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How to Create a Cohesive Door and Cabinet Hardware Plan

emtek unlacquered brass lever hardware on french doors

Creating a cohesive plans for our cabinet and door hardware is always a factor when I am redoing a room in our home. I want everything to flow from space to space so that every detail compliments those in the previous room.

The Kitchen Knobs and Pulls

The first space we renovated was the kitchen, which set the tone for our hardware choices in our home. The metal finishes for the lighting, fixtures, and cabinets is a combination of aged brass and polished nickel. For the cabinet hardware I wanted something classic, and chose these simple pulls and knobs. 

There are a lot of rules and guidance on correct hardware placement. I use this pinterest board to refer to when I am studying up on how I want to place hardware for a specific project. For the kitchen, we primarily have drawers and they are all 24″, 30″ or 36″ wide.  Because the drawers were so long I knew I wanted pulls over knobs to break up some of the cabinet face. I also prefer handles in a hardworking area like a kitchen as knobs always seem to get caught on my clothes. Handles have also proved to be really good “bumpers” for the kids toys and stools they push around the kitchen. I like the concept of the handles taking up around 1/4 of the face of the cabinet. So for example a 24″ face has 6″ handles, a 30″ has an 8″ handle, and a 36″ has two 4″ handles centered in the outer thirds. 

placement for cabinet hardware on Ikea Cabinets
polished nickel hardware on Ikea cabinets kitchen
kitchen cabinet hardware on Ikea cabinets
hardware on kitchen island made from Ikea Cabinets
polished nickel hardware on ikea cabinets kitchen bench

The Mudroom Hardware

Next we renovated the mudroom and I knew I wanted this space to have a little less of a polished feel (polished nickel) and more of a working, but still traditional finish which is why I went with unlacquered brass in here. I love the patina it is getting over time, and it feels very fitting for a mudroom space. I chose simple knobs for all of the lower doors while the tall pantry cabinets have coordinating 6″ pulls. For the upper cabinets above the “locker” and hook area, I used cabinet latches.

brass rejuvenation hardware on ikea cabinets in mudroom

The Piano Room Knobs

We then tackled the Piano Room, well this room is still coming together, but the cabinet portion is finished. I found the aged brass library sconces on clearance at Ikea, of all places. They set the tone for the finishes I would use in the room and tied in nicely with the detailing on our family heirloom piano. I picked these simple ball knobs for the doors and drawers, because I wanted to keep the view simple. I didn’t want the cabinet hardware to compete for attention against the piano, the shelf styling, and the blue cabinets. They only come in an aged brass finish, so that is why I chose that over unlacquered brass. In my personal opinion the two work well together, because eventually a patinaed unlacquered brass with age similar to the aged brass finish. 

blue cabinets with brass hardware

Interior Door Handles and Knobs

Up next was replacing all of the door hardware on the internal and external doors. I wrote an entire post dedicated to this hardware update here. This changed the entire look of our home and truly brought in a layer of warmth and detailing that makes me happy every time I open a door. We also updated the basement hardware doing the One Room Challenge Makeover of our basement office. I will continue changing out the hardware through the second floor as we move on to updating those spaces. 

emtek unlacquered brass door hardware
emtek unlacquered brass door hardware

The Office Hardware

On topic of the basement office, that is the last space I updated with cabinets and hardware. I love the more masculine feel of these knobs and handles. I again went with aged brass to contrast with the dark blue of the cabinets. The drawers are 30″ long, and  I stuck to my 1/4 to 1/3 rule  for the handles on lower drawers and centered the 8″ pulls. For the small 5″ height drawers I wanted the look of two knobs to not busy up the entire front of the drawers. 

hardware for ikea cabinets

When I plan hardware I always draw it out on my design plans. Otherwise, I take a photo of the cabinets, print it out, and mark up different configurations. This is the best way to step back and see the whole picture of how the placement on each door or drawer interacts with each other. I also keep a “mood board” file where I continually add all of my cabinet and door hardware finished to. Whenever I redo a room I reference it to help make my decisions easier. Whatever I select is then added to the collection. This helps keep continuity through out my home!


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