Today, my friends, I wanted to bring you along, in real-time, of us choosing the hardware for the mudroom of my brother’s river house. Listen, the right hardware can take something more builder grade and make it look custom, OR (horror story) something custom and make it look “builder grade” (no offense to builders, I 100% know that their job is to avoid custom at all costs – literally, because it is often too expensive for profit margins). Great hardware isn’t cheap (because it’s usually expensively produced) but it’s FAR cheaper than custom cabinetry – think wearing a dope necklace with a simple dress. For this home, we have custom cabinetry with flat fronts (with vertical grooves) which I haven’t done before but is certainly not brand new. And yet choosing the right hardware was a thing. So here is what we debated and why.
First off, we of course thought about brass and wood, but we ultimately decided that for this space (the mudroom) we wanted it to feel more utilitarian. Besides, the ceiling lights are oil-rubbed bronze from Rejuvenation (which is a really warm black) so going with their ORB finish would obviously tie it all together (I like mixing metals, but we decided this time to keep it simple and streamlined).
Our Favorite: The Jumping-Off Point
These are all mockups by the way, thanks to Gretchen (nothing has been ordered or installed yet). We loved how these 18″ Massey pulls looked on the large broom and coat closets. That little round detail at the top and bottom contrasted so well with the simple lines of the cabinet style and also talked to the ceiling lights. So the Massey was a front runner for the room but can it go everywhere???? (ALSO PAINT COLOR IS AT THE END AND IT’S AMAZING). The upper cabinets will have a push mechanism because there are 5 cabinets (2 sets opening to each other, one that just opens by itself) so unless we centered the hardware they would be spread in a really odd way). Because of that we just decided not to have any hardware up there and keep it clean.
Option #1: Knob On Uppers + 6″ Handles Everywhere
As you can see on the other side of the room we have uppers, large lower cabinets (washer/dryer), and then drawers (small on top, recycling pullouts on bottom). I really like to mix up the type of hardware in a room – and yet we need to stay within the overall art direction of this house (cozy, contemporary PNW river house with some warmer cabin-y elements – it’s modern but with some sweeter elements throughout making it feel warmer and a little more eclectic/interesting). So this combination is FINE on this side of the room, but then when you see the third wall it doesn’t work as well…
Option #1.5: Vertical Handles on The Uppers
While I knew that we wouldn’t do this I asked Gretchen to mock up the same cabinet wall with the Massey handles vertical on the uppers – a move that I’m sure could work, but is generally not one we do. I like a knob, y’all, and I just really like to switch up the hardware so doing the same thing on all lowers and uppers felt like a missed opportunity (and can also look really good, btw, but in this case, everything is so simple that a mix up is necessary)
On the window side, the “handle over handle” look is fine, but it felt redundant and not as thoughtfully designed as it could be.
Option #2: More Knobs + Handle Combo
Normally when you have a small drawer over a larger drawer (or a cabinet) you have an opportunity to do address them slightly differently. And I love a knob over a handle on shaker cabinets but the knob in the middle of the cabinet groove just looked kinda dumb (not sure why, but that was our reaction).
Option #3: Knob + Handle + Edge Pull
OK. Our first gut choice for this room was to use edge pulls – the ones that just sit at the top of the drawer and look very minimal – like a simple line. So we added them into the combination. We still didn’t like the centered knob on the drawers so Gretchen mocked up another version…
Option #4: Knob + Handle + Edge Pull
WELL OK, HERE WE GO NOW. All of us immediately really liked this combination. This means we are mixing three different types of hardware – the upper knobs, the edge pulls on the drawers, and the vertical handles on the cabinets. Placement on the knobs and handles aren’t for sure (remember, these are just photoshopped mockups). Also in case you are wondering why we don’t do a latch on the uppers (I LOVE a latch) the cabinets are full overlay so the doors but up to each other. I think you can still do a latch but I like them more when they are inset and the cabinet buts up to a fixed exposed piece of wood.
This mudroom/craft room/laundry room is going to be so functional and pretty. I’m so excited for my brother (the sink goes in the middle there – on cute legs and we are painting that paneling behind it, which just got installed). Maybe I’ll even convince my SIL to do a curtain on the sink 🙂 All hardware is by Rejuvenation (we aren’t obligated to use RJ in this house but they truly just have the best combinations in so many finishes which really help it all look custom). The green paint color is Rocky River by Sherwin-Williams (it’s soooo good) and the countertop is such a pretty Caesarstone called Airy Concrete (we are adding a return on the right side by the window BTW – it looks weird with that tall skinny piece). The windows are by Marvin.
*Photos by Kaitlin Green