About Geoff Godfrey

Custom Cabinets: What Your Choice Of Hardware Says About Your Room

by Erik Evans

Are you the romantic type, given to rooms filled with shabby chic accessories? Or are you more minimalist and modern -- valuing sleek and serene over cluttered? Whatever feel it is that you're trying to evoke in your custom cabinetry, the hardware you choose goes a long way toward creating it. If you're new to the world of choosing door and cabinet hardware, there's a ton of it out there, and navigating entire warehouses filled with nothing but hinges, drawer pulls, and screw plates can be immensely intimidating. Use the following tips to help you make the right choice for your room:

Mid-Century Modern

If you're trying to recreate your mother's 1950s kitchen, search for cabinet hardware in futuristic shapes. The 1950s were all about the race for space, and the decor of the time reflected it. Kitchen door pulls made of shiny chrome in the shape of chevrons or boomerangs were popular. So were drawer pulls made of colorful Bakelite. Turquoise Green, Stratford Yellow, Petal Pink -- these were all trendy color choices for kitchen appliances at the turn of the century. And you could have your drawer pulls and countertop canisters made to match. To find hardware that helps you recreate a 1950s kitchen, shop online auction sites or estate sales for real, retro pieces.Or, you can special-order reproductions from your local home improvement store. 

Shabby Chic

A shabby chic kitchen or bath is one that takes you back in time to the romantic Victorian era of the late 1800s. Hardware during this era was ornate, complicated and filled with delicate scrollwork and filigree designs. Stamped brass was a popular choice of metal, and hinges were large, heavy things that added to the design of the door. Intricate, pewter door plates backed knobs made of genuine crystal. Everything from this moment in time was designed with pretty in mind. You can recreate this look in your own home by shopping for hardware made from these metals, or made to mimic them. You can even paint them in soft, romantic colors such as pale pink or cream, and then sand them so the detail shows through. Shabby chic is all about evoking the feel of yesteryear, and your cabinet hardware is a terrific place to start. 


The minimalist kitchen is big on simplicity. Your cabinets may lack exterior door pulls altogether, showcasing, instead, push-release latches that spring open when lightly pressed. But if you do decide that you want door and drawer pulls to show in your minimalist kitchen, shop for sleek, straight lines that are big on simplicity and function. A plain, brushed-nickel or solid-black finish is fitting. And think large and long -- a single long, slim, handle to open a drawer as opposed to two smaller, more ornate ones. In this type of cabinetry, your hinges will be hidden on the inside of the doors to add to the simple and uncluttered feel. 

Often, homeowners spend big money on renovating a room such as a kitchen or bath -- taking great care to choose the right type of wood, the perfect finish, the ultimate cabinet door -- but they overlook the choice of hardware altogether. If you have a room like this, and there's just something that's a bit off about it -- something that won't let you achieve the exact mood you're trying to evoke -- take a good, long look at your hardware. If you opted for the the pulls and latches that came standard with the cabinetry, this could very well be the problem. Figure out exactly what you're going for in your space, and then buy the hardware to help you achieve it.