Cabinet hardware is akin to jewelry on an outfit. It’s the finishing touch that elevates a room from so-so to stunning. This isn’t to say handle-free cabinets, drawers, and panelled appliances aren’t sleek. The look has its place in more modern designs where a minimalist, clean-lined aesthetic is coveted, like in Scandinavian-style kitchens. But when it comes to consumer preferences, most want to make a statement with hardware instead of forgoing pulls and knobs altogether.
For this reason, it’s important to keep on top of what’s trending with this dynamic design element. Here are five hardware must-haves among consumers.
The go-with-everything quality of black hardware in satin and matte finishes is a big reason it’s still favoured in 2022. A contemporary take on the once-preferred oil-rubbed bronze, black adds contrast to the all-white spaces and light-coloured cabinets in high demand.
Perhaps even more versatile is graphite hardware, as it blends with two-toned kitchens – a colour scheme that is increasingly sought-after by consumers who want a unique, one-of-a-kind look in the heart of the home. While black will continue to reign supreme, we might see graphite surpass it soon.
Like black, gold, and brass hardware in brushed, matte, and glossy textures are still having a moment. But contrary to its popular counterpart, these metallic finishes warm up a space while adding a touch of luxury. Gold and brass look especially lovely against crisp whites, taupe, black, earthy blues, and green cabinets.
Another shiny metal that’s newer on the scene is copper, at least when it comes to cabinet hardware. Since it is more costly, copper often appeals to higher end-users and those who want to achieve a true country or farmhouse kitchen.
As with wood cabinetry, timber hardware is making a comeback in a big way. Oak and walnut offer a fresh alternative to traditional metal knobs and pulls, imparting a down-to-earth feel. Finishing with a lacquer provides extra durability to this type of hardware.
Other eco-friendly materials are experiencing increased demand as homeowners look for ways to lessen their environmental impact. These include leather, aluminum, and recycled glass, though most are used in areas of the home outside the kitchen.
Mix and Match
Round knobs are giving way to cup-shaped pulls for drawers. These ‘bin pulls,’ as they’re also called, impart a traditional and vintage appearance that consumers crave as they look to incorporate creature comforts and styles of a bygone era into their homes. Where knobs are being used more is on cabinet doors. Mixed and matched with pulls on drawers creates an eclectic effect and adds more interest at kitchen touchpoints.
Bolder is better in the kitchen these days, with oversized islands and pops of colour being on-trend. This extends to hardware, too, with lengthy pulls at least eight inches long. (Oversized pulls may be as long as 21 inches.) Slim handles with a minimalist design are ideal to avoid being overbearing.
Clare Tattersall is an interior designer and decorator in Toronto, and the editor of Canada’s floor covering magazine, Coverings.