Sometimes less can be more. This is especially true when it comes to hardware. This little accent can have a major impact on the design. The difference between gold and silver, chrome and copper, or black and white can change the look of a kitchen or bathroom.

Exchanging materials is also one of the easiest and cheapest DIY projects. A screwdriver is the only tool needed. It’s an affordable solution to update a rental or to help set up a home that goes up for sale.

How to choose the material

Most standard equipment, especially in rentals, is considered “manufacturer grade”. While versatile, most of the time it is a choice of function rather than form. According to Casey rutherford, who is a real estate agent at Keller Williams in the Atlanta area, developers and owners choose this material, which is often chrome or brushed nickel, because it is cost effective. “Builders try to maximize their return on investment on new homes, so most will use the cheapest materials possible to achieve the desired look.”

Mushroom-shaped pimples are a common example. “[They’re] the trendiest, the youngest, the sister of the classic round button, ”says Rutherford. “They still have a hint of that quirky style, while also incorporating a more transitional feel.”

Hardware trends 2020

While mushroom buds blend easily into most decor, they aren’t the most interesting or exciting choice. But there are many alternatives. Rutherford suggests using a shoot vertically to replace a button. “Clean lines give your cabinets a sleek and modern look. “

While the handles are certainly more stylish, they do require more work to install, including drilling an additional hole. So, a shorter bar knob may be a better choice for tenants or for anyone who doesn’t want to commit to changing their cabinets permanently. the Amerock Pull-Bar Cabinet Knob from is a prime example. Available in seven different finishes including Black Bronze, Champagne Gold, Gunmetal and Stainless Steel, it instantly enhances any cabinet.

Geometric shaped buttons are another alternative to mushroom shaped buttons. For a more traditional look, go for a square button with ball accents like the Carolyne Amerock Square Cabinet Knob. It has a formal look which can also help tie together more traditional designed bathroom accessories. is a great source for all kinds of hardware and building materials with a wide selection but organized in a range of styles and prices. The site also offers a variety of stylish hardware multipacks, ideal for anyone working on a budget.

One of the most notable design trends of 2020 is gold hardware. Rutherford attributes this to the importance of warm tones this year. “Look around and you’ll notice that designers are turning to warmer paint colors, wood stains and upholstery fabrics. So it’s no surprise that the warmth offered by gold hardware is back, as it complements these colors perfectly.

While many current styles and trends can be attributed to a revival of the ’90s look in both fashion and decor, most of the gold hardware currently available has a more contemporary feel than vintage. “Today’s gold is not the shiny brass of your mother’s 1990s kitchen, but a softer tone that will no doubt bring warmth and character to your space,” says Rutherford.

the Signature Hardware Khoit bar cabinet handle is a perfect example of contemporary gold hardware. Available in polished brass and rose gold as well as brushed brass, the geometric shape and finish colors give it a clean, upscale look.

Can’t quite engage in gold? Rutherford says it’s worth considering Champagne bronze as a gentler alternative. “If you like gold but aren’t ready to take the plunge, that’s a great transitional tone.”

Mixture of metals

Mixing metals is also in fashion this year. Rutherford suggests applying the 80/20 rule to create a balance. “Use 80% of one element and accent with 20% of another. In my kitchen, which is open to the breakfast and living room, we used matte black for lighting and door hardware in all of the spaces, but the cabinet hardware and faucets are brass and the contrast offers a lot of visual interest.

Stainless steel appliances in the kitchen can also make some people hesitate to mix metals. But, that shouldn’t be a cause for concern.

A perfect example of this is Dorit Kemsley’s kitchen in her new home, as seen on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. White cabinets, gold pulls, and appliances are the perfect trio of chic in the reality TV star’s modern farmhouse.

Another trend to consider for modern spaces is Matte Black Equipment. The high contrast yet classic touch easily blends with a number of different finishes like brass, chrome or nickel. A matte black faucet and matching knobs and handles look amazingly stylish.

Want to mix metals in a daring way? Try a two-tone faucet like the Brizo Litze Angled Spout Kitchen Faucet with Knurled Handle.

In a rental, keep the standard silver faucet and replace the matching buttons with a contrasting black. This minor change can yield a major result for potentially less than the cost of a new shower curtain.