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November 12, 2021 9 min read

Cabinet knobs in a variety of different brown and earth tones on a cutting board. The picture has a number of different brown, brass and copper swatches

 

Sometimes the smallest decisions can be the most difficult.

When it comes to home renovations and new home builds, you would think that choosing your cabinet hardware color would be one of the easier, quicker decisions - but that isn't always the case. 

One of the first decisions you have to make with cabinet hardware is about the finish. Easy enough, right? Well, not necessarily.  We get questions every day from customers wanting to know what cabinet hardware color is right for their project. More specifically, they want to know such things as what color matches stainless steel appliances, what is the most popular cabinet hardware color right now, or what is the best cabinet hardware color for this or that type of kitchen design.

We understand that there are many different finishes on the market, so it is not surprising that the seemingly simple task of choosing the right finish of cabinet hardware can turn out to be not-so-simple after all.

Well, let's see if we can help out. This is Part I of our four part series on cabinet hardware finishes. In each of the four articles we will examine our most popular cabinet hardware finishes.

We have broken down some of these popular finishes into four different groups based on color characteristics:

 

    • The earth tones
    • The silver tones
    • The gold tones
    • The dark tones

 

    We will take a look at what each finish coordinates with, the esthetic of the cabinet hardware in that finish, and a bit about the finish itself.

    So, let's get started with the cabinet hardware in the EARTH TONES  and maybe we can see if any of these earthy cabinet hardware colors are right for you.

    OUR FOUR MOST POPULAR CABINET HARDWARE FINISHES IN THE EARTH TONES

    Bronzes + Browns + Coppers

     

    First, what are earth tones?

    When it comes to interior design, earth tones are typically hues that are rooted in nature and tend to be more calming and soothing. In cabinet hardware, the earth tones are those same muted finishes and they generally have hues inspired by nature like moss, bark, or amber.

    So let's dig in here - get it? ...earth, dirt, dig...

    ANTIQUE COPPER

    Copper color swatch for Diversa cabinet hardware
    Antique copper bar pull with white background

    Hands down, one of our favorite earth tone finishes is the antique copper!  After a brief absence from the design theater, we are seeing lots of copper pop-up in home design, especially in kitchens, and we love it!


    A little about the antique copper finish...

    In cabinet hardware, antique copper is a refined finish that boasts a warm, brown-reddish undertone with a smattering of black patina. The antique copper finish is part of the earth tone family of colors because of its organic, rustic feel. Keep in mind that the antique copper finish is forged to purposely simulate aged metal, which simply adds to its beauty and genuineness.

    What antique copper goes with...

    • In a word? Wood. We love antique copper on all different shades and grains of wood kitchen cabinets. Dark or light - it doesn't matter. Ash, walnut, birch, alder, elmwood, whatever your taste - kitchen cabinets all look great with antique copper hardware. Don't be afraid to pair antique copper knobs and pulls with those warm red-toned woods, like cherry, red pine, and mahogany, for a stunning monochromatic look.
    • White kitchen cabinets or bathroom vanities really compliment the red hues of antique copper cabinet hardware and the darker streaks of patina.
    • Cool tones - especially soft muted shades of blues and gentle greens - look stunning with antique copper knobs or pulls. 

    • And we just love the dramatic look of the antique copper knobs or pulls with deep rich shades of blues such as navy or magenta.

    Antique copper in the kitchen...

      • Fixtures: Think mixing metals! Antique copper cabinet hardware mixes perfectly with metal faucets and light fixtures like graphite, iron, stainless steel, weathered nickel, cast iron, and more. The contrast of the different metals strikes a balance and warms up a kitchen. We also love these pulls with the ever popular copper sinks.

    Kitchen with copper sink and antique copper cabinet pulls. Navy cabinets and a white countertop
    A copper sink and bronze fixtures blend perfectly with the antique copper pulls.
    • Appliances: The chic "old-fashioned" inspired appliances seem to be all the rage right now, especially in the whites or taupe shades. Many of these "old-new" appliances have copper-colored trim, so of course, this is a great pairing with antique copper hardware. But, don't worry, stainless steel, slate, white - and all the standard colors go well with the antique copper hardware too.

    Antique copper and its style...

    • Antique copper is a staple in farmhouse kitchens make a perfect throwback to old world country kitchens.
    • Antique copper cabinet hardware is also showing up in the modern traditional, country-chic, and rustic design schemes.
    • Don't count them out in modern settings. The Diversa Euro antique copper bar pulls, are contemporary cabinet pulls that go great in less fussy design styles like mid-century modern, industrial, new age traditional, contemporary and transitional. 
    Modern kitchen with navy cabinets, white island and copper accents. The kitchen has copper cabinet pulls, copper pendant lights and copper shelving. There is stainless steel range and warm honey hardwood floors.
    This gorgeous kitchen features navy cabinets, antique copper pulls, copper pendant lights and stainless steel faucet and range - a perfect example of mixing metals.

