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January 21, 2022 9 min read

When designing a kitchen, refurbishing some vintage furniture, or updating a bathroom, you will inevitably get to the point of having to choose the perfect cabinet hardware for your project.

Easy-Peasy, right?

Well, we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but selecting cabinet hardware isn't as easy as you might think. Did you know that you will have to make a series of choices when choosing the perfect cabinet hardware for your project? You will have to decide the type of cabinet hardware, the size of cabinet pull you will need, the style, the finish of the cabinet hardware, the size of each piece of cabinet hardware, and the placement of each knob and pull.

And boom! Just like that, the seemingly simple task of choosing the cabinet hardware becomes complicated and confusing, and even overwhelming.


In this four-part series, we explore one of more important decisions regarding cabinet hardware  - the finish.


So if you find yourself asking which color of cabinet hardware should I use for my project, keep reading!


In these articles, we tackle some common questions about cabinet hardware color. 


  • Is black cabinet hardware a good match for wood cabinets?
  • I heard black hardware is coming back in style - is that true?
  • Do I have to match my cabinet hardware with my appliance color?
  • Will graphite or black nickel match stainless steel appliances?
  • What color of cabinet handles will look best on my cabinets?


To make it a bit easier to digest, we have taken our most popular cabinet hardware finishes and broken them down into four subgroups:



              In this, our final chapter of our four part series we are taking a closer look at cabinet hardware finishes in the dark tones or the black cabinet hardware.


              THE DARK TONES



              Square swatch of the color black Diversa Square Edged Solid Cabinet bar pull in matte black finish for kitchen and bathroom drawers and cabinets


              Black is a foundational color used in interior design for balance, contrast, or to add depth to a space. Black, in some form, can be found in almost any room. There are many different shades of blacks in design. Some have exciting and descriptive names like; midnight oil, magical black, wild onyx, or ebony king. When it comes to cabinet hardware, our shades of black are not as varied and not as cleverly named. Generally, there are two primary hues of black to consider; matte black and flat black.


              A little about the Black finish...

              As we mentioned, there are generally two main finishes of standard black 

              cabinet hardware - matte black and flat black. Often used interchangeably, there is a slight difference between the two finishes worth pointing out. In our experience, flat black is a deep black color with a very subtle sheen, whereas matte black is just that - matte and black. It is a deep rich finish with little to no reflective qualities, shine or gloss.


              Matte black cabinet hardware has a warm, luxurious richness that elevates design styles;. At the same time, flat black is just as elegant and complimentary, but with a bit of shine. The difference between matte black and flat black is so slight that you would almost have to hold the cabinet hardware side by side to see a difference.

              From the hand forged cast iron pulls of centuries ago all the way to today's design theater - black cabinet knobs and pulls have been around forever and they are not likely going anywhere any time soon. 

              What Black Cabinet hardware goes with...

              • The idea that black goes with everything - it really does!
              • Hazy colors like moss green, pale pinks and pale yellows look really nice when contrasted with black cabinet handles.
              • We love a good monochromatic look in a kitchen or bath, and that's why we love our black cabinet hardware on black kitchen cabinets or bathroom vanities. Even though it may seem counterintuitive, it turns out that a black on black monochromatic look is simply stunning!
              • We all know the classic black and white look. It is a simple, clean, and timeless look that looks perfect in so many different design theaters. We just love our black cabinet hardware on white kitchen shaker cabinets or stark white vanities. The contrasting colors are a impressive, cohesive, and elevated look.
              • All shades of wood, from light ash to dark walnut, can easily handle the look of black cabinet hardware. The warmth of the wooden cabinets adorned with black handles is a throwback to the cast iron cabinet hardware from centuries ago. But don't rule this look out for modern designs as wood and black go together perfectly in any decor. To learn which way to mount your cabinet pulls, check out our advice on vertical and horizontal hardware mounting.


              Black round cabinet knobs on a pink cream bathroom vanity


              Black Cabinet Hardware in the Kitchen...

              Fixtures:  When it comes to fixtures like lights and faucets, we see black as the foundational color. Black faucets are super popular right now, and they of course look scrumptious with black hardware. But mixing black with other metals like brass, copper, or silver is also a really stunning cohesive look.

