5 Kitchen Hardware Trends on Their Way Out (and the One Here to Stay)

published Apr 19, 2024
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A kitchen sink detail shot with grey cabinets, a white marble countertop and backsplash, and decorations.
Credit: Joseph Hendrickson/Shutterstock

If a full kitchen renovation isn’t exactly in the budget but you’re itching for some change in the heart of your home, don’t worry. Instead of a remodel, to give your space a more instant refresh, you can focus on small changes that make the room feel updated. One of the easiest swaps to make? Kitchen hardware. Often called the “jewelry of the kitchen,” knobs, pulls, and handles are easy and relatively budget-friendly to switch out — plus, it can instantly update the room’s vibe. 

Whether you’re going for a fresh look for your space, or you’re starting from scratch with a kitchen remodel (lucky you!), here’s what interior designers have to say about kitchen hardware trends on their way out, and what you may want to do instead. Of course, do what you like in your own space since you’re the one living there — but if you’re interested in the most current styles, consider steering clear of the following (and implementing some of the alternatives instead). 

Kitchen Hardware Trends that Are on Their Way Out in 2024

Credit: Victor Yarmolyuk/Shutterstock

1. Ornate handles and knobs 

With an overall shift toward classic looks, ornate kitchen hardware is making an exit. “While they’ve had their moment under the spotlight, the curtain is slowly closing,” says Mia Johnson of MJ Interior Design. “The shift is toward simplicity — a nod to the less-is-more philosophy.” Bree Steele, the interior designer behind Styling by Bree, adds, “Decorative hardware used to be very popular in traditional kitchens, but can overwhelm your space if you want a clean and modern look.” 

Instead: Rather than overwrought hardware that can feel fussy (and not to mention hard to clean), simplicity is key. Johnson says minimalist, flat bar pulls are gaining traction. “Their clean lines are a testament to the beauty of simplicity,” she explains. 

The push toward simplicity includes championing hardware that’s integrated into the drawer itself. Design lead of Isla Porter, Gabby Fabbri, shares, “I’m seeing a lot of clients gravitate toward no hardware or integrated hardware.” Further, Steele adds, “For people who like minimalism, integrated hardware that blends with the cabinetry is growing in popularity. This look is best for people who enjoy fine lines and simplicity.” 

Credit: Bogdan Sonjachnyj/Shutterstock

2. Brushed nickel and stainless steel 

Along with the all-white kitchen, other cold-feeling kitchen components are on their way out too — namely, brushed nickel and stainless steel finishes are no longer the on-trend basics they used to be. Grayson Knight of Layered Dimensions Interior Design sees it as an even broader theme: “Sleek and minimalist hardware in the kitchen is on its way out.” He describes that brushed nickel and stainless, “once the darlings of kitchen design for their sleek appeal, are now passing the baton to warmer, more characterful alternatives.” There may be a functionality issue at hand, too, notes Natalie Papier of Home Ec: “Goodbye polished nickel bar pulls that snagged your clothes every time you walked by.” 

Instead: Try matte black hardware, which Johnson calls “the little black dress of kitchen hardware — timeless, versatile, and undeniably chic.” She adds that “it’s the perfect counterpart to any color palette, bringing depth and drama to spaces both traditional and modern.”

Steele agrees. “Matte hardware stands out against light and dark cabinetry, creating an interesting visual contrast.” Rather than the silver tones of nickel and stainless steel, Steele also points to the increase in warm-toned metal finishes. “Brass, bronze, and copper are gaining popularity for their ability to add a touch of luxury to the kitchen. This increase in interest is because of these colors blending well with a variety of color palettes and adding warmth to a space.”

Credit: Joseph Hendrickson/Shutterstock

3. Matching hardware

Perhaps as a foil to the streamlined, simple kitchen, matching hardware’s moment has passed. “Matching hardware has its use in kitchens where you want everything to be cohesive, but recently, more personalized arrangements are becoming popular,” says Artem Kropovinsky, founder of New York-based interior design firm Arsight. “The uniformity of one hardware throughout the kitchen is becoming less common, as mixed materials are taking their place.”

Instead: Mixed metals are the fresh twist that’s replacing the matchy-matchy look. Johnson says that mixed metals offer “a layered, curated look” that’s superpersonal. Steele agrees that the interest in a layered look is behind the mixed metals trend. “Mixing metals has been on the rise because of more interest in layered aesthetics. This is seen recently with laying chrome or copper in the same space.” Kropovinsky agrees, noting that mixing metal finishes like brass and chrome creates “depth and excitement in the kitchen.”

Credit: Pavel_Kostenko/Shutterstock

4. Generic handles and knobs

While ornate handles and knobs are a trend of the past, generic isn’t exactly an on-trend choice either. Putting it bluntly, Johnson states that it’s time to think outside the box — of what’s available at big-box stores, that is. “It’s time to say goodbye to the nondescript. It immediately dates the space,” she claims. 

Hank Reinhart, a former Bed Bath & Beyond executive and founder of Sabâvi Home, agrees. “Let’s put it this way: Ask any big-box store what they are going to stock the most of this year. That answer will tell you what last year’s trend was.” 

Instead: Don’t be afraid to try something different or unusual. “My favorite trend right now is handcrafted bespoke knobs,” Fabbri shares. “I love that these aren’t a trend as much as they are timeless, well-crafted pieces. Each one feels so special and unique to the project.” Kropovinsky also encourages those who want to opt into current trends to look into relics of the past. “Vintage-inspired designs bring character and a feeling of history to the kitchen, creating a flicker with the more contemporary items,” he says. Papier agrees that vintage is having a moment all over homes and kitchens. “We are seeing a lot more vintage detailing in hardware like backplates, unlacquered brass, and cottage chic painted shaker-style painted knobs,” she says. 

Credit: Catherine McQueen/Getty Images

5. Polished hardware

Johnson shares that polished kitchen hardware is also on its way out. And while its “gleaming presence has graced many kitchens, the maintenance and omnipresence have dulled its sparkle.” Reinhart agrees that “polished anything” is “just out,” including all metals on the reflective color spectrum. While he concedes that many designs may incorporate small touches of polished metals, “they will be minor highlights, not the entire piece of hardware.”

Instead: In addition to matte hardware, finishes like antique brass and gold offer warmth without the gleam. Johnson points out that “brass and gold metallics bring warmth and are inviting. The kitchen will have a soft radiance that’s both luxurious and cozy.” 

As a contrast to polished hardware, Porter also suggests “wood knobs, either painted or stained. These don’t feel like a trend to me but rather a call back to traditional cabinetry. A lot of designers are playing with the sizing of these knobs as well, creating a more transitional look.” Papier agrees that polished hardware is making its exit in favor of “more unlacquered brass, lucite, chrome, and organic materials in today’s kitchens.”

Do any of these hardware trends on their way out surprise you? Let us know in the comments below!