     

    OIL RUBBED BRONZE

    Cosmas 161-4ORB Oil Rubbed Bronze Euro Style Bar Pull 

    Oil rubbed bronze cabinet hardware has been around for a long time. For the past couple of decades it was the "go-to" finish for cabinet hardware, especially in kitchens. Although not as popular as it once was, it is still classic finish and will likely forever have a place in kitchens and bathroom design. 

    A little about the oil rubbed bronze finish....

    The oil rubbed bronze finish is hard to pin down. The finish itself can vary from dark gray tones to a deep chocolate brown, depending on the manufacturer, the material and the product.

    Our oil-rubbed bronze cabinet hardware is generally closer to the deep chocolate brown tones. The knobs and pulls have a rich toasted brownish-black base which is complemented by golden-reddish-scarlet undertones. The chocolatey umber finish is set against a ruby chestnut patina that peeks through on the edges of the knobs and pulls. 

    It may sound like there is a lot going on with this finish and there is, but just like in nature, all these colors just blend together and we find that the oil rubbed bronze cabinet hardware is actually one of the softer, less complicated finishes that we offer.

     What oil rubbed bronze goes with...

    • Oil rubbed bronze knobs and pulls pair nicely with cooler tones such as blues, greens, and purples, especially on furniture rehabs such as nightstands and dressers.
    • The whisper of red hues in the oil-rubbed bronze cabinet hardware makes a great contrasting look to warmer tones like rose, salmons, and burgundy.
    • When it comes to style and color - oil rubbed bronze cabinet hardware seems like they are meant to go with so many different cabinet styles like shakers, bead board, and paneled. We especially like them on crisp white cabinets or greige - a popular color that blends gray and beige.
    • And if you want a super stunning look - then we just love oil-rubbed bronze cabinet handles with vibrant autumn colors.  Bright yellows, brilliant reds, or lustrous oranges all look fantastic with the warm tones of the bronze cabinet hardware.

      Oil Rubbed Bronze in the kitchen...

      • Fixtures: For your kitchen lights and faucets - the oil rubbed bronze is pretty versatile. Copper, black, and graphite, and bronze are great compliments to oil-rubbed bronze cabinet hardware and can really round out a look.
      • Appliances: Yes! You can use oil-rubbed bronze hardware and stainless steel appliances - it looks great! The greys and brown tones really complete each other. The oil rubbed bronze also coordinates with lighter appliances like whites and tans and darker appliances in black, slate or graphite.
      Large kitchen with oil rubbed bronze fixtures and cabinet cup pulls on white and blue cabinets. The kitchen has stainless steel appliances
      Stylish and welcoming, cohesive and beautiful, this modern kitchen features oil rubbed bronze cabinet pulls and faucet, with stainless steel appliances.

        Oil Rubbed Bronze and its style

        • Reasonably versatile, we find that the oil-rubbed bronze cabinet hardware is attractive in both casual and formal design theaters.
        • A staple in craftsman, modern farmhouse, and traditional-style homes it is also found in eclectic and cottage-inspired homes.
         
        bathroom with blue vanity and white counter tops. There is a white tub and all the cabinet hardware and fixtures are oil rubbed bronze.
        Cornflower blue bathroom vanity with oil rubbed bronze cup pulls and fixtures creates a warm and inviting design.
         

        ANTIQUE BRASS

        antique brass color swatchUp close picture of Diversa bar pull in the antique brass finish.

        Making a splash on today's home decor scene is antique brass and it seems to be popping up all over the place, from wall color, fabrics, faucets, fixtures and, of course, in cabinet hardware. 

        A little bit about the antique brass finish...

        True brass in its natural form is light yellow with brighter gold inflections and you probably know that as true brass ages its finish drastically changes.  Our antique brass cabinet hardware is manufactured to replicate that aging process and the result is a much different finish from its cousin brass. Antique brass cabinet hardware still has a golden base, but it has a lower luster gold, not as much yellow and deep brown viridescent hues. It has some moss brown intonations that are closer to the earth tones than the brighter golds.

         What antique brass goes with...

        • We love the warm sun-baked colors with the antique brass cabinet hardware. Taupe, khaki, beige, tans, earthy greens, and other natural, simple colors make for a lovely organic design look. Natural or distressed wood cabinets and vanities make a for a really warm pairing as well.

