Add a splash of color

This aqua crystal can add a vibrant element of color to your cabinet.
This aqua crystal can add a vibrant element of color to your cabinet.

There are many ways to bring some more color into your kitchen. If you’re considering a remodel instead of a full kitchen replacement in these tough economic times, consider some of these tips to bring a new level of creativity to your home.

Hot Colors with Stainless Appliances

With stainless steel appliances still at the forefront of the kitchen world, designers have a variety of options when it comes to pairing up cabinets and cabinet hardware. Since stainless steel is reflective and therefore sheds a lot of light around the kitchen, bold colors can be used to accent the kitchen and its appliances, rather than simply matching them with silver satin or stainless steel hardware.

One of the most popular movements in cabinetmaking today is the trend toward deep, saturated colors on cabinets. This also holds true for hardware; one of the most popular Cliffside finishes is the rich, brown Old Antique. There are two effective ways to pair hardware with these cabinets. One way is to match the colors. To do this, you have to look closely at your cabinets to determine whether the stain or paint color has a yellow base or a blue base. For yellow-based colors, Cliffside offers polished brass, antique brass, and gold finishes, while silver satin, polished nickel, polished chrome, and stainless steel look smashing with blue-based paints and stains.

You can also select fully saturated colors for your hardware as well to give it a classic and dynamic look. Aside from the old antique, other finishes that are available in this family include iron, old copper, and black, as well as the new Venetian bronze, coming soon.

Buying new hardware for your cabinets

Some important tips to remember when buying new hardware, in today’s Cliffside blog.

Measure twice

This pull has a 3-inch cc, or center to center.
This pull has a 3-inch cc, or center to center.

If replacing old hardware, make sure that you have carefully measured the space that you want it to fill. It’s always a good idea to have a concept of the overall length of your old hardware, the overall length of your new hardware, and the cc (center-to-center) measurements of each, otherwise known as the distance between the screw holes. If installing new hardware, make sure that the space you are installing in is wide enough or long enough to accommodate the hardware that you like. A good tip is to bring a piece of your old hardware with you, if it’s available, to see how the sizes will match up. If you can’t find something to match, especially for a pull or a cabinet that might be slightly damaged on the surface, consider backplates to cover up rogue screw holes or scratch marks.

Mix it up

Using just one hardware style for a kitchen or bathroom may bring a look of continuity; then again, it may just promote boredom. Toward that end, consider finding a second style of hardware that matches the one you like. For example, if you chose Cliffside’s 161 knob for your doors, you could use the B1 pulls for your drawers; these pieces match wll because of their beveled edges. Another possibility is the B674-31 rope-style knob and the K344 rope style pull. You can also coordinate your hardware with the other fixtures in your kitchen or bath, such as stainless steel or oil-rubbed bronze faucets, or perhaps even copper mixing bowls.

Make your space “yours”

Ice box latches add a unique flair to any cabinet.
Ice box latches add a unique flair to any cabinet.

Find something unique that makes your cabinets stand out from a crowd. Hardware is available in a variety of shapes, sizes, styles, and colors, from knobs shaped like animals to shiny chrome and nickel. Some tips to this end: Don’t combine high-polish finishes with natural-looking grained wood; the combination of the two will clash. Instead, consider finding contrast. Dark finishes on wood look striking next to light-colored hardware, and the opposite holds true as well.

Make smart choices

If you are making your cabinets into a DIY project, be sure to consult with someone who understands them well. A bad choice regarding hinges or catches could cause problems on your cabinets for years. Make sure that you always consider high-quality materials for all of your cabinet hardware, and always make sure that your doors and hinges are mounted properly. Improper installation can cause undue wear and tear and can make cheaper products wear out in a mere matter of months.

As always, if you have any questions about anything you see on the blog, be sure to contact Cliffside’s customer service staff!

The beauty in nature

One of Cliffside's crystal knobs
M13-32-SS, lead crystal with a silver satin stem

Natural materials, such as brass, crystal, stainless steel, bronze, iron, pewter, stone and marble are very popular. These are being integrated in all areas of the home, especially kitchens and baths. In fact, they are often mixed and matched throughout so that it remains interesting to the eye.

There are many brass and stainless steel materials in the kitchen and we are seeing a lot of crystal in master suites. Natural brass, stainless steel and crystal are the most popular and tend to be the main materials that are used.

T565-30-BNA, a contemporary knob made from stainless steel

Stainless steel

Stainless steel is found throughout the housing industry: on dishwashers, refrigerators, sinks, ovens, microwaves, coffee makers, blenders, towel bars, and even plumbing and electrical fixtures. Crystal has really made a comeback, as well, and it has become a focal point of the master bath.

Neutral finishes

Many designers find that it’s best to stay neutral when it comes to finish. Color palettes today lean toward neutral elements to create a timeless appeal and a high-end environment. We’re seeing an increased desire for silver and gray finishes and natural earth tones.

BH3NA-OA; the old antique finish is a rich brown color
BH3NA-OA; the old antique finish is a rich brown color

Soothing, cool colors and rich materials are in demand often highlighted by mixtures of color and texture, such as stainless steel appliances with gray hardware, or darker cabinets mixed with dark chocolate brown hardware. The gray and natural materials and the very clean, simple classic lines are more enduring.

