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How to Choose the Right Hardware and Finish Color for Your Custom Closet Cabinets

4 minute read, by Closet America, on Jan 12, 2017

Details matter. Custom cabinets help personalize your closet, but the right finish color and hardware will turn your space into a statement.

Usually, my clients really look forward to choosing hardware and finish colors for their custom cabinetry. It’s a sign they’re nearing the end of the design process and their closet systems are almost ready to be crafted and installed.

But we offer enough options that this step is also a little stressful. You want to make sure that the finished product suits your taste and style, and colors that look good on paper don’t always feel the same after they’re applied to your actual closet. So, I figured I’d provide some closet paint color ideas and guidance on how to make choices that won’t leave you second-guessing yourself.

What Your Closet Color Says About You


The color of your closet is typically the first thing that you notice when you step into the space. And while I don’t think you can truly go wrong with any of our finish options, it’s useful to understand a little about color psychology before making your decision.

If you like airy spaces: White and off-white help brighten dim spaces and can make a small closet feel bigger. These choices are also good if you’ve got a walk-in closet straight out of the 70s and want a contemporary makeover. Our White, Antique White, and Chill Aura are all good options, but Chill Aura offers a little extra wood texture, which can create a more interesting visual dynamic—a good compromise if white walk-in closet cabinets seem too simple.

If you are a traditionalist: Shades of tan or brown mimic real wood and tend to seem less trendy than paint colors. If you’re thinking about resale value for your home, staying in this color palette tends to have the broadest appeal to traditional home buyers (although you should definitely consider the age range of those buyers—as noted above, white and off-white are popular with a younger generation). Our Maple, Port, and Sunset options all fit this category.

If you don’t mind living on the dark side: Dark colors provide a very sophisticated look but can take a little extra planning to pull off. Because these options do darken your space, I’d recommend pairing a dark finish with recessed LED lighting to make sure that your favorite clothing and accessories still stand out. That said, the end result can be a very personal, intimate space that highlights the items you love most and hides everything else, including smudges and fingerprints. If this sounds like you, our Chocolate and Vintage Rio finishes are your best bet.

Should I Just Choose My Favorite Color?

If you’re still feeling indecisive, think about your typical wardrobe palette and select a color that complements it.

For clients who dress in neutral browns and tans, for instance, I might recommend our Maple or Sunset options. If you wear a lot of black, you might go with a very light finish to create contrast, or a very dark one if you want your wardrobe to blend with the rest of your space. If you enjoy colors, I usually recommend sticking with a white or off-white finish. This lets your clothes speak for your closet and grab immediate attention.

Selecting the Right Hardware

There’s a little more to selecting hardware than just closing your eyes and pointing. In fact, knobs and drawer pulls are important enough that they’re one of the first things many clients want to adjust if they’re unhappy with their old closet systems.

Chrome is probably my clients’ most common color choice. It’s a good all-around option that works with just about any finish. Lighter cabinets also tend to match well with hardware that’s a little darker, like our Pewter or Black Antique.  Brass is another lovely hardware option, but it tends to work best with a finish that already has warm undertones—I usually suggest pairing it with our Antique White or Port finishes.

In addition to closet color, there are a few design elements you’ll want to keep in mind. Our Modern and Bar Pull collections, for instance, tend to complement a contemporary design. Both options have straight angles and a clean, simple shape. If you want a more traditional feel, look for hardware that has a little more embellishment—curves, curlicues, or any type of ornamentation.

Ultimately, a custom closet should help you create the space of your dreams, so don’t be afraid to talk through your options with your designer until you’re satisfied with the closet design. There’s a lot to consider, but it’s all part of the fun. Reach out for a free design consultation and we’ll help you craft a one-of-a-kind space on the East Coast.

Closet America was able to work with my unique circumstances in order to give me the best use of my space.

Amy B.,
Fairfax Station, VA

Let’s Start Your Project

Whether you’re interested in a custom-designed closet, office, pantry, or garage, starting your project couldn’t be easier. Just fill out the attached form or give us a call to schedule your free in-home design consultation. You can download our brochure and you’re welcome to visit our Landover Maryland showroom, to see how beautiful our custom-designed organization systems look in person. We want you to experience the Closet America difference and see how we build organizing solutions for life.