Shabby chic style embraces imperfections. There are variations of shabby chic styles, but the common theme is that furnishings with this style appear to be slightly weathered or worn. Antiques are a common choice to be a part of shabby chic décor — whether authentic or reproduced.
HGTV’s Johanna Gaines displays a version of this shabby chic décor in almost every episode of Fixer Upper. Often a part of a more industrial, modern farmhouse décor, a variety of shabby chic furniture and accessories are still very much a part of her often light and airy interior designs. However, her version of shabby chic décor (as much as we love it) is not the only one. Another version of shabby chic décor may take on more ruffles, busy floral pattern, curtains and quilts — a setting that feels a little less formal and a bit more relaxed.
How can two types of décor be so different, and yet both fall under the definition of shabby chic? While there are common themes that put both of these within the shabby chic décor category, their differences boil down to the amount of shabby décor and the amount of chic décor. A home that embraces Johanna Gaines design is likely to have a little less shabby and be chicer, whereas a design that might be a little less modern and a bit more relaxed is likely to place more of an emphasis on shabby and less on chic.
Regardless of which version of shabby chic you embrace, as with any interior décor, it all comes down to the details. So often, the focus is on shabby chic kitchen cabinets, armoires, chests, tables, and chairs — larger pieces that take up a lot of space and can be true statement pieces. What separates true shabby chic from the rest is the ability to incorporate the style down to the details — shabby chic hardware.
You already know the secrets to finding and or creating the bigger statement pieces you need for a shabby chic room — everything from sanding and adding wear and tear to a newer piece, to finishing it off with chalk paint to give it that faded white look. But once you have the look, do you have shabby chic hardware ideas? What does shabby chic hardware look like? Where do you look — and more importantly, what do you look for?
Believe it or not, there is not one set hardware design or finish that is the quintessential shabby chic design. Rather, there are a few different aspects that, combined, create shabby chic hardware. Moreover, just like the balance of shabby and chic in furniture, the same applies to hardware. The first aspect of hardware you need to consider is the finish.
If you’re looking for a specific type of finish option in your furniture — whether it’s shabby chic kitchen cabinets or shabby chic dressers — you’re going to want something similar in some ways for your hardware. For example, as we mentioned before, shabby chic style is all about embracing the imperfections, so you wouldn’t want a flawless, shiny finish on your pulls, knobs, and hinges.
Instead, go for an antique brass, old antique, old copper, or Venetian bronze. Better yet, if you want something that is showing more wear, opt for a rustic finish in antique iron, silver, bronze, or a rustic antique. These rustic finishes take uneven tones to a new level. Both categories of finishes work well for shabby chic hardware. The decision depends on the piece you’re adding to and your preference. Some people prefer a less worn look; others say the more wear the better. Only you can decide how much of the “shabby” you want.
While some finishes may give your hardware a more textured look, there is also something to be said for including a textured piece of hardware. Just like a flawless, smooth shiny finish is not shabby chic at all. Having a smooth texture to your hardware is a little too chic and not shabby enough. How do you incorporate that texture into your hardware? Our Oceano Cabinet Pull and Hardware Suite is a great example. Right away you’ll notice that the surface of these cabinet handles, knobs, and bin pulls takes on its own texture, in this particular case similar to scales.
If the Oceano Suite has too much texture for you try something similar to our Scroll Drawer Pulls and Cabinet Hardware, a piece that is traditional look with a textured flair. In a shiny new finish, it may not look so traditional, but pair this suite with an antique or rustic finish, and you’ll have a brand-new set of shabby chic hardware.
Perhaps when you begin researching some of the shabby chic hardware options, you’ll find that even though the texture is very much a part of this style, you aren’t a fan. That’s fine! If the weathered finish look combined with the texture is too much, consider choosing one of our suites that without texture and choose a finish to give it a worn look.
If you’re searching for shabby chic kitchen cabinet hardware ideas, chances are you may have some restrictions when it comes to shaping. However, if you have knobs on some, or all, of your kitchen and bath cabinets — or armoires and dressers — you have some options. When we think of knobs we think round circles — and that’s certainly an option. However, there are plenty of other options — have you considered square knobs? Or, better yet — octagon knobs? Knobs come in all different shapes and sizes, and sometimes, the farther away from the traditional circle knob you get, the more fun it is.
It’s hard for us to choose a favorite, but we’ll highlight a few to give you an idea of the style we like in our shabby chic hardware.
For those looking for a bold, unique shabby chic accent, we love the Tuscany Bronze Fluted Oblong Knob in both black and bronze. This knob has a unique shape and texture and makes a statement. With its oblong shape, it even gives you a little more surface area to pull on as you open your drawers or cabinets.
A part of our Classic Suite, the Antique Brass Rectangle Cabinet Knob ditches the curves for more defined straight edges. This one is one of our favorites because it strays from the traditional round shape and has a variation in texture, the antique finish helps accentuate.
