Great door and cabinet hardware can make any design look more polished and intentional.
Matching hardware instantly adds cohesion to an aesthetic.
Small spaces are particularly great candidates for matching hardware.
You can match every element of your hardware or match one element, such as the finish.
Hardware is a small but mighty design element that has the power to enhance your aesthetic in a major way. But with so many different types to choose from, deciding on the right hardware for your unique look can feel challenging. Matching all of your hardware can make this process easier since you'll only need to decide on one type rather than a mix of several types, but it also comes with some drawbacks, depending on the look you're after. This guide outlines the pros and cons of matching hardware so you can decide if it's the right approach for you and your aesthetic.
Why Is Door and Cabinet Hardware Important?
Despite its small size, your door and cabinet hardware greatly impact your overall aesthetic. Thoughtful details have a knack for separating great designs from good designs, and few details are more impactful than hardware.
Beautiful bathroom and kitchen cabinet hardware give spaces a polished appearance that makes them feel more thoughtful and intentional. It's also a great way to add personality and visual interest to a design, especially in minimalist aesthetics that could use a little extra something to make them pop without overwhelming the look.
And what's particularly wonderful about hardware is that it's relatively inexpensive, especially when compared to other types of kitchen and bathroom updates. Adding new hardware is a cost-effective way to update your kitchen aesthetic.
The Pros and Cons of Matching Home Hardware
Hardware comes in many different shapes, sizes, colors, and finishes, so there are several approaches you can take when updating it. For instance, you can mix different types together for a more eclectic look or match all of your hardware for a more cohesive design. Not sure if you want your hardware to match? Here are a few pros and cons of matching hardware.
Pros of Matching Hardware
Matching hardware comes with many benefits, from creating cohesion to elevating small spaces.
Matching hardware is an easy way to make your design more cohesive. If you're rocking an eclectic kitchen or bathroom design, then this added cohesion can help you tie various design elements together, creating a common throughline across your aesthetic. Matching hardware can also help to solidify a more pared-back, streamlined look, punctuating it with even more cohesion.
Keeps It Simple
The beauty of matching hardware is you can make fewer decisions about it, which simplifies the process of incorporating it. All you have to do is pick one type you love, then install it all over the room. Mixing hardware usually requires more time and energy since you need to make decisions about several different types, then figure out if they all work well together.
Makes for Easier Replacements
It's often easier to replace cabinet hardware that matches. If you're updating mixed hardware, you'll need to hunt down several different types to replace the hardware in your current look. And there's a possibility that one of the types you need is no longer available. But updating matching hardware only requires you to replace one type. And if that type isn't available, it's fairly easy to find a close replacement since you won't have to worry about it matching several different hardware types.
Ideal for Small Spaces
It's easy to overwhelm a small space with too many design elements, and this idea definitely holds true with hardware. If you're working with a cozy kitchen, adding lots of different hardware types can make your space feel more crowded. Sticking with matching hardware creates a more streamlined look that won't overwhelm your aesthetic.
Cons of Matching Hardware
Depending on the look you're after, you might find some drawbacks to matching hardware.
A potential drawback of matching hardware is that it's not as eye-catching as mixed hardware. Mixing your hardware can add lots of texture and visual interest, making for a bolder design. However, not everyone is seeking a bold look, so this isn't necessarily a drawback depending on the design you're after.
Not As Unique
Mixing your hardware is a great way to add personality to your look since few people will mix their hardware in the same way. Therefore, it's an easy way to showcase your unique design sensibility. If all of your hardware matches, you miss out on the opportunity to create a truly unique mix.
Tips and Considerations for Matching Your Hardware
Did you decide that matching hardware is the right choice for your space? Here are a few tips and considerations to make it easier to integrate matching hardware into your look.
Consider Matching Only One Element
If you're on the fence between mixing and matching your hardware, you can get the best of both worlds by only matching one element rather than the entire piece. For instance, you can choose a finish you love, such as brushed brass, then purchase different knobs, pulls, and handles—all with that matching finish—to add equal parts cohesion and interest to your look.
Another way to incorporate this idea is to match your hardware by its function. For example, you could use matching pulls on all of your cabinets and matching knobs on all of your drawers. This technique still provides plenty of cohesion while adding more visual interest than if all of your cabinets and drawers featured the same hardware type.
Separate Lower and Upper Cabinets
Choosing one type of matching hardware for your lower cabinets and one type for your upper cabinets is another technique that allows you to mix your look up a little without sacrificing a streamlined look. Knobs are great for upper cabinets since they make it easier to open and close cabinets from a higher height. Meanwhile, pulls and handles often make opening and closing easier at lower heights.
Think About Your Aesthetic
Matching hardware looks best when it aligns with the rest of your aesthetic, so think about how you want your overall design to look before deciding on a hardware type. For example, if you have a traditional kitchen aesthetic, hardware with ornate details and aged-bronze finishes can work well. But if you're after a more modern appearance, incorporating minimal hardware like simple bar pulls with a brushed brass finish is a great way to complement your design.