When designing a kitchen or a bathroom, we often spend more time and energy in the bigger pieces such as flooring, countertops or cabinetry. It’s easy to forget how integral the smaller details such as faucets or hardware are to the design. Details like these can truly make or break the space. Don’t make them an afterthought. And don’t be afraid to splurge on these pieces. They are well worth the investment.
Put an Emphasis on Consistency and Quality
When it comes to hardware, Scott Dresner of Dresner Design suggests placing an emphasis on continuity in the design of the space. If your appliances are stainless, use stainless hardware. If you like a brushed gold look, but your appliances are stainless, try to combine both finishes on your appliances by using accents on cabinet/drawer pulls or range knobs. You want everything to feel intentional and well-thought out.
But perhaps Scott’s biggest piece of advice is to avoid shopping for hardware at big box places such as Home Depot or Amazon. Go to a real hardware company– Scott loves Studio41 in the River North Design District. If you still have a hard time picking hardware, hire a professional (like Dresner Design!) to help you.
Consider Luxury and Longevity
Mobili Möbel likes to think of fixtures and hardware as the jewelry of the kitchen or bathroom– they tie together your whole look, no matter what style that may be. Prioritize a line that can provide you with unique styles and colors across all products to really put a bow on top of your space.
Gessi brings a touch of luxury and timeless elegance to all their products – including faucets, shower heads, shower controls, misters, towel bars, hooks, soap dispensers flush plates, shower door handles and more with matching details and finishes – without sacrificing style.
In addition to being visually stunning, your fixtures and hardware should also be the workhorses of your space. Ensuring ease of use and durability should play a large role in choosing the right fixtures and hardware for your kitchen or bathroom. Pick products that are resistant to scratches, distress and corrosion to guarantee longevity.
And the last consideration when selecting your fixtures and hardware is to keep sustainability in mind – each Gessi product is made to reduce water and energy usage without jeopardizing your experience.
Repeat After Us: Function, Style and Harmony
When specifying hardware in a kitchen, there are many things to take into consideration. Your choices can be influenced by your clients’ preferences, the style of the home and kitchen, and the overall look you, as a designer, are trying to achieve.
In this historic Hyde Park kitchen project, designed by Metro Design Build, their team chose a smaller knob for the doors of the wall cabinets and mixed them with pulls on the base cabinets. It was important for this client to have easy access to grab onto pulls and smoothly open the drawers below. For another project, a Tudor home in Evanston, they chose to mix black cabinet hardware with a stainless faucet and sink in their kitchen. Here, it worked better to use this stainless finish to allow the sink to stand out in front of the black window. If you picture a black faucet in its place, you can likely imagine that it would just blend into the background. Lastly, in this modern, black Lakeview kitchen, Metro Design Build mixed brass and black in the fixtures and lighting, however we made the bold decision to have no hardware for a cleaner more modern aesthetic. By mixing in brass with the black fixtures, we were able to add more dimension in this kitchen while maintaining an overall sleek look that this client was looking for.
Every home and kitchen is different. You must really consider how the client will use and move about the space in addition to the vision you have for the design in order to make the best decision. Metro Design Build believes in selecting pieces that allow your client to optimize all the functions they’re looking to get out of in their kitchen without sacrificing the appearance of the space. No matter what, function, style, and harmony are the most important major factors when planning a design in any space.
Just Like with Fashion, Put Your Jewelry on Last
Selecting kitchen and bathware hardware and fixtures is an artful process that requires attention to detail and a keen sense of design. Founder and Principal Amy Kartheiser of Chicago-based residential interior design firm Amy Kartheiser Design has a variety of tips to add style to a space with what she calls the “jewelry of the home”. See below for some of her savvy pointers.
When thinking about impactful ways to elevate the design of a home, hardware might not be the first thing that comes to mind, Amy says. But, she believes it’s the details that bring a room to life. Her insider advice: always choose hardware after finalizing larger design elements like cabinetry and countertops to ensure a cohesive look.
Let the purpose and size of the room guide your hardware choices. In larger spaces like kitchens, simple hardware often works best, while smaller rooms like bathrooms offer an opportunity for statement pieces. For instance, bin and latch pulls are both functional and stylish choices for kitchens. Don’t be afraid to make a statement — bold, unique hardware can truly make a space.
“I love watching as hardware is installed in my designs and seeing the final touches truly bring the space to life. You will be amazed at what quality hardware can do to your kitchen, bathroom, or custom cabinetry, adding the finishing details to the space.”Amy Kartheiser