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By Jenny Kennedy
Home upgrades often involve kitchen cabinets, doorways, and bathrooms, including hardware. Homeowners now have more options, making shopping for doorknobs, handles and pulls a exciting experience.
To help showcase some of the latest trends in hardware, we reached out to Emtek, one of North America’s leading manufacturers of designer hardware and accessories.
Transforming your cabinets and entrances
To begin, let’s better understand why hardware is a crucial component. While it certainly performs the primary function of operating your doors and drawers, hardware helps preserve the painted or stained finish and protect against wear and tear.
Yet hardware also plays a fashionable role in providing sheen, texture, contrast, and style, almost like the way jewellery completes an outfit. Coordinating these elements can change the look and feel from sleek and modern to delicate and charming.
Of course, this sentiment carries through your home, especially when guests visit your kitchen and bathroom. Hardware is one element that is handled the most, therefore, more noticeable.
The latest trends to watch for
Hardware has moved beyond rudimentary metal tones and standard styles. Instead, texture, shape, placement, exciting finishes, and symmetry highlight the latest trends. When we spoke with Will Zhang, Emtek’s director of design and product innovation, we asked about the most prominent trends.
“We’re seeing fewer ‘run-of-the-mill’ finishes and more unique finishes across the board, like rose gold and matte white, along with fashion-forward finishes like French antique and pewter. Although door and cabinet hardware details are small, they are important and functional, which makes this a great place to experiment with new colours, shapes, and textures, minus the commitment of painting a room or buying all new furniture in a space.
“Lastly, over-sized and dramatic hardware is what we’re seeing designers and architects gravitate toward. Cabinet hardware is meant to make a statement in a big way. The days of hardware just being an accent piece are long gone. The prevalence of appliance pull styles is growing in size, in addition to long cabinet hardware from 12 inches and up.”
Cabinet door and drawer hardware
What specifically are cabinet door and drawer hardware? It consists of several elements, including:
- Cabinet latches
- Appliance pulls (heavy duty)
- Cabinet back plates
These components help the cabinetry operate smoothly and quietly while protecting the surface from the wear of daily handling. When deciding on your drawer’s pull length for standard proportion, aim for one that is approximately ⅓ the length of the drawer and around five to seven inches for the door. However, as Zhang mentions, opt for longer pulls for a more contemporary look.
Entrance door hardware
“First impressions are everything— especially when it comes to your home,” says Zhang. “Your entry set is often the first interaction someone has with your home, making it important to leave a good impression. Every homeowner should have an entry set that truly reflects their design style and sets the stage for what’s in store when entering their home.”
Selection is far from lacking regarding the type and style of door hardware to choose from. It can include:
- Front entry sets
- Electronic entry
- Barn door hardware
- Side plate locks
- Dead bolts
- Keyed entry
- Knobs and lever sets
- Multi-point lock trim
- Sliding door sets
Of course, your home’s exterior hardware extends beyond the handle and locking mechanism. Other coordinating elements to consider are:
- Door stops
- Door catches
- Door viewers
- House numbers
- Mail slots
- Casement latches
Having perfectly coordinated bathroom hardware with your cabinet pulls and knobs helps avoid slightly off-colouration or designs that detract from the overall esthetic. Select a supplier that offers all forms of hardware to keep within your specifications.
Bathroom hardware can include:
- Towel bars
- Towel rings
- Paper holders
Selecting from finishing options
Perhaps the most apparent part of the selection process is what finish best suits your overall design aspirations. Yet, depending on the manufacturer, there is far more to choose from.
For instance, some offer only six to eight metal tones in addition to standard white or black. Others provide an extensive menu of finish selections and customizable features.
They can include:
- Brushed stainless steel
- Polished nickel
- Oil rubbed bronze
- Flat black
- Unlacquered brass
- Satin nickel
- French antique
- Polished brass
- Medium Bbronze
- Flat black bronze
- Polished chrome
- Satin steel
- Tumbled white bronze
- Flat black steel
Other finish options
We went to the experts to determine the most durable hardware finishes. Zhang says: “Typically, hardware made from quality materials like brass, bronze, and stainless steel will be very durable. Plated brass hardware is known for its fine-quality finishes that are durable.”
Mixing and matching
One of the leading industry trends is to break away from the traditional single-tone hardware and experiment with mixed mediums and textures.
“In recent years, people have become more willing to take daring risks with their hardware choices. We’re seeing more mix-and-match finishes and styles in residential design, like modern and traditional styles together or two-tone hardware for cabinets,” says Zhang.
Elevate your cabinets and doors with new hardware today!
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Watch the renovation journey unfold at ready-set-reno.ca
Construction delays are a reality, so plan your renovation well and be prepared. As things get underway, we’ll be sharing exciting before, during and after content including a video series featuring top experts, and you’ll be able to virtually tour the project at various stages of completion.
Jenny Kennedy of Kennedy Literary Agency provides written copy and content for the design-build industry and is the author of “Launch Into Interior Design.”