        • On the other hand, bold colors like emerald or cobalt, and deep reds or crimsons magnificently complement antique brass cabinet hardware.

        • Cool colors like light greens, pale blues and even light yellow work well with the antique brass cabinet knobs and pulls as the amber undertones are drawn out. Stark white cabinets and vanities are warmed up with the brownish tones of the antique brass cabinet hardware.

        bathroom vanity with distressed wood, black slate top, black faucet and antique brass knobs.
        The antique brass cabinet knobs adorn a natural wood vanity. With the black slate counter and modern flat black faucet, this is the old meeting the new at its best!

          Antique brass in the kitchen...

          • Fixtures: The antique brass hardware compliments brass, golden toned, and bronzed tone faucets and lights. We love the finish with darker finishes as well - like blacks or copper.  We recommend using matte finishes for faucets and lights rather than more shiny finishes that would have a sheen.

          • Appliances: Stainless steel, graphite and other more popular finishes all coordinate well with the antique brass finish. Taupe, white or ivory appliances also work well.

            Antique brass and its style...

            • Calming cottage to busy Moroccan-inspired designs can all benefit fro a splash of antique brass. The subdued pallet of the pull and its understated tones let it blend into pretty much any design.

               

              Farmhouse sink with blue vanity, antique brass euro cabinet pulls and an antique brass faucet. The sink has a towel and orange flowers in the basin.
              The antique brass hardware looks right at home in this modern cottage kitchen, complete with a white apron sink and an antique brass faucet.

               

               BRUSHED ANTIQUE BRASS

              Antique Brass Cosmas 4313-96BAB Brushed Antique Brass Cabinet Pull

              The brushed antique brass cabinet hardware finish is similar to its very close cousin, antique brass, and even shares a similar name. However, despite their similarities, when it comes to cabinet hardware, there are notable differences between the two finishes.

              A little about the brushed antique brass finish...

              The brushed antique brass hardware is chemically darkened to simulate aged brass. Cabinet hardware in this finish has a medium to dark, muted brown-grey-green finish with deep warm golden undertones. Brushed antique brass cabinet hardware also has 'brushed' strokes which are created in the manufacturing process to simulate use and aging.

               What brushed antique brass goes with...

              • Brushed antique brass hardware against wooden surfaces, from dark woods like walnut to light woods like pine, is one of our more favorite looks.

              • White kitchen cabinets or bathroom vanities make a wonderful pairing with the brushed antique brass cabinet hardware.  The neutrality of white blended with the warmth of the brushed antique brass finish is perfection.

              • Earth tones or dark kitchen cabinets like chocolate and black are all great back drops for the brushed antique brass hardware. These warm and cool colors blend well with this adaptable finish.

              Modern farmhouse kitchen all in white with brushed antique brass cabinet hardware.
              This sumptuous all-white modern farmhouse kitchen is simply beautiful with the brushed antique brass cabinet hardware and the old-fashioned faucet! Notice, the brass tones do not have to match perfectly.

                Brushed antique brass in the kitchen...

                • Fixtures: Copper sinks, black iron faucets, or muted nickel pendant lights will all pair famously with the brushed antique brass cabinet hardware. That mixing metal look works with this finish as the browns and greenish tones really compliment a number of different metals.

                • Appliances: The grassy undertones give the brushed antique brass finish its stability and versatility making it easy to pair with stronger colors like black, stainless steel and graphite appliances. Depending on the design intent, the brushed antique brass knobs and pulls can work well with lighter appliances including stark white.

                  Brushed antique brass and its style...

                  • Although aged and vintage, the brushed antique brass finish is refined and works perfectly in modern design spaces.

                  • Blends nicely with neutral colors and darker woods, brushed antique brass cabinet hardware can be found in a number of different design styles including, traditional, country-chic, retro, Arts & Crafts, transitional, farmhouse or European. 

                    Dresser vanity with mirror - black and wood with antique brass cup pulls.
                     A furniture rehab to die for! This solid maple dresser was restored with love and finished with the brushed antique brass cabinet pulls and cup pulls.

                     WRAP UP!

                    And there you have it, our most popular cabinet hardware in the earth tone family. As you can see, earthy tones can fold into so many different design styles, from rustic to craftsman, traditional to minimal and the warmth of the cabinet hardware are a compelling backdrop to an array of color pallets. Who knows, maybe one of these cabinet hardware colors is right for your project.

                    Feel free to leave us a comment and let us know if any of these cabinet hardware colors worked for you.


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