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Real-Time River House Decision: What Hardware For The Mudroom Cabinets…

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

Ceiling Light | 18″ Massey Pulls

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

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17 days ago

Curious about the cabinet doors in front of the washer/dryer. Do they stay open or can they be pushed back into the cabinet? It seems like they would be in the way if they needed to stay open while using. Would love to see how it looks while open.

16 days ago
Reply to  Jen

I was wondering the same thing about the cabinet doors in front of the washer/dryer! I can’t wait for the reveal post, where I assume some of these questions will be addressed.

17 days ago

That paint color is awesome. So interested to see how this looks at the end. The wall with the bench and storage closets is a dream.

17 days ago

Love that paint color! Question about the washer and dryer – if they’re going in cabinets won’t the washer get moldy from being closed all the time? We live in a damp climate and ours gets nasty if we don’t leave it open between washes. Or is there a trick to avoid this problem?

17 days ago
Reply to  Amy

Our LG front-loader has a buil-in magnetic latch that keeps the door open automatically, the door sticks out about one inch when used. No problems here with mold.

16 days ago

For me it would be: 1) Barrington edge pulls everywhere. Or 2) Vertical pulls everywhere and knobs on the drawers. I think the vertical panel doors are such a strong feature that one has to go with it. I wonder what the inspiration was behind that choice and what pulls/knobs were used that inspired your brother to go with that option.

16 days ago

I have a few other ideas after a quick Inspo search. One idea is to do wooden vertical bars/handles painted in the same color as door. Another is to do bigger metal knobs in rectangular shape attached vertically (longer side vertical) I know that head spins after asking others. I just wouldn’t fight the strong “pattern”. Sometimes it’s easier to look to what other designers did and choose the inspiration that works best for us.

16 days ago

We just had to order our hardware, I wish this piece had come out about a month sooner! I really liked the option of doing knobs on the top drawer and pulls on the lower drawers, but my husband did not (he is a drawer pull person all the way). I love how you mocked it up to see the visualization. I may need to do this before everything gets fully installed.

16 days ago

I love the color of the cabinets. I know that you’re usually partnered with Rejuvenation, but I wish you would include other brands on some of your designs. I agree that changing out hardware is a small job, big impact – but at a whooping $189 per handle it’s not something that I would ever be able to consider.

12 days ago
Reply to  Diane

The $189 pulls are for 18” appliance pulls, so those are usually for refrigerators. The pulls that she is using for the cabinets are the same style, but only $33 for a 6” pull. Still pricey, but no where near $189.

16 days ago

Less is more! That’s why the first photo with the push mechanism on the uppers looks better than any of the other ideas. I strongly suggest to also go for a push mechanism on the other upper cabinets and a very simple straight pull for the lower ones. Like in the last photo?

16 days ago

Love this combo!! I think you nailed it, this one looks the most “right” to me 🙂

16 days ago

One vote for Scheme #1. Love how the Massey pulls both reflect the linear quality of the cabinet drawers, but also have a touch of roundness so the linearity isn’t so harsh. It also brings a tiny of bit of tradition, so this contemporary house doesn’t feel all new. And the knobs at the top are a sweet, playful touch that is a little unexpected but brings variety (and for some reason just make me smile). 🙂

16 days ago

We did a mix of knobs and pulls in our kitchen, and I’ve been REALLY happy with our choice. I’m not a fan of edge pulls. They look unfinished to me somehow, and I don’t like the feel of opening cabinets/drawers this way.

16 days ago

It is reading a bit suburban ’80s . . . as in what my parent’s house had before they eventually updated. I am sure in regards to the scheme of the rest of the house, it will be cohesive and likely make perfect sense, but just a thought in case it appeared that way too others . . .The house is going to be amazing and so family-friendly.

16 days ago

This was fun!! I have the Massey pulls for our Murphy bed and they are legit!
option 3, then 2, then 4 are my vote!
can’t wait to see the rest of the house.

16 days ago

Rocky River is what we painted the exterior of our little 1938 tudor. It really is an amazing color!

16 days ago

Why even have cabinet doors for a the washer dryer? It’s a mud room.

16 days ago

I liked version 1.5, the one with all the Massey handles. I found something Immensely satisfying about the repetitive pattern of the handles. I’m not such a fan of the Morse code look (dash dot dash dash) with the mix of knobs and handles, even though I’ve got them in my house (I also like knobs!). But I put the knobs on different coloured cabinets (white uppers with knobs versus wood lower cabinets with handles) so I feel it isn’t as noticeable.
But the truth is, once done you forget what the options were and it will look great

16 days ago

Also Emily, you referred to contemporary PNW style but I have no idea what that is. I always think of The Goonies or Sleepless in Seattle, both very rainy movies, and old now.
Would love a blog article explaining this style with examples if you are ever looking for content ideas.

Cici Haus
15 days ago

I’ve used the Massey pulls as appliance pulls in both of my last two kitchens I love it so much! That said, I really dislike pulls on any other application. In both kitchen I did small round knobs for everything else including double knobs for long drawers.

Remodeling Contractors In Richmond
15 days ago

Hi Emily,
First I absolutely love your color choices. We always use Sherman Williams with our clients and can’t say enough good things about the quality. I need to take a closer look at Rejuvenation. I love all the different combinations you used to make the doors/cabinet handles fun and unique. We have used the same verticle-on-verticle contrast with the cabinet doors and handles. It really makes it pop and our clients love it. I think the idea of a curtain above the sink is a great way to tie it all together. Have you found any fun colors/prints she likes?

14 days ago

I kept thinking how beautiful that cabinet color is while reading this and turns out I’m currently sitting in my guest room turned nursery which is painted the same color! It is, in fact, beautiful!