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Is black or gold hardware better for white cabinets?

When designing a kitchen with white cabinets, one of the most important decisions is choosing the right hardware. Should you go with classic black pulls and knobs or make a bold statement with glamorous gold? Both options have their pros and cons when paired with crisp, bright white cabinets. Here’s an in-depth look at how to decide whether black or gold is better for your white kitchen cabinets.

The Elegance of Black Hardware

Black hardware has a timeless, elegant look that pairs beautifully with white cabinets. The high-contrast combination creates a crisp, classic aesthetic that fits well with many design styles from traditional to contemporary. Black metal pulls and knobs pop against the white, allowing the cabinets to take center stage.


  • Classic, timeless look
  • High contrast makes details stand out
  • Matches any style from modern to farmhouse


  • Some find it too safe or boring
  • Shows fingerprints and smudges

Black hardware has a reputation for being a “safe” choice, but it’s popular for good reason. The simple sophistication works beautifully for a clean, elegant look. However, the high contrast also means you’ll notice every fingerprint and smudge. Frequent cleaning is a must for super shiny black hardware to maintain the striking look.

The Glamour of Gold Hardware

Gold hardware brings a touch of glamour and luxury to white kitchen cabinets. Polished brass and other warm metallics pair nicely with the cool, stark white. Gold grabs attention and can elevate the overall aesthetic to feel brighter and more high-end.


  • Luxurious, glamorous aesthetic
  • Warms up stark white cabinets
  • Unique statement piece


  • Shows fingerprints and smudges
  • Not as versatile – best for glam kitchens

The dazzling metallic finish of gold hardware makes it a showstopper. It adds a richness that prevents an all-white kitchen from feeling too clinical. However, just like black hardware, the shiny finish also shows every single fingerprint. Gold also works best in kitchens with other glam accents and a touch of glitz. It may feel out of place in a pared-down minimalist kitchen.

Factors to Consider

When deciding between black or gold hardware for white cabinets, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Personal style: Consider the overall look you want for your kitchen – glamorous, traditional, modern, etc. Choose hardware that matches the aesthetic you’re going for.
  • Other finishes: Look at other finishes like fixtures and appliances. Gold hardware looks best complemented with other metallics while black pairs well with stainless steel.
  • Maintenance: Glossy black and polished gold both show fingerprints. Satin or brushed finishes hide smudges better.
  • Budget: Gold hardware is usually more expensive than standard black. Factor in the cost difference.

You’ll also want to think about the size and style of the hardware. Larger pulls suit contemporary designs while tiny knobs work for a more classic look. Avoid mixing and matching black and gold – pick one metallic tone and stick with it.

Black Hardware Ideas

Here are some stylish ways to use black hardware in a white kitchen:

  • Shaker-style cabinets with simple black knobs or pulls
  • Handle-less cabinets with hidden hinges and black touch latches
  • Black bar pulls on drawers for modern sleekness
  • Industrial age with black iron pulls and matching black fixtures
  • Vintage charm with porcelain knobs and farmhouse sinks

Black hardware works with a variety of styles from modern to traditional. Use it to create an elegant monochromatic look or pair with wood countertops and stainless steel for contrast.

Gold Hardware Ideas

Make a glamorous statement by pairing white kitchen cabinets with gold hardware:

  • Polished brass knobs and cup pulls for traditional luxury
  • Matte black cabinets with shiny champagne gold pulls
  • Dazzling crystal and gold knobs on glass front cabinets
  • Soft gold bar pulls on drawers with a hammered finish
  • Antique gold squares on Shaker-style cabinet doors

Lean into the glamour with glass front cabinets, marble countertops, and crystal chandeliers. Or give sleek contemporary cabinets a pop of shine with bold gold pulls. Match other accents like lighting fixtures and faucets to the hardware.

Black Hardware Styles

From traditional knobs to modern handles, here are some top black hardware styles for white kitchen cabinets:

  • Black bar pulls: Sleek horizontal pulls perfect for modern or contemporary designs.
  • Black iron pulls: Industrial age look with black wrought iron hardware.
  • Matte black knobs: Classic small black knobs blend well with traditional cabinets.
  • Long black handles: Stylish statement pieces for modern handle-less cabinets.
  • Black cup pulls: Simple half-moon shape pulls suit Shaker-style cabinets.

Opt for matte black rather than glossy for a more low-key look. Combining different black hardware pieces, like knobs and pulls, can add visual interest too.

Gold Hardware Styles

From ornate to modern, here are some beautiful gold hardware options:

  • Polished brass: Classic bright gold with a mirror-like shine.
  • Satin brass: A soft muted gold finish that’s less flashy.
  • Oil-rubbed bronze: Rich dark brown-gold with an antiqued look.
  • Champagne gold: Warm gold with a hint of rose suits glam designs.
  • Matte black with gold: Striking combo of black and gold finishes.

The specific shade of gold makes a big impact. Lean into the glam with polished or champagne gold. Or choose oil-rubbed bronze for a more subdued vibe. Mixing gold with black hardware is another eye-catching option.

Should You Go for Black or Gold?

So should you choose classic black or glitzy gold hardware for white kitchen cabinets? There’s no universally right or wrong option – it comes down to personal preference and the look you want. Here are some final pros and cons to consider:

Black Hardware Pros:

  • Timeless and versatile for any design style
  • Creates a clean, elegant contrast with white cabinets
  • More affordable option than gold

Black Hardware Cons:

  • Shows fingerprints and smudges
  • Some find it too safe or boring

Gold Hardware Pros:

  • Glamorous, luxury look
  • Makes a statement and becomes a focal point
  • Warms up stark white cabinets

Gold Hardware Cons:

  • More expensive than black hardware
  • Shows fingerprints and smudges
  • Best for glam design styles

Ultimately the choice comes down to the look you want and your budget. Black hardware creates an elegant, timeless look at a lower cost. Gold makes more of a bold stylistic statement but costs more. For a glamorous kitchen, gold is the way to go. But you can’t go wrong pairing classic black hardware with bright white cabinets.


Whether you choose striking black or dazzling gold, hardware plays a big role in the overall look of a white kitchen. Hopefully this overview has helped highlight the pros and cons of each option. Keep in mind your personal style, budget and the maintenance required. Both black and gold hardware offer beautiful ways to accent sophisticated white cabinets. So choose the one that best fits your kitchen’s style for a cohesive design you’ll love.

Hardware Color Pros Cons
  • Timeless, versatile
  • High contrast
  • Affordable
  • Shows smudges
  • Boring to some
  • Glamorous
  • Makes a statement
  • Warms up white
  • Shows smudges
  • Expensive
  • Best for glam style

In summary, both black and gold hardware have their advantages and drawbacks when paired with white kitchen cabinets. Consider the look you want, your budget, and required maintenance when making your choice. The key is choosing hardware that integrates beautifully with your cabinet style and overall kitchen design.