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Hardware Finishes Cheat Sheet


Kitchen with grey and white cabinets silver hardware

Once you’ve assembled your space by choosing a design style, color scheme, materials, flooring, and appliances, it’s time to add the accessories; like any good outfit, every space needs a little bling. In the home remodeling industry, hardware and plumbing fixtures are our accessories. Like jewelry, it can be hard to know if the hardware finish will complement your design and add the most sparkle, so we’ve created a cheat sheet to help you choose a finish to complete your space.

Before choosing a color finish, it’s important to understand the difference between a polished, satin, and matte finish. Polished is a brighter finish that is buffed to be reflective so you can see yourself in it. Satin is the polar opposite; you can't see your reflection, but it has a slight shine. Matte has no shine and is flat and non-reflective. 


Kitchen with white cabinets and bronze hardware

The bronze finish is a deep gold most commonly used in traditional homes; however, it has recently become more popular as it adds contrast and elegance to modern designs. This finish has one of the most comprehensive variations of appearance and names, making it a dynamic choice for your bathroom or kitchen. A Honey bronze finish is perfect for a farmhouse or rustic kitchen. This project is one of our favorite uses of the honey gold finish for kitchen hardware.


kitchen with white cabinets and nickel hardware

Nickel is a soft silver finish that closely resembles stainless steel. It is a timeless and safe choice for faucets and hardware finishes. It is available in almost every hardware style and complements various design styles. Polished nickel is the twin to chrome but has a yellow undertone, which makes it work best in spaces with other warm colors; however, like chrome, satin nickel pairs well with cool colors, as seen in this project.


Bathroom with grey cabinets and chrome hardware

This bright and shining silver finish is most popular for bath and powder rooms. Brushed chrome has an industrial look and is similar in color to aluminum, whereas polished chrome has a traditional feel and is more resistant to rust. Satin chrome hardware is durable and easy to clean, which makes it commonly used. See how the chrome hardware in this bathroom makes the room shine.


Blue kitchen cabinets with brass hardware

Brass is a tried and true warm gold finish. It brings warmth to the space while also adding character. It has a highly reflective surface that can brighten the room when polished. This finish pairs best with black or bronze fixtures. Brass is a timeless and failproof finish that doesn't show fingerprints or water spots. It has many shades, making it go well with any design style, as seen in this project.

Black Matte 

Bathroom with maple wood cabinets and matte black hardware

A black finish has neutral undertones that can add a dramatic contrast to your space. The matte black finish is a more recent trend in kitchen hardware and works well in industrial designs. It pairs with most neutral colors and comes in a variety of hardware styles. Matte black is a classic bathroom finish because it cleans well. Check out how we used matte black hardware in this project’s bathroom.

Updating your home can be as simple as replacing your hardware with a new finish. If you are looking to refinish your space, contact our finishing touches coordinator; she’d love to help you!

Article Categories: Kitchen Remodeling, Remodeling, Interior Design, Kitchen Refresh, Hardware

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