A Guide to Brass Hardware

Brass hardware is such a versatile and elegant hardware choice that stands the test of time. In this guide to brass hardware, I’ll walk you through how to choose the perfect brass hardware for your very own space!

Brass hardware is such a versatile and elegant hardware choice, that stands the test of time. In this guide, I'll walk you through how to choose the perfect brass hardware for yourself!

My love for brass runs pretty deep. With its warm, golden tones and durable qualities that remind me of French style, brass hardware is a popular choice for good reason; it’s no surprise it’s trending! I first put it in our home renovation in 2018, and still get asked questions. Proof that it’s as timeless as they come: something important to me when spending time/money for a big kitchen reno!.

Now, it’s time to get inspired and dive into the world of brass hardware: the different types, finishes, maintenance tips and design ideas…

Brass hardware is such a versatile and elegant hardware choice, that stands the test of time. In this guide, I'll walk you through how to choose the perfect brass hardware for yourself!

No better place to start than getting inspired with some gorgeous kitchens (check out my Pinterest board)! Brass hardware brings warmth to both light and dark cabinets, and the classic French-inspired style really resonates with me. It’s like the Audrey Hepburn of hardware. Images all from Pinterest.

Handles, knobs, pulls, latches… oh the choices.

You’ll need to decide if you’d like to use all knobs, all pulls, or a combo of both. While there are no rules you “need” to follow, it’s generally easier to open a cabinet with a knob, and a drawer with a pull. However, there are obviously exceptions. When considering the type of hardware, try to visualize what would be the most functional for your lifestyle! I highly recommend mixing them up. I chose knobs for most of my cupboards, pulls for my drawers and handles for my appliances (with a couple of latches thrown into the mix that I love so very much even though they are a bit of a pain). They are all from Emtek.

Polished, unlacquered, antique, satin or brushed?

Polished Brass: If you grew up in the 80’s this is the what may come to mind when you think of brass. It is treated and polished so that it never loses that brighter, yellow-hued, shiny look.

Unlacquered Brass: A shiny, mirror-like polished finish turns into a finish with a weathered and worn look with time and use. In the Fraîche Office, I went with Emtek hardware (these 4″ cup pulls, these knobs and these cabinet latches) in a unlacquered brass, meaning it isn’t protected with a coating or finish, knowing it will patina over time. This is also referred to as a living finish. In fact, the more it is touched, the quicker it will patina (darken and tarnish). You can polish it back to its original look.

Antique Brass: This treated brass has a vintage, weathered and aged appearance, right out of the package: instant dose of charm! In my home, you’ll find French Antique Brass Cup Pulls (4″) with these round Norwich knobs in French Antique Brass. They really warm up the space and are also from Emtek. Note that what you see is what you get: these won’t transform over time. I still love these and would choose them again in a heartbeat.

Satin & Brushed Brass: This type of brass has a matte finish and more muted colour. It is treated with a finish, therefore won’t change over time. It has a more modern look to it, in my humble opinion. Brushed brass can be, well, brushed, with visible texture.

  1. Get Samples: Get samples whenever possible! Place them on the cabinets to see how they look in the actual space and how they feel when used. This can help you make the most informed decision before committing to a purchase.
  2. Look for Quality: Look for products made from durable materials and consider the weight and feel. Well-made hardware will not only look better but also last longer (yes please!).
  3. Consider Maintenance: Think about the practicality of cleaning and maintaining the hardware. Highly intricate designs might be beautiful, but can be challenging to clean. Depending on the space, be sure to consider the comfort and functionality of the hardware for your lifestyle.
Brass hardware is such a versatile and elegant hardware choice, that stands the test of time. In this guide, I'll walk you through how to choose the perfect brass hardware for yourself!

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