Adding the right hardware is one of the final touches that can make or break the farmhouse style in your kitchen. The perfect knobs, pulls, and handles complement your cabinets while adding rustic flair. With so many options to choose from, selecting hardware can be overwhelming.
Step 1: Determine Your Style
Farmhouse decor encompasses a range of vintage-inspired aesthetics. Before shopping for hardware, decide which farmhouse style you want to cultivate in your kitchen.
Common Farmhouse Styles
Vintage farmhouse often features elements from the 1700s to the early 1900s, with a focus on antique decor. Rustic farmhouse emphasizes a more rugged, worn look. Salvaged farmhouse incorporates reclaimed wood and other repurposed materials. The distressed farmhouse look highlights wood finishes that appear naturally weathered. Retro farmhouse blends mid 20th century pieces with traditional elements for a nostalgic spin.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Do you want an authentic historical look? Are you interested in a lighter, more modern take on traditional farmhouse? What specific eras inspire you – Victorian? Early 20th century industrial? Defining your personal style preferences will guide your hardware selection.
Step 2: Select Your Materials
Certain materials inherently suit the farmhouse aesthetic better than others. Once you’ve defined your style, consider which materials best reflect your vision.
Popular Farmhouse Materials
For an authentic, aged look, oil-rubbed bronze, antique brass, and wrought iron beautifully develop a timeworn patina. Reclaimed wood communicates rugged simplicity. Galvanized metal lends an industrial, vintage workshop vibe.
Factor in how heavily your cabinets get used along with your desired aesthetic. For high-traffic areas like lower cabinets, durable metal alloys stand the test of time better than more delicate materials. The texture and finish of hardware directly impacts its look and feel. For example, a smooth, polished nickel knob conveys understated elegance, while a hammered iron pull in a blackened finish reads more heavily rustic.
Pros and Cons of Different Materials
Oil-rubbed bronze offers a handsome aged appearance but requires occasional polishing to maintain its luster. Antique brass provides a traditional golden hue that develops a patina over time. Wrought iron has unmatched strength and vintage styling but can dent if dropped or impacted. Reclaimed wood offers artisanal appeal but not the sturdiness of metal. For longevity and classic appeal, satin or antique brass strikes an optimal balance.
Step 3: Choose Your Hardware Type
Knobs vs. Pulls
In most kitchens, knobs suit framed upper cabinets and pulls align better on slab-style lower cabinets. Knobs only require one centered screw which leaves cabinet fronts less marred. However, pulls offer more grip, a smarter choice for heavier lower doors. For universal access, opt for pulls on drawers.
Other Hardware Styles
Don’t overlook bin pulls – sturdy L-shaped pulls ideal for large drawers like below a sink or stove. Drop pulls mount vertically on drawers for a different look. Decorative hinges make a statement, especially on glass cabinet doors. Hefty backplates on handles and pulls provide both aesthetic and functional appeal.
Mixing and Matching Hardware
The key is to strike the right balance. Too many competing styles looks haphazard rather than collected. Aim for cohesion with just a touch of contrast for visual interest. For example, pair black iron knobs with antiqued brass pulls and bin pulls.
Step 4: Pick Your Finish
The finishing process – think rubbed, brushed, hammered, oxidized – and applied coatings transform the look of hardware.
Oil-rubbed finishes involve hand-rubbing oil into the surface to accentuate a metal’s rich patina. The resulting soft glow beautifully epitomizes farmhouse chic. Distressed finishes mimic the worn, weathered appearance of vintage hardware. Antiquing produces an oxidized look through exposure to acid or other chemicals. Aging plasters, waxes, or varnishes modify sheen and texture to emulate a historical relic from decades past.
Consider the ideal sheen for your kitchen – ultra-matte like forged iron or subtly reflective like antique brass? Do you prefer the variation and mottling of a hand-applied antique finish or more uniform luster from a satin coating? The finish options help shape the overall vibe.
Matching vs. Contrasting Finishes
Matching finishes foster harmony, while contrasting finishes enable tailoring between upper and lower cabinets. Just like mixing hardware styles, strike the right balance so finishes complement rather than compete.
Step 5: Mind the Details
The finer points make all the difference in creating a cohesive, polished look.
Proportion matters. Oversized hardware overwhelms smaller drawers and cabinets. Conversely undersized hardware gets dwarfed on larger surfaces. Follow the general guideline of choosing hardware sized between one-fifth to one-third the width of cabinet doors and drawers. Anthropic also recommends 1-1/4″ to 1-1/2″ diameter knobs and 4″ to 12″ pulls depending on the application.
Assess required tools and hardware like screw packs for ease of installation. Concealed hinges fall on the trickier, more specialized end while typical through-bolt knobs and pulls allow DIY-friendly installation. Weigh the project scope and your skill level.
Hardware costs span a wide spectrum. Plan minimums of $2 – $10 per knob/pull for value styles up to $50+ per piece for high-end designer hardware. Determine where to splurge based on visibility – a statement-making range hood pull versus understated knobs on pantry cabinets.
Beyond big box stores, browse specialty online shops like Etsy, Rocky Mountain Hardware, Rejuvenation Hardware and Restoration Hardware. Compare quality, price and uniqueness. For one-of-a-kind antique hardware, scour salvage yards, antique stores and architectural relic outlets.
By thoughtfully considering these key factors, you’re sure to locate beautiful, functional hardware that completely brings your farmhouse kitchen vision to life. Follow these simple steps to curate a selection that perfectly embodies your personal style.
Don’t underestimate the impact thoughtful details can make. Something as small as a knob or handle becomes a frequent touchpoint imbuing daily life with charm and beauty. Take time to seek out special pieces that make your heart sing. The right hardware elicits an elusive quality – giving new life to well-loved rooms rich with memories and gathering tales still to be told around the table.
When it comes to a farmhouse kitchen in particular, durable, timeless hardware elevates both form and function. The reassuring weight of an antique bin pull in hand underscores craftsmanship that has stood the test of time. Crisp, smooth motion as a polished nickel drawer glide rolls open ready to reveal wooden spoons handed down generations. And the simple tactile joy of fingers curled around a well-shaped lever that gave grandmas, moms and now you the power to open a cupboard.
Today’s vast range of available hardware empowers you to seek out pieces layered with history – as much from the materials themselves as the impressions left by those who crafted and handled them over the decades. Or if a more modern interpretation calls your name, you can customize and make it your own. Farmhouse at its heart celebrates usefulness, simplicity, and objects imbued with memory and meaning. Finding hardware to match that ethos benefits any space but seems especially fitting for the hearth and soul of the home found in its kitchen.