Overall, it is definitely more of a natural look, with grays, tans, and browns, and with hardware accessories giving an accented flair to the design.

Cabinet jewelry

For the finishing touches of kitchen and master bath remodels, designers should strive to find the ideal hardware finish. Full suites of products, particularly in cabinet hardware, are offered, which should give designers confidence that those finishes and styles are going to be compatible and consistent.

IBCL-PN shows the polished nickel finish
IBCL-PN shows the polished nickel finish

Nickel is a very popular finish throughout the home-building and design industries, both brushed and polished; oil-rubbed bronze is a popular look, as are bright or brushed chrome finishes. We see similar trends in hardware; the most popular finish is satin silver followed by oil-rubbed bronze, but antique finishes are still very popular. Typically, these finishes are chosen from the same color family, and blend with the appliances and cabinetry.

There are now hand-forged hardware pieces, as well as ones adorned with real crystal. The appearance of these items supports the fact that consumers want unique details that will set their space apart from others. It all comes down to details.

Cliffside offers several different marble options, including this S-3-BEIGE.
Cliffside offers several different marble options, including this S-3-BEIGE.

Hardware is also a key component to giving any space a completed look. There are a variety of hardware options available to enhance a  kitchen and master bath remodel. Hardware is extremely important. The hardware is meant to look like jewelry on the cabinetry, not match it. It’s key that the hardware be beautiful; and everything else has to follow suit. People also prefer natural materials, such as solid brass and stainless steel, and natural looks, like marble, crystal, and stone, whenever possible.

Overall, consumers and dealers are looking for their kitchen and master bath designs to mimic the look and feel of the spa retreat, and these traditional or contemporary spaces are taking on a cleaner, uncluttered, more elegant look.

Gallery: Distinctive design features

Today, we provide you with a picture gallery to view some of the most unique and distinctive features of Cliffside’s hardware line. Enjoy!

Ask the Expert: Hardware installation

The Expert!
The Expert!

When do I use a cup, a pull and a knob ?

The traditional application is to use a cup or a pull for the cabinet drawers and a knob for the hinged cabinet doors. On wide drawers, it is also common to mount two knobs.

To open big refrigerator/appliance doors with fabricated cabinet panels, longer and larger pulls are being used to allow for greater leverage. These pulls range anywhere from 8″ to 24″ long and upwards.

Cliffside has an extensive line of knobs, cups, pulls and appliance pulls available in traditional, classic and designer styles, a variety of high quality materials including stainless steel and solid brass and in up to 10 popular finishes. Break-off screws are included with all Cliffside hardware.  

Professional installation is advised for all hardware.

Pulls can be used in a variety of locations on your doors and drawers.
Pulls can be used in a variety of locations on your doors and drawers.

Cups and Pulls

For cabinet drawers

The optimum placement of cups and pulls is to find the spot slightly above the center line (vertical) on the drawerand the spot that makes the pull look like it is centered when the cabinets are viewed from above (as if you were standing at the countertop looking down). The amount of offset is up to the installer, but starting with 1/16″ and up is a good place to start.

Using a Phillips head screw driver and the standard thread 8/32 x 1¾” break off screws included with your hardware, mount the drawer cup or pull on the face of the cabinet. Turn the screw into the socket clockwise.

For hinged doors

Avoid placing the pull in the corner of the door frame. We recommend placing the pull in the upper third, but with many traditional-style cabinets a pull in the center of the door stile (vertical) can be pleasing.

SP-12-OA, one of the most popular appliance pulls
SP-12-OA, one of the most popular appliance pulls

Appliance Pulls

We recommend utilizing your appliance manufacturer’s installation/design guide for mounting instructions. Professional installation is especially advised for all appliance hardware.

The optimum placement of appliance pulls on hinged doors is when the center of the door hardware is at elbow height of the adult users in the home. This allows the lowest part of the handle to be used by children comfortably.

The optimum placement of pulls on appliances should be in the center of the appliance panel’s top rail, regardless of width.

For both hinged door and drawer panels, we recommend mounting our hardware slightly away from the panel edge. This allows a little more finger clearance on these larger pulls

Note the placement of knobs and pulls in this kitchen with Cliffside hardware installed.
Note the placement of knobs and pulls in this kitchen with Cliffside hardware installed.


For wide cabinet drawers

Avoid mounting them too widely or narrowly. The optimum placement of two knobs on wide drawers is the center of the door below (if applicable) and align vertically with the outer third of each door. If there are only more drawers below, then measure the drawer into thirds to find the best spot.

For base cabinet drawers

The optimum placement of a knob on a base cabinet drawer is slightly above the center line (vertical) on the drawer. This helps make the knob look like it is centered when the cabinets are viewed from above (as if you were standing at the countertop looking down). As with any pull, the amount of offset is up to the installer, but 1/16″ and up is a good place to start.

For hinged doors

We recommend placing the knob on a hinged doors in the upper third of the door face. Both options provide more leverage. Using the corner of the door to install hardware can cause weakness in the hinges over repeated use, so as with a pull, we suggest avoiding that particular location.