Mixing and Matching Hardware: What Are the Rules?

Weathered Beauty Mixing and Matching Hardware: What Are the Rules?

One great thing about style and form in kitchen fixtures is that there are no hard-and-fast rules regarding mixing and matching cabinets, furniture, and hardware. Although the industry standard is to match, not mix, your home is your own. You’re free — even encouraged — to think outside the box and add your own flavor to spice up your interior. Here’s a glimpse at what the experts are saying.

If You Can’t Match, Blend

You don’t have to go with the sample kitchen layout that you see in the home improvement store. Branch out, make it your own — but follow some basic rules of design common sense.

Unless it’s part of a larger motif, avoid mixing gold, bronze, or brass hardware — like handles and hinges — with doors with a metallic finish like stainless steel or nickel. Wood doors work well with metallic hardware, but not vice versa. Wood hardware on metal fixtures can look cheap and mismatched. There are families of metals, woods, and synthetics. As a rule of thumb, keep them together.

You Have More Leeway in the Kitchen Than in the Bathroom

Because a kitchen is usually larger and more open than a bathroom, it’s less likely that colors, patterns, or textures will clash. Mismatched items are more noticeable when they’re in closer proximity to each other.

Do what you can to keep the number of hodge-podge materials to a minimum in the bathroom, and use the kitchen as the venue to let your imagination run away.

Consider Your Lighting

If you’re going to stray off the beaten path, it’s absolutely vital that you think about the lighting situation. Not only will light draw attention to the subtleties of any items that appear out of place, but reflections in metallic and some synthetic material will come out, as will color flares like pinkish tones in copper and oxidized soft metals.

Don’t Bump Motifs

Materials that have a modern feel like stainless steel, or any reflective metal, will either overpower or be overpowered by worn-looking metals like wrought iron. Pick a motif. Wood-heavy styles (like a country kitchen) work best with other natural elements like marble or granite.

Accents Are Everything

Well-placed accents like backsplashes, tiling, or mirrors can do wonders — or make the room look cluttered and busy. Accents should complement your cabinets and furniture, not compete with them.

Do you like mixing or matching your hardware? Leave your opinions below.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles who writes on a variety of home improvement topics, including refurbishing used office furniture.

 

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