Continuing with another option in our Classic Suite that embraces straight edges — the Old Copper Square Cabinet Knob. Trading in the rectangle for a square and the brass for copper, this particular knob is one of our most shabby, as the shape combined with the old copper finish gives it a more worn look — one we love.
Keeping some of the straight edges, but veering back into a round shape is the Black Octagon Cabinet Knob. While we love the edgy look of the rectangle and square knobs, the octagon shape gives this one a uniqueness of its own, worthy of shabby chic décor.
The Iron Oval Oceano Cabinet Knob is from that Oceano Suite we mentioned previously — so if you like this one and happen to be looking for hardware for several pieces, you have an entire suite of hardware with the same look. The oval shape makes it stand out ever so slightly from the traditional round shape. The circle texture paired with the right finish makes this a great addition to any shabby chic piece.
Our Fluted Antique Brass Cabinet Knob begins to get closer to the traditional circle shape, but still has a bit of flair.
If you aren’t sure you can break away from the traditional circle shape, our Oceano Cabinet Knob comes in a variety of finishes and might have just enough of an edge (but not too much!) for you. The Old Copper Cabinet Knob is another one of our favorites — it keeps that traditional round shape, but has a weathered, almost industrial look.
What if we told you to ditch the knobs altogether? Our crescent-shaped pieces of hardware are known as cup-style bin pulls and they are straight from kitchens in the 1920s and 1930s. They have the vintage flair worthy of shabby chic décor. If you’re looking to replace hardware on drawers throughout your kitchen, this bin might be just what you need to give it a vintage look. Just make sure you match them with the right finish — while the style is vintage, you can build on it even more by choosing an antique or rustic finish.
The variety of shapes and sizes available can be overwhelming. The good news is, the shape of these knobs, combined with the texture and finish can make a significant impact on your shabby chic décor. But these aren’t the only things to consider. The material of the knob you choose is equally important.
Chances are the variety of shapes may have surprised you — and we’re pretty sure the materials will do the same. After all, how many different materials can there possibly be for cabinet knobs? Probably more than you realize. Brass, bronze and zinc are probably the three you’ve seen the most. While there are some pros and cons for each of these three, the finish really makes an impact.
Two others are not as prevalent, marble and crystal. Obviously, the colors in marble vary. Within our selection alone, we have beige, black, brown, green, white and red — and many of those have a few different shades of that particular color in them. For example, there is a lighter brown that almost looks orange and a red that looks like it could be brown. Just like the marble, you would see in a counter top, there are patterns in each of these knobs. While marble knobs are not your stereotypical shabby chic accessory, with the right piece of furniture, there just might be a place for a few marble pieces.
Crystal is much more common in the shabby chic style. In many older homes, you will find crystal doorknobs, so it’s no surprise that this look is embraced when it comes to choosing shabby chic hardware. We carry knobs that very closely resemble those classic doorknobs, but also some designs that you probably have not seen before. For example, the Baldwin Flower Crystal Cabinet Knob is a different piece that would certainly give your cabinet or dresser a unique shabby chic flair.
Mix and Match
Perhaps the best part about shabby chic décor is because it embraces imperfection, you have the opportunity to mix and match — finishes, textures, shapes, and even materials. In addition to choosing individual pieces of hardware, that embrace the signs of wear and tear, choosing a few different pieces of hardware to mix and match is another example of just how much this style capitalizes on having variety.
Envision every cabinet or drawer in your kitchen or bathroom with a different knob — working with just one piece of furniture. Imagine the dynamic you could add by not choosing one knob for all of the drawers, but rather a different knob for each drawer, or take it one step farther and don’t make any two knobs the same. Who wants to have to choose a favorite when you can mix and match?
We know that while this thought may excite some, others may be horrified. Mixing and matching isn’t for everybody. But, when it comes to shabby chic hardware, mixing and matching a few of your favorites is the way to go. It certainly embraces the imperfection and makes detail stand out from the rest. How much you choose to stray from the norm is totally up to you.
After reviewing all of the options you have for shabby chic hardware, it’s hard to imagine it being an afterthought — and in our opinion, it shouldn’t be. Interior design and decorating is all about the details and accessories. Choosing boring hardware for your shabby chic kitchen cabinets or other pieces of furniture is throwing the towel in early. Whether you choose a funky shape with a rustic finish, or something with a little less flair in a more traditional antique finish — paying attention to these accents are sure to pay off when you see that beautiful piece of furniture in your home.
At Cliffside Industries, we pride ourselves in a traditional style that has stood the test of time. With our high quality, durable materials and experience in the kitchen and bath industry, we are just the company to help you achieve your shabby chic décor. Now that you have an idea of what to look for, we hope you browse our website for your next piece of shabby chic hardware.