Change the Look by Changing Your Hardware

Melanie Gardner with “The Frosted Gardener” shares tips on selecting the right hardware.

There are currently many different options in furniture hardware. You can find them at craft stores like Hobby Lobby, in high end stores like Anthropologie or in your neighborhood hardware store. So how do you decide what type of hardware belongs on what furniture? Here are three tips to keep in mind as you pick the perfect accessories for your favorite furniture.

1. Use original hardware. The saying goes “if it aint broke don’t fix it”. There are times when the original hardware works. This delicate French dresser has many curves with somewhat of a bowed front. It sits up on little legs and has nice scalloped wood detailing around the base. The original brass pulls are dainty and curvaceous as well and compliment the French design. Many times when you pick up second hand furniture there are missing knobs and pulls as was the case here. We opted to keep the original hardware on the outer drawers and find matching brass knobs for the three smaller drawers running down the middle. Thus we did not lose the vintage French flair that would have been distracted with new modern hardware.

2. Replace hardware to enhance the original design style and elements of the piece.If you have an antique piece and want to maintain the old vintage look and feel select hardware that will accent it. Glass knobs and dangly pulls are very popular right now and will help maintain the vintage elements of the dresser. The dirty glass knobs on this dresser also compliment the rusty brass keyholes that are unique to old dressers and buffets.I tend to always use more than one type of hardware on each piece. The variety provides extra depth and defines each of the drawers in a more unique and functional way.

3. Replace hardware for a new fresh look. If you have an old piece but you want to update it selecting a popular paint color and new hardware will make it look like you just bought it brand new yesterday. I liked the original dangly pulls on this desk. But I wanted to create a more updated look so we replaced them with oil rubbed bronze knobs and two different kinds of pulls. I wanted the hardware to be what caught your eye when you saw this piece and I think we achieved it. The deep rich color of the bronze against the Restoration Hardware grey / green finish creates elegance along with a sharp clean look. This old desk now looks like it was found right out of a Pottery Barn Catalog.

Finally, regardless of the STYLE of hardware you choose be sure it is functional and balanced. For example, do not put a tiny little knob on the middle of a big drawer. It will not pull the drawer correctly and it will get off track or stick all together. If your large drawer needs two knobs or two pulls to make it more functional do it. Also remember that hardware is not permanent. If you do not like what you picked pull it off and try again. You will not always get it right the first time. Good luck and happy hunting for the perfect accessory!

We are Mike and Melanie Gardner and we find old furniture to repair, redesign and paint. Mike has a background in construction and finish work. Melanie has an interest in finding unique furniture pieces to refinish and create something almost brand new. To see our portfolio of “before and after” photographs, custom refinishes as well as pieces that are currently available to be purchased please check out our website at
We are currently located in Centerville, Utah. Please contact us at 801.557.5865 or email us at You will be surprised what character your grandparents’ old dresser or hutch has today!

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