In the Details: Hardware & Lighting Finishes

We are in the process of updating our kitchen — changing up the lighting, re-facing cabinets and adding new hardware.  There are so many new options and fantastic styles and trends in the marketplace, that the decision-making can be overwhelming (or in my case, I just want it ALL).  Once you narrow down a fixture (or fixtures), another decision must be made, the finish:  chrome, polished nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, brushed nickel, brass and stainless steel.  Each finish, coupled with the styling, evokes a different aesthetic.  My approach is the same as with furniture, I tend to not have everything match.  That said, there has to be a cohesive theme to strike a balance.

Here’s an example of the same kitchen cabinets dressed 3-ways.

1)  Clean & Modern.  Polished nickel and chrome finishes feel crisp and clean, with white cabinetry, a mix of reclaimed wood countertops and honed black granite, with grey textured wallpaper.

2)  Farmhouse rustic.  Warm oil-rubbed bronze tones contrast against the stark white cabinets.  With weathered-zinc countertops, hand-blown glass pendants and industrial barn lighting, you can picture vintage chalkboards and sliding barn doors in the areas surrounding the workspace.

 3)  Traditional and Classic.  Calcutta marble, crystal knobs, brass hardware and antique bell jars are all finishes and styles that are forever timeless.  Throw up some Phillip Jeffries grasscloth and refrain from serving marinara sauce to toddlers.

I tend to mix up the styles and the finishes to make the eye wander.  I like the layering, and a contrast but not a hodge-podge.  It all has to balance.  Enter the husband’s opinion, and then the scramble starts.  I like modern, minimalist, textural and rustic.  He likes traditional and nautical with some reclaimed rustic.  I pick polished nickel, he picks oil-rubbed bronze.  And so the melding of elements that we both love gets thrown into the pot, with compromising.  It should be interesting.

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