              Appliances: Black cabinet hardware can blend with any finish of appliances. Whether you are going for the colorful SMEG line of fridges and ovens, or channeling your inner chef with stainless steel, or staying traditional with white appliances - black cabinet handles are the safest bet! They really do go with everything!


              Black cabinet hardware on tan wood kitchen cabinets and on dark wood/black cabinets for a contrasting look.

              Black cabinet hardware and its style...

              Like other finishes, black cabinet hardware comes in a variety of shapes and styles, and as we can agree that the universality of black compliments pretty much any home style from modern to farmhouse, shabby chic to industrial, minimalist to country-chic, craftsman to Mediterranean or Scandinavian to eclectic - black cabinet hardware is an easy go-to choice and strikes a compelling overall look.

              Ageless, classic, chic, dramatic, stunning, elegant, striking - by any word - cabinet hardware in the black finish is a forever favorite of ours.


              Kitchen with large gray shaker cabinets and with black cabinet knobs and black drawer pulls.



              BLACK NICKEL

              black nickel color swatch for cabinet hardware by doorcorner.comCosmas 9009BN Black Nickel Twist Cabinet Pull


              A little about the black nickel finish...

              Although similar to black cabinet hardware, we think that the black nickel finish is so unique that it is deserving of a category all to itself. Why? Although black nickel is black, it is much more than just that.

              Think of it like this, black nickel is to black as polished chrome is to silver. Essentially, they are the same base colors, but they are vastly different looks in the end. The black nickel finish is a bright reflective polished finish that is glossy and shiny. The deep dark tones of black also have an undercurrent of a silvery nickel tint, making for a slate black-like appearance.

              what black nickel goes with...

              • We love furniture rehabs that really go for it with color contrasts! And with the unique combination of black, with its silvery nuances and high gloss, it packs a huge dramatic punch, especially on furniture! So, go for the drama and pair black nickel drawer pulls with some super dramatic colors like flame yellow, fire red, or shocking magenta. The contrast of these deep paint colors with black nickel cabinet pulls is pretty wild - oh, and did we mention gorgeous?
              • The shine of black nickel or satin nickel - makes for a pretty pairing with whites and beiges.  Once considered dull and drab, beige is making a roaring comeback in home design. Millennials, in particular, seem to love the palliative, calming taupe tones and that coastal California chic look. The black nickel cabinet hardware is a lovely accent to this look. It is shiny and yet subtle and dark and warm, and all things soothing!


              • It's good to remember that black nickel is black - so it can go with anything. We love a black and white look, especially on stark white cabinets.


              • Pale and soft colors like dusty rose, sea foam minty green or a pretty peach complement the shine of the black nickel knobs and pulls and look gorgeous on bathroom vanities.


              • Wood and black have long since blended beautifully, and black nickel is no exception. The lighter woods like ash and white pine look updated and modern with black nickel cabinet knobs and pulls. While darker woods with black nickel hardware is a perfect monochromatic look.


              Pretty country cottage kitchen with moss green kitchen cabinets with black nickel cup pulls.

              Black nickel in the kitchen....

              • Fixtures: Black is back! For real! Lately, we are seeing so many faucets and lights with black as an anchor color. Black nickel cabinet hardware is a great option to add a bit of spark to lights and sinks that are matte or flat black. When paired together, flat-black faucets and black nickel cabinet hardware are a fantastic look. The dullness of the fixture and the shine of the hardware really play off each other.
              • Appliances: Whether the GE Cafe selection or your standard builder grade, appliances have some black accents. Typically ovens, ranges, and refrigerators trim or handles are black, so pairing black nickel cabinet hardware is pretty straightforward. We really like black appliances with our black nickel cabinet hardware. The appliances tend to have a bit of a shine or gloss, which coordinates with the brilliance of the black nickel knobs and pulls.


              Large kitchen featuring white cabinets and black nickel cabinet handles.

              Black nickel and its style....

              Black nickel may be shinier than your standard black cabinet hardware. Because of that, some people tend to think of black nickel hardware for modern spaces only. That is simply not the case. In the end, black nickel is black - so it is just as versatile. It is showing up in the California Coastal Chic homes, traditional, transitional, Shabby Chic, Industrial and others.


