Cabinet Hardware by House Style

Serious or whimsical, cabinet hardware sets a period mood. It’s jewelry for the kitchen.

All kitchens benefit from adding appropriate hardware; in fact, sometimes painting cabinet fronts and switching out the hardware is all the renovation that’s needed!

A re-created Depression-era kitchen with the perfect accessories and a color scheme in yellow and green.

Jeremy Samuelson

So many period-influenced styles of hardware are available today, in all price ranges. Old-fashioned bin pulls, familiar in Victorian- and Arts & Crafts-era kitchens, come in iron, brass, nickel, and bronze, and in designs from basic to ornate. Bronze, iron, and copper reproductions may be right out of The Craftsman magazine, or mimic rustic twigs or Japanesque bamboo. Early American or colonial styles are still in vogue, with much of this work coming from the blacksmith’s forge. Neoclassical motifs fit a wide range of homes. Stylish and colorful are hardware styles from the early and mid-20th century, which include Art Nouveau cloisonné (true house jewelry!), Depression glass knobs, Fiesta-colored ceramics, and Streamline drawer pulls.

You may choose to match hardware to lighting fixtures, or mix it up. Antiqued brass or bronze lighting looks good with nickel faucets and cabinet hardware in a bungalow, for example.

Early American Hardware

Gridley + Graves

Iron rat-tail hinges and latches are used with painted wood knobs in a period-inspired kitchen by Kevin Ritter of Timeless Kitchen Cabinetry.

Blacksmith-forged hardware is suitable for early kitchens and in cabins or timber-frame homes.



Bob Shimer

Iron bin pulls with cast ornament are antique in a Victorian pantry re-created in an 1887 Queen Anne.

Victorian-style cast solid brass door hinges in brass and bronze finishes, from Van Dyke’s.

Arts & Crafts Hardware

(Photo: Douglas Keister)

Metalwork was a key craft of the Arts & Crafts movement. In hardware of the period, look for simple, pre-industrial (or even medieval) designs. Revival hardware often has nature motifs or British derivation.

Celtic knot-inspired cabinet knobs from Notting Hill Decorative Hardware are suitable for homes both old and new.

Rocky Mountain Hardware’s twig pulls and pyramid knobs seem to go well together—just as Rustic and Arts & Crafts styles are often compatible.

20th Century Hardware

A set of emerald glass knobs would add color and style to a prewar kitchen; this one’s from House of Antique Hardware.

House of Antique Hardware’s glass knobs and drawer pulls come in lots of jewel colors, as well as milky white.

Rocky Mountain Hardware makes this finch knob (as well as a cardinal, woodpecker, and grosbeak) in cast bronze in a variety of finishes.

Tags: Hardware kitchens OHJ February 2015 Old-House Journal Patricia Poore

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