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Decorating Tips

Using Cabinet Hardware to Transform Your Kitchen

Everyone knows that updating your kitchen can be one of the best ways to improve your home’s value, but also one of the most expensive and time-consuming renovation projects that you can undertake. Fortunately, you don’t have to completely overhaul your kitchen to improve its aesthetic appeal. Sure, it would be nice to install brand new appliances, cabinets, and granite countertops, but if your budget doesn’t stretch that far, don’t despair! For a relatively small investment, you can completely change the look and feel of your kitchen.

Try to look at your kitchen with fresh eyes and consider how much of the visual appeal (or lack thereof) is due to the cupboards. They probably cover most of your kitchen walls and many of them are at eye-level, attracting attention. In fact, the cabinetry is probably the first thing that people notice when walking into your kitchen. Building and installing new cabinets can be quite expensive, but simply sanding and refinishing or repainting your existing cabinets can be a major improvement. For a real transformation, though, consider changing the hardware on your cabinetry.

Those little knobs and pulls may not seem very significant, but when you find cabinet hardware that complements and enhances your design style, it can bring the whole room to life. You have a multitude of choices. Let yourself be guided by the overall style of your kitchen and, to a lesser extent, the rest of your home.

First, consider what kind of material you’d like to have. Knobs and pulls are available in wood, ceramic, stone, glass, and a variety of metals, including brushed nickel, polished brass, antique brass, antique copper, stainless steel, and many, many other finishes. Pick something that looks good next to your existing cabinetry, countertops, and appliances. Obviously, if you have stainless steel appliances, you probably don’t want to choose golden-colored copper handles. Instead, opt for stainless steel knobs and pulls, or perhaps interesting stone or glass hardware pieces.

Next, consider which style of hardware you’re most interested in. The style of your hardware should depend on the overall style of your kitchen. If you’re going for a modern look for the kitchen as a whole, quaint arts and crafts hardware will probably look out of place. Similarly, if you have a carefully restored Victorian home, you’ll probably want to stay away from fancy art deco hardware. No matter how beautiful a piece of hardware may look on its own, you need it to blend seamlessly with the rest of the room's decor.

Finally, make sure that the knobs and pulls you choose are functional. You’ll be opening your kitchen cupboards and drawers a lot, so make sure that the knobs and pulls are easy to pull. Also, if you often bump your hip into drawers, consider getting flush pulls that are fully recessed into the surface.

Knobbery offers a full line of cabinet hardware that can transform any kitchen into an eye-catching work of art, even if cabinet hardware is the only thing you’re going to change. Browse our online listings or visit our Minneapolis showroom at our Knobbery offices to start imagining the possibilities.

Arts & Crafts Hardware

You’ve finally bought that coveted arts-and-crafts bungalow you’ve been longing for. Congratulations! But now it’s time to embark on the renovation project that will bring your new home up to meet the standards of the 21st century. You want your home to be welcoming and practical, ready for the demands of modern life, yet you don’t want to lose the beautiful arts-and-crafts style that attracted you to the home in the first place. What’s the solution? Your renovation projects should be rooted in the period down to even the smallest details. This, of course, includes the cabinet and door hardware.

People who are drawn to the arts-and-crafts style appreciate the fine craftsmanship that goes into handmade pieces. In fact, the arts-and-crafts style grew out of general opposition to industrialization and the growing popularity of mass-produced objects in the early 20th century. The benefits of mass production were obvious, because the processes made a wide range of goods available to people who couldn’t afford hand-crafted specialty items. However, many people grew frustrated and bored with factory-produced pieces. They longed for the streamlined, subtle designs of the past. That is precisely what the arts-and-crafts style offers. True arts-and-crafts architecture and hardware design are based on the use of local, natural materials. Arts-and-crafts homes and hardware pieces generally don’t draw attention to themselves, yet their classic and timeless beauty can enhance any room’s décor.

Arts-and-crafts hardware is often called mission-style hardware, although the pieces are equally appropriate for rustic décor or southwestern designs. Whatever you call them, the pieces remind one of nature, either because of the types of materials used or because of the timeless designs that are inspired by elements of natural beauty. Arts-and-crafts hardware looks perfect in a variety of home décor schemes. Obviously, if your home is an arts-and-crafts bungalow or if it has a similar style, then you’ll want to use arts-and-crafts hardware throughout. You’ll find that choosing the appropriate exterior and interior doorknobs can make a huge difference in your ability to subtly emphasize your home’s design characteristics.

Arts-and-crafts hardware is also ideal for refurbishing and restoring old pieces of furniture. You might pick up a gorgeous piece of old furniture at a flea market or garage sale, but perhaps it lacks a certain oomph even after you have sanded it down and refinished it. The right pieces of arts-and-crafts hardware placed appropriately and in good taste can complete the look perfectly, complementing the craftsmanship that went into building the piece of furniture. The right arts-and-crafts hardware never detracts from the beauty of the furniture, door, cabinet, or drawer that it is placed on.

Knobbery offers a full line of cabinet and door hardware in the arts-and-crafts style that can transform any home, room, or piece of furniture into a remarkable example of the high-quality craftsmanship that characterizes the style. Browse our online listings of cabinet hardware or visit our Minneapolis showroom to start imagining the possibilities for incorporating these pieces into your own home.

Zen and the Art of Modern Hardware

As housing prices rise, more and more young people and retirees are turning to condominiums as they look to buy their first home. Most condos were built relatively recently and have a distinctly modern design and feel, both inside and out. Most new condo owners want to maintain that look and feel as they decorate their own units, but they also want to make sure that they have the freedom to express their own individuality, being certain that their condos aren’t exactly the same as everyone else’s in the complex. Installing cabinet hardware, door hardware, faucets, and bathroom accessories created in the modern style is one perfect way to do just that.

Fortunately, the wide variety of modern cabinet and door hardware pieces that are available for purchase in the marketplace today can easily provide room for your individual creative expression while still invoking a minimalist, modern, Zen-like feeling. Most of the high-quality hardware pieces in the modern style are sleek, shiny, smooth, and polished, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t attractive and compelling in their own right. Forget the ornate, intricate, and flowery designs of the past. Modern hardware is based on clean lines and cool designs that strip away superfluous elements. Whether they have a subtle matte finish or a shiny finish that catches the natural light in a room, these designs are beautiful in an understated way, yet mesmerizing when one steps in for a closer look.

Modern hardware designs complement and enhance most Asian-inspired designs, too. If you favor Asian screens as room dividers and bamboo plants for decoration, you’ll probably find the hardware you’re looking for if you focus on pieces built in the modern style. Modern hardware has an air of fine sophistication and truly makes it feel as if hardware design has evolved into something new and exciting for the 21st century. Moreover, if you have older furniture, installing modern hardware can often provide the makeover you need to make them feel appropriate for today’s lifestyle.

Many of the pieces have a distinctly European or international feel, too (just imagine running through the display rooms of a huge Ikea store). If you are an avid international traveler and you enjoy displaying your keepsakes and souvenirs in your living areas, then you might be pleasantly surprised to find that modern hardware complements your exotic treasures just beautifully, no matter how old or historic the pieces are.

Some of the hardware pieces created in the modern style may feel trendy and fad-like, especially if you aren’t accustomed to this design style. However, most modern hardware pieces will stand the test of time, retaining their beauty and popularity for generations to come.

Knobbery offers a full line of cabinet and door hardware in the modern style that can help you put the finishing touches on your modern, youthful, hip, and strikingly urban decorating style. Please take a moment to browse our online listings or visit our Minneapolis showroom to start imagining the possibilities for incorporating these pieces into your own home.