              Pretty stark white bathroom with black nicke cup bin pulls on the white vanity.




              Graphite color swatch for graphite pulls and graphite knobs.Cosmas 701GPH Graphite Contemporary Cabinet Knob



               A little about the graphite finish...


              There have been recent trends towards darker colors in interior design. Once feared by many designers and homeowners, dark colors such as graphite are becoming a popular finish in home decor. We have placed graphite into the "dark tones" category. Still, in all fairness, it could have easily made its way into the "grey" category or the "earth tones" group. 



              The graphite cabinet hardware finish is a bit tricky to pin down. Not quite black, not really grey, and not entirely black-green, it turns out that graphite color is hard to capture with words. Let's give it a whirl: Our graphite cabinet hardware has a muted, deep gunmetal-grey hue that pulls dark, black, and grey undertones while mixing various shades of greens and browns in both its undertones and accents. Whew...I know, I know, it sounds like our graphite cabinet hardware is some washed-out blob of color. It really is not! Graphite knobs and pulls are actually a warm, inviting, and attractive color that is also quite versatile.


              What Graphite goes with...

              • Graphite color in home decor has this unique and delightful ability to be calming and warm or dramatic and bold.


              • Paired with white cabinets, the graphite cabinet hardware appears warm and subtle. But when paired with jewel hues of ruby or sapphire, the same hardware strikes a bold contrasting look.


              • We see a lot of graphite hardware in kitchens with wood cabinets. As you know, wood cabinets and wood furniture can be so many different shades of colors. Saying "wood" cabinets can mean so many different things. But, we find that the graphite cabinet hardware blends perfectly with all wood finishes - from the light a creamy yellow Aspen to a rich dark Brazilian Ebony. Two tone kitchens with wood and white accents really look great with cabinet hardware in the graphite finish  - as the brown tones compliment the white and brown cabinetry.


              Spanish kitchen with wood cabinets and white cabinets both accented with graphite cabinet knobs and handles.


              As we have said many times, we love a good monochromatic look. For example, satin nickel pulls on grey cabinets or black knobs on black slate furniture - we just love it! With the graphite hardware and its glorious undertones - that monochromatic look is so pretty. Painted furniture or cabinets in dusky grey, black coral, or taupe-y silver all look fabulous with the graphite knobs or pulls.


              Graphite in the kitchen...

              • Fixtures: We have established (we think!) that graphite cabinet hardware has that versatility of blended colors so that it easily blends with a lot of other finishes. With that said, not many lights, faucets, and sinks are graphite finish - but oh so many of them work perfectly with graphite hardware. Think of a black sink, with a satin nickel faucet or brass or copper or any other metal finish - and graphite cabinet hardware will easily compliment the fixture.
                  • Appliances:Like fixtures, you don't see a lot of graphite in ranges or refrigerators. But that is okay because our graphite cabinet hardware looks really good with whites, beiges, blacks, and gray appliances. Graphite is easily blended with other metals, but we love the gray of the graphite with the stainless steel and satin nickel finishes. All lights and fixtures and sinks don't have to match or even be in the same "metal family" - blending the metals is such a pretty layered design. We love it! 


                  Traditional kitchen with wood floors and graphite cabinet hardware on the cabinets.


                  Graphite and its style...

                  When we say graphite cabinet hardware, it conjures images of a design of industrial-style city lofts and cold spaces. Sure, our graphite knobs and pulls can look perfect in that setting, but they are rather versatile.

                  We see the graphite in homes with neutral tones like modern and contemporary, but also in more dramatic design arenas like Bohemian and Art Deco. The graphite finish is just as complimentary to transitional settings to modern farmhouses and country chic.


                    Graphite cabinet pulls on creamy white cabinets in country farmhouse kitchen


                    Wrap Up...

                    There you have it...our three most popular dark toned hardware. Black hardware in any of its form, is a beautiful classic look and easily blends into so many different design arenas.


                    A Quick Final Thought....

                    We certainly hope that this four-part guide about cabinet hardware finishes was helpful in choosing the right color of knob and pull for your project.

                    We are a small family business and we love talking about cabinet hardware and helping our customers find the perfect product for their home. Please feel free to contact us at sales@doorcorner.com for any other questions, pointers or design tips!



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