How To Choose New Hardware

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Brainerd, a brand by Liberty Hardware. All opinions and photography are our own and are not influenced by Liberty Hardware. Thanks for supporting the brands that support this blog.

Since tackling Casey’s bathroom makeover and my kitchen renovation, several readers have reached out looking for ideas to update these common spaces without starting from scratch and spending a ton of money.

This is such a great question because living with an imperfect kitchen/bath is a common pain point for many homeowners and one we’d love to address. Of course, the result of small changes isn’t going to look the exact same as dumping your whole budget into renovating that space. BUT that doesn’t mean you can’t take small steps to improve the look.

looking to replace old hardware with updated hardwareToday we are going to chat about one EASY thing you can do this weekend to update either of those spaces on a budget. That simple task? Changing the hardware in these spaces for an economical upgrade. Today’s tutorial provides simple steps (and introduces you to a genius new product, The Sample Box from Lowes!) to help you figure out how to choose new hardware.

How To Choose New Hardware

There are many minor and inexpensive projects you can tackle to create a look that reflects your style, but today we’re focusing on one of those things – changing the hardware. All you need is a screwdriver to make this happen and in just a few minutes, the cabinets in your kitchen or bath can look completely updated.

My parents are actually in this process right now. They are empty-nesters who are slowly, but surely, updating their home, yet they don’t want to spend a lot of money overhauling any of the rooms. My dad recently mentioned that he wanted to update the hardware in his kitchen and wanted my advice.

Since a lot of you may be in the same boat, I figured I’d use my dad’s journey through this project as an example of where to turn.

The Problem brass pull hardware

My parents redid their kitchen in 1998 and still love their design decisions today (which is very impressive 20 years later!). However, my dad said he was sick of looking at the gold 90’s hardware and wanted to swap it out for something silver.

Test Drive

This is when I stepped in to help. I told him about the new Sample Box by Brainerd available at Lowe’s. They’re genius! Instead of going to the store and buying the knob or pull you think will look good in your space, you can go online and order a whole box of samples (for only $7.50!) to “test drive” in your space before deciding on the winning hardware.

All you need to know in advance is what color you want and whether you want knobs or pulls. And the best part is that the box comes with a coupon for $10 off your hardware purchase. I’m not great on math, but spending $7.50 and getting $10 off sounds like a pretty good deal.try it before you buy it lowe's sample box

Since I knew my dad wanted silver, I opted for a collection of cool tones (but they have boxes for warm tones and specialty ones too!). Right now he has knobs, but since I knew he wanted to potentially change things up, I ordered both a box of pulls and a box of knobs to mix and match for a brand new look in the kitchen.

The Sample Boxes

Once the boxes arrived, I headed over to my parents to check out the new hardware. I was SO glad I chose both boxes because I love the variety.

hardware from a Lowe's Sample Box

When we opened the boxes, we all shared our “favorite” from each box, but that was before we added them to the cabinet. The real test would be after we took off the old, brass hardware and saw the new look.

Trying on New Hardware

This process was SO easy and actually a lot of fun. I took the screwdriver and started taking off some of the knobs. We immediately put on some of our favorites, including some of the pulls instead of a knob.

pulls and knobs from Liberty Hardware

We even put some of the pulls side-by-side to compare the looks. I loved how the pulls looked on the cabinets, they were a simple upgrade that brought a bit more variety to the cabinets. And to be honest, we really liked both of these options, but all of us initially leaned toward the right side because of the sleek, simple design.

That was until we started adding the knobs to the drawer above. All of us agreed that the left pull seemed to coordinate better when we saw it in the context of the knobs. We were shocked to find out that our “winners” in the box didn’t end up being the “winner” on the cabinets.

The only thing we’re still debating is whether to go with the round knobs or the more squared knobs. We like both combos!

Here’s a profile view for your reference. What do you guys think?! Liberty Hardware Sample Box Knobs - how to choose new hardware

I honestly don’t think they can go wrong with either option, but we’d love your input before we make our final order. I’m going to add a survey at the bottom of this post so you can weigh in and help us decide!

Try Before You BuyLiberty Hardware Lowe's Sample Box Pulls

In the meantime, I can’t recommend this process enough! It was so convenient. Plus, “trying the hardware on” was such a lifesaver. I can’t believe that the combo we chose in the box ended up being different than what looked best in their kitchen. The sample box saved us from buying ALL the wrong hardware and helped us feel a lot more confident about our decision before we invested in the new hardware.

If you’re looking for a simple update in your kitchen or bath and don’t want to break the bank, think about changing your hardware… and definitely consider using a sample box from Lowe’s to try on a few looks. (Plus, you can use the knobs that you don’t use in your space for a DIY project. Maybe swap the hardware on a nightstand or dresser?)

What Do You Think?!

But before you go ordering your own sample box, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Let us know what you think and we will keep you updated on the winning combo (and the updated kitchen cabinets!).

Now you know how to choose new hardware for your cabinets!


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.