Kitchen & Bath: Should the Hardware Match?

Matching finishes or mixing finishes–this is a question that drives a lot of traffic to our blog. Ultimately, mixing or matching is a matter of personal taste. We do know, however, that when executed purposefully, mixing finishes on hardware, lighting, faucets and appliances can add interest to a simple design, create a focal point, or define work spaces. 

For homes with a strong unified design style, matching is the way to go. Be it the pared down look of a modern dwelling or the decorative flourishes of Victorian steampunk, there is a strong argument for matching. But is it ever too much? Do you feel there are certain rooms that should and shouldn’t match?

The bathroom and kitchen share similarities. Cabinets, faucets, tile, counter tops. In shops and online, kitchens and bathrooms go hand in hand. But what about in your own house? Did you repeat the same cabinets and tile in your bathroom that you used in your kitchen?

Now, some people find a product and love it so much they want to use it in as many places as they can. They buy their faucets all from one line, use the same hardware in the same finish and even request that the powder room vanity top be cut from the same slab adorning the kitchen island. And then there are people who want to keep the two rooms as separate as can be, drawing as little association between the kitchen and bathroom as possible. Because they don’t want to be reminded of what they do in the bathroom while in the kitchen. To them, there is an ick factor.

But is there a middle ground?

Both the kitchen and bath in the above pictures feature a traditional look, using a 5-piece raised panel cherry door topped with giallo ornamental granite. Sinks, faucets and counter edges differ. Are these looks too similar for your taste or not similar enough?

There are homeowners who find great solace in using a single finish throughout their house. If everything is, say, satin nickel, then it is a real no-brainer when shopping for door knobs, bookends, salad tongs, faucets, lamps, etc. Satin nickel it is. This approach streamlines the decision process but still allows for variety. The kitchen cabinets may display satin nickel bin pulls while the bathroom cabinets only use satin nickel knobs. There is unity in design, but the actual hardware shape does not repeat. As a result, no direct association is made between the bathroom and the kitchen but the elements still flow.

Another option is to use the same exact hardware but in a different finish. For example, polished nickel pulls mounted on white painted cabinets in the kitchen will take on a completely different look when the same style pull appears in an antique finish on a quarter sawn oak bathroom vanity. 

Ultimately, it is a matter of personal preference. So, what do you prefer? Do you match your finishes throughout your house or do you like to mix it up? Are your bathrooms and kitchen coordinated or did you purposefully design them to look unrelated? Leave a comment letting us know.

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5 thoughts on “Kitchen & Bath: Should the Hardware Match?

  1. deva says:

    we have comments on facebook but none made it over here. i will say, people are definitely divided on this topic. personally, i love mixing finishes, but don’t want my loo to match my kitchen.

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  2. RHome410 says:

    I don’t think of my kitchen while in the bathroom or vice-versa. All of our bathrooms have cabinetry that matches the fir cabinets in the kitchen. They all have different hardware, not because I don’t want to be reminded of the other spaces, but because I think a bathroom is a little separate space where you can have some fun. I like to give each their own personality without being so different that it doesn’t flow with the character of the rest of the house.

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  3. deva says:

    we have lots of leftover tile from our kitchen and i just don’t know if i could handle putting it in the bath, even though it would look different in that application.

    RHome, if I had fir cabinets like yours, I would put them everywhere too!

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  4. laxsupermom says:

    I think for continuity sake, I like the finishes to at least echo each other, though not actually match. Like maybe the same wood, like Rhome, or the same finish, but not the same actual faucet, etc. I think homes where every room is decorated without taking the other rooms into consideration, start looking a bit fun house like. You know what I’m talking about – the ORB tuscan kitchen next to the chromed out Hollywood Regency bath. Interesting discussion, though.

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  5. Orion Henderson says:

    I’d like to echo the nice wood on RHome’s cabinets. Love that your husband made them himself too. The 4 distinct areas with distinct finishes looks great. The folks who live next door to me have a a large family (9 kids) and their kitchen is a high traffic production oriented sort of place. I would assume yours is as well.

    I have been coming around steadily to a more mix and match approach to metals, woods, etc. It takes more guts to do it and it works.

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