Mixing Finishes

Featured collections: Anne at Home, Toskana by Siro, Mosaic by Siro. Hardware courtesy of Johnson Hardware Company, Omaha.


Shopping for cabinet and drawer hardware can be mind-boggling. Whatever you do, resist the urge to use the same metal throughout your home. "Matching is safe, but it's not very interesting," says Jay Grabow of Johnson Hardware Company.

The current trend is to mix it up, especially in kitchens and baths. "You definitely don't want it to look like a satin nickel bomb went off in the house," Grabow deadpans.

The trend is that there is no trend in metals. As a result, we're seeing an explosion of finishes and designs.

- Decide on two or three coordinating finishes and then start playing with the combinations. For a typical bathroom, you'll have five or six metal elements to consider: Door handles, cabinet knobs or pulls, light fixtures, bath accessories (toilet paper holder, hooks, etc.), faucets (sink, shower, tub) and shower doors.

- Strive for a balance between appearance and functionality. Compare knobs and pulls for comfort and practicality. "If you have young kids, bin pulls in the kitchen might not be a good idea," Grabow says.

- If you're smitten with oil-rubbed bronze, be aware that finishes differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. Generally, it's best to limit your choices to one collection, says Grabow. Nickel, chrome, satin and stainless finishes are fairly standardized and can be interchanged.

What's In

- Multiple hardware styles and finishes throughout the home

- Oil-rubbed bronze hardware and fixtures

- Imperfect metals with "living" finishes that oxidize over time

- Contemporary and novelty shapes in hardware

What's Out

- Singular hardware style and finish throughout the home

- Ribbon and reed pullsĀ 

- Polished brass hardware and fixtures

- Bin pulls

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