The Art of Choosing Decorative Hardware: Tips and Tricks


Decorative hardware is an essential element in interior design that can transform the entire aesthetic of a space. It is the perfect finishing touch that enhances the beauty and functionality of furniture, cabinets, doors, and other pieces in your home. However, choosing the right decorative hardware can be a daunting task with the plethora of options available in the market. In this article, we will explore the art of choosing decorative hardware and provide you with tips and tricks to simplify the decision-making process.



Understand the Purpose and Style of the Space:  

Before diving into the world of decorative hardware, it is essential to understand the purpose and style of the space you are decorating. Is it a rustic farmhouse kitchen or a sleek contemporary bathroom? The purpose and style of the space will greatly influence the type of hardware you select. For instance, if you are going for a vintage aesthetic, antique brass or oil-rubbed bronze hardware might be a better fit, whereas polished chrome or stainless steel might be more suitable for a modern space.

Consider the Overall Design and Color Scheme:

The decorative hardware you choose should complement the overall design and color scheme of the space. It should tie all the elements together harmoniously. If your space has a monochromatic color scheme, consider using hardware with contrasting finishes or colors to add a pop of visual interest. On the other hand, if you want a cohesive look, opt for hardware that matches the dominant finishes already present in the space, such as matching the hardware with the faucets in a bathroom.

style of space


Decide on a Finish:  

The finish of the decorative hardware plays a significant role in the overall look and feel of the space. There are a plethora of finishes available, including brushed nickel, satin brass, polished chrome, black matte, and antique brass, among others. When selecting the finish, consider the maintenance required, durability, and compatibility with other materials in the room. For instance, if your space has a lot of natural wood, consider hardware with warm finishes like antique brass or oil-rubbed bronze to create a cohesive and inviting environment.

Assess the Quality and Durability:

Decorative hardware is not only about aesthetics but also about functionality and durability. Invest in quality hardware that will withstand daily use and last for years to come. Avoid cheap alternatives that may break or wear out easily, compromising both the functionality and appearance of your furniture or cabinets. Look for hardware made from high-quality materials, such as solid brass or stainless steel, as they offer superior durability and longevity.



Measure and Consider Proportions:  

Proportions play a crucial role in achieving a visually pleasing look. When selecting hardware, consider the size and scale of the furniture or cabinetry it will be applied to. Oversized hardware on small drawers might look overwhelming, while too-small hardware on large pieces can be easily overlooked. Measure the furniture or cabinetry carefully and choose hardware that proportionally fits the size of the piece, creating a balanced and cohesive look.

Handle Ergonomics:

While aesthetics are essential, the functionality of decorative hardware should not be overlooked. Ensure that the hardware you select is comfortable and easy to grasp, especially if it will be used frequently. Consider the shape and design of the hardware to ensure it is ergonomic and user-friendly. Depending on the location, you might prefer knobs, pulls, or handles, each offering a different feel and grip. Test the hardware yourself to determine which option feels the most comfortable in your hand.

handle ergonomics


Seek Inspiration and Consider Trends:  

Don't be afraid to seek inspiration and consider current trends when selecting decorative hardware. Browse through design magazines, websites, and social media platforms to explore different options and styles. However, it is crucial to balance trends with timeless design elements to ensure your space remains visually appealing for years to come. While trends can provide a fresh and contemporary look, they may also become outdated quickly. Choose hardware that speaks to your personal style and complements the overall design of your space.

Personalize and Customize:

Decorative hardware offers an opportunity to add a personal touch to your space. Explore customization options, such as monogramming or engraving, to make your hardware truly unique. You can also mix and match different hardware styles or finishes to create a customized look that reflects your individuality. Just ensure that the different hardware elements still maintain cohesiveness and work together seamlessly within the space.



Consider Maintenance and Cleaning:

Different finishes and materials require varying levels of maintenance and cleaning. Some finishes may require regular polishing, while others are more resistant to fingerprints and stains. Consider the time and effort you are willing to invest in maintaining the hardware and choose finishes that align with your preference. Additionally, ensure you can easily clean the hardware without damaging its appearance or functionality.

Seek Professional Advice if Needed:

Choosing decorative hardware can be overwhelming, especially if you are unsure about design principles or feel uncertain about your choices. If you find yourself feeling stuck or overwhelmed, do not hesitate to seek professional advice. Interior designers or knowledgeable salespeople can provide valuable insights and guidance, helping you make an informed decision that aligns with your vision.




Choosing the right decorative hardware is an art that requires a thoughtful and intentional approach. By understanding the purpose and style of your space, considering the overall design and color scheme, assessing the quality and durability, and considering proportions and ergonomics, you can select hardware that adds the perfect finishing touch to your furniture, cabinets, doors, and other interior elements. With attention to detail, personalization, and a balance of functionality and aesthetics, you can truly elevate the look and feel of your space through the art of selecting decorative hardware.


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