainless steel pulls for a minimalistic kitchen.
2023 Trends: 9 Styles for Household Cabinet Hardware
While 2022 saw brass finishes and a mixture of metals, 2023 styles are bolder, with solid and sturdy hardware. This year’s styles are made to stand out, like oversized hardware that mixes textures, leather and metals, or even patterned stainless steel. Pulls, knobs, or handles attached to more robust cabinetry forms recall some older trends, from minimalistic to elaborate.
A minimalistic look with no hardware can work with flat-panel cabinet doors above and cutout handles for under-counter cabinets. This modern, sleek look can even feature push latches that blend into the doors.
Sleek stainless steel pulls
Sleek satin or matte, brass, copper or stainless steel pulls all look good with modern cabinet styles. While not new, it’s still a popular style with multiple finishing options that offer greater design flexibility.
The most modern pulls this year are:
- Satin or matte black: The color black is in this year for pulls, knobs or a blend of each; these shades of black are the most common choice for lighter colored cabinetry.
- Brushed or polished brass: With warm tones like certain bronzes, this metallic shade works well with traditional designs, using unlacquered brass to create a lush patina; polished brass gives rooms a sharper feel, working well with black, cool whites, earthy greens mixed with blues or taupe cabinets.
- Copper: Though expensive, copper hardware works well for to make kitchen islands or other prominent elements of a room stand out.
- Tubular stainless steel pulls: As perhaps the most popular style for cabinets in the past decade, tubular stainless steel pulls, particularly bar pulls, work well on various cabinet styles, from modern flat paneled to Shaker-style cabinets.
In kitchens where an elegant countertop or backsplash draws attention, pulls should have subtler colors, like old-fashioned brass or muted satin stainless steel. Pulls using this style mix a contemporary look with more vintage hardware.
By combining a more traditional style with cultural aspects, hardware can look like something dug up from an archaeological dig. Some designs resembling lotus flowers or motifs with an evil eye, featured on knobs are reminiscent of the Silk Road. Others recall ancient coinage or stone-carved motifs that mimic those from earlier civilizations from a more archaic time.
While mixing metals is rather last year, shifting between differently shaped hardware can give a room an eclectic style with a smattering of contemporary elements. Mixing stainless steel pulls, knobs, latches and cups, for example, keeps the color consistent while creating a more diverse appearance.
This bold style combines a colorful personality with intricately complex details. It also reaches back to earlier times, with complementing colors of this eclectic style reminiscent of 1970s funkiness. Think about a turquoise-colored bar with bejeweled matching handles against dark greenish wallpaper, with gray-green glass beads hanging from a classic chandelier from half a century ago.
Kitchen fixtures that are black matte in color continue to be popular, and this shade of black appears in various kitchen cabinetry hardware. Matte black finishes on hardware work well with stained cabinets, creating a picture frame for a space. The color also goes well with a quartz backsplash in the cooking area.
Colorful fixtures popping with multiple bright colors illicit a feeling of fun. Like Skittles candy, this colorful hardware works well against white slab cabinets. Hues that complement the color of the room’s walls, floors, ceilings or applicants can enliven an otherwise conventional room and create a feeling of whimsy.
Warm brass extensions
Brass has warmth and energy, unlike cooler alloys like stainless steel. Pulls made from brass brighten spaces, with their sheen adding character to any room. Brass hardware makes a room more distinctive by adding enthusiasm to an otherwise dull space.
Choosing a Material & Finish
Choosing the right material and finish for a cabinet is part of what makes the look. Most materials used for cabinetry hardware are usually metal alloy, though painted, treated or raw wood is often used to create a more rustic look. However, alloys are often preferable for kitchen and bathroom cabinets from a unitarian standpoint, as many have antimicrobial and other properties that help prevent the spread of disease.
For example, bronze handles work well with thicker wood, preventing microbes from spreading. While not antimicrobial, stainless steel pulls are often used on cabinetry as they’re easier to clean and more durable. Nickel is an elemental metal often used for cabinet hardware, while tin-based alloys like pewter are popular too. Ceramic, crystal or glass can also be used for a more traditional feel. Once all the other aspects of cabinet hardware have been chosen, it’s time to focus on the finish.
These might include finishes like:
Stainless steel pulls work great for a contemporary kitchen look, though eclectic or transitional cabinet hardware styles also sometimes feature the alloy. While known for its shiny and reflective appearance, copper, gold, or gunmetal gray shades are possible with stainless steel. Pulls, knobs, or handles made from brass or pewter can provide a room with a traditional look. Developing a patina over time as it ages, bronze emboldens traditional styles, while black finishes work well to create more transitional décor.
Stainless Steel Pulls & Other Cabinet Hardware by Arthur Harris
When looking for a color scheme to create a look in a kitchen or other room in the house, stainless steel pulls and other cabinet hardware create a clean appearance, while offering greater durability and easier cleaning. Stylish and durable, Arthur Harris makes stainless steel pulls, knobs, hooks, back mounts and other cabinetry accessories. For more information on our cabinet hardware and other products, contact the stainless steel experts at Arthur Harris.