Skip the remodel: Updating your kitchen or bath hardware will provide an instant lift for less.

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While you may not have the time or funds to tackle a major kitchen remodel, small upgrades, such as updating outdated hardware, can offer a big return on investment.

To guide us through the sea of hardware options, we tapped Peter Sallick, CEO and creative director of kitchen and bath outfitter Waterworks, to let us in on his favorite hardware trends and provide tips for upgrading the pulls and knobs in your home.

Q: Where does hardware add the most value to a home?

A: The kitchen and the bath are two of the rooms that can most widely impact the resale value of a home, so we see any investment in these spaces as adding value. These are also spaces that are generally complex to update and hardware is the simplest change that you can make.

Q: What are the best hardware options for kitchen cabinets?

A: The kitchen is a focal point for entertaining and a space that is frequented by house guests, party guests and homeowners themselves — so it has to look great, but it also has to be functional.

I see many of our clients combining hardware styles, with a mixture of knobs and pulls, depending on the size and positioning of the cabinets and drawers. They are getting away from the sameness of a single style on every surface.

Q: What are your favorite hardware styles right now?

Clockwise from left: Aron Fischer  Mercantile Knobs, $10 each at Anthropologie; Buster + Punch T-Bar/Plate, $67–$80 at busterand
punch.us; Rejuvenation Beckett Drawer Pulls, $29–$39 at rejuvenation.com
Clockwise from left: Aron Fischer Mercantile Knobs, $10 each at Anthropologie; Buster + Punch T-Bar/Plate, $67–$80 at busterand punch.us; Rejuvenation Beckett Drawer Pulls, $29–$39 at rejuvenation.com

A: My favorite styles of hardware are those with the less-expected materials. We’ve recently introduced styles with hand-stitched Italian leather and rich American walnut. They add a beautiful warmth, texture and dimension to any room in the home. As soon as these were available I updated the cabinets in my dining room with leather pieces and it impacted the feeling of the entire space. Similar to metal finishes, the leather pieces will patina over time, showing how much they are used and loved.

Q: What would you recommend for someone on a budget?

A: Hardware, and also lighting, probably makes the biggest difference in the look and impact of kitchens. Hardware can dress up even the simplest cabinets. When choosing hardware, it’s important to keep in mind that you are going to touch this item on a daily basis and the feel of a solid piece is very different in your hand. Hardware is a big bang for the dollar element of kitchens.

Q: What are your tips for choosing hardware for furniture?

A: Hardware updates don’t need to be restricted to the kitchen. A vintage furniture piece can feel completely modern when paired with a new hardware style, and it’s easy to update built-in cabinets in living rooms and dining rooms, as I just did for myself. Overall, pick something that will complement the piece and that is the right scale.

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