Choosing Bathroom Hardware

Hardware is like jewelry in a bathroom. Knobs, hooks and towel bars can add sparkle and function to your design.
Antique bath hook and towel bar.

Antique Bathroom Hardware

Photo courtesy of Moen

Photo courtesy of Moen
By: Peter Walsh

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It's easy to replace worn or outdated cabinet knobs and pulls, towel bars and tissue holders. The key to finding the right size is to remove what you want to replace, take it with you to the home center and find the ones that fit.

The choices for hardware are seemingly endless. Some designers say the safe bet is to match your hardware finishes to your permanent fittings such as your faucets and showerheads. For example, chrome goes with chrome. But other designers suggest having fun with your choices. After all, this is where you can introduce pops of color or sparkle.

Mix vs. Match Your Bathroom Hardware

"If you have a dark vanity then you might want to go with lighter-colored brushed nickel," says Jessica Allison of Essence Design Studios. "Then go with a bronze chandelier and bronze sconces."

"You can mix metals," says Jennifer Markanich, owner and designer of Timeless Interiors. "But it's easier to mix metals in the kitchen than in the bathroom."

To save money, consider spray-painting your existing drawer knobs and pulls as long as they fit your style and are functional. "If the lines are good but the color is wrong, just change the color," Markanich says. She also suggests painting light fixtures such as sconces to update the look.

Rozalia Kiss, designer and sales manager at TransForm, suggests keeping your drawer knobs, robe hooks and pulls all in the same finish so they match but to play on a theme you have selected. "You can turn a contemporary vanity into a traditional-looking vanity by adding traditional knobs," she says. Old brass faucets and showerheads can be made to look new and fresh again, at least until you are ready to change them out for new ones.

“Mix the brass with glass or crystal knobs, antique brass or oil-rubbed bronze,” Kiss says. Go to thrift stores or antique stores to look for knobs, handles and towel bars that will make a statement or act as conversation pieces.”

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