(We can’t help singing the “Silver and Gold” song, hee hee)
Which do you fancy? We think a farm house can handle silver or gold, really. Chrome, nickel, brass, lacquered brass, pewter. The list goes on and on. Frankly, all of the options and the names leave us feeling overwhelmed! I’m here to tell you not to fall into a tizzy when deciding on a hardware material. Lately, stepping away from the matching craze has calmed us down quite a bit. And, when all is said and done, these tiny details may not be what most (including you) notice or what is most important in the room anyway. It is easy to get caught up in the moment of the details. Especially when choosing from so many options! Stay in your lane and remember that it is the over-all vibe that matters most, not the nitty-gritty.
Here’s our take….
When you are renovating, all of the material choosing can get old really fast. It’s like planning a wedding. You start off excited, executing your inspiration. The color scheme, the overall vibe of your day. However, when it comes down it, there are so many choices to make and the love of the project starts to get a little lost. Deep breaths just aren’t cutting it anymore! Let’s get around this strain. A lot of the stress of matching is a thing of the past. Mixing and matching is in. Yes, even in the same room! You can choose different style handles or knobs for the kitchen or for built-in cabinetry throughout the home. In fact, blending different styles is actually encouraged in the present design moment. Amen!
Now that the stress of this concept is out of the way, you can start narrowing down your loves and must-haves. Some choices are non-negotiable and I get that (trust me, I’ve been there!). I do feel as if there is always one hardware finish each of us tend to gravitate toward. For instance, I tend to appreciate a dulled brass hardware finish the most. It is rich without being too showy or dressy. When I realized this fixation, I began to understand why this hardware finish gets me feeling inspired. Here it is…it makes a statement, but also blends so well with a simple (farm house!) setting. When I am looking for inspiration, I have found that my “picks” are always centered around a dulled brass finish. Through this realization I have also learned that the finish of hardware chosen will speak volumes to the over-all design style of the space. A chrome or nickel finish (dulled silver-tone) feeds more of a shabby chic style in a farm house. A shiny brass definitely speaks more to a traditionally-styled home.
All that being said, you can and should mix finishes. There is a fine line of not mixing too much throughout. We follow the rule of three to four finishes throughout your entire home and about two in each room. We have unlacquered brass primarily in our kitchen and add hints of it throughout other rooms in the rest of our house. However, those other rooms also have different finishes – some that complement the unlacquered brass and some that are completely different from the brass throughout. It depends on the cabinet, it depends on the room and it depends on the hardware finishes. For instance, some rooms have a “stand-out” piece that needs it’s own special hardware (like a music cabinet). This is the type of piece that may deserve to stand apart from the rest of the cabinetry in the room because of its design or its purpose, so dressing it with different hardware finishes would make sense. Be sure to choose hardware that speaks to that cabinet specifically while staying true to the home’s overall design perspective.
To create a less chaotic tone (especially if it is small) try to stick to two hardware finishes total in each room. An example of this is our first-floor powder room. We inherited the sink hardware in our powder room on our first-floor (luckily, we don’t mind the style even though it is shiny chrome and we don’t have a ton of shiny chrome in the rest of our house). So, when replacing the closet doors in this room, we tried to stick with the shiny chrome where needed (the closet door handle, the door handle). We then added a dulled chrome for our towel hook, toilet paper holder and smaller closet door knob (for these three we went with a set that included mother of pearl, so they all complimented one another while making them a bit more special and decorative).
Exterior door and window hardware separate itself naturally from indoor cabinetry hardware. While they both need to be decorative and functional, we find that the exterior hardware can be different from the interior hardware. Another example – in our kitchen we chose the unlacquered brass finish for our cabinet handles, drawer pulls and pantry handles. The door that leads to our patio has a dulled chrome finish on it. When we replaced the door, we decided to stick to what had been there before. We don’t regret this choice and actually love the durability and look of the exterior door hardware, both inside and out. Exterior hardware sets itself apart and speaks to its own category. You also need exterior hardware to be more durable so that it can withstand the elements as well as the constant use.
Whichever hardware finish you choose, we hope you are happy with your final install!