Read this before you start shopping for faucetry, knobs, or pulls.

Whether you're planning a full kitchen renovation or are simply looking to update some of your fixtures, you know the importance of selecting the right finishes for your space. Ahead, an interior designer shares her best tips for picking out faucetry, cabinet knobs and pulls, and more to help you polish off your project, big or small.

Do a cost breakdown.

When selecting kitchen finishes (think faucets, cabinet knobs, hinges, or drawer pulls), there are a few basics to keep in mind, says Diana Weinstein, an interior designer and owner of Diana Weinstein Design. Certain finishes, like brass, brushed nickel, or matte black, can be more expensive than basic chrome, she says. If you want to make a big impact on a small budget, you will want to avoid the more expensive finishes in favor of bigger statement pieces.

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Pick materials practically.

Additionally, not every finish will work for your lifestyle. You may love the look of a shiny finish, for example, but they quickly reveal dirty fingerprints more than some other finishes (something you will want to keep in mind if you have little ones running around).

Pick finishes that are "friends," not "twins."

You should look for some commonality, like the reiteration of a shape or style, when matching finishes, but they do not all have to be the same. "I tend to match hinges to knobs and pulls," Weinstein says. "But the cabinet hardware and faucets can certainly be different." The same goes for color, too.

She does, however, suggest that your choices feel like "friends"—meaning they should meld well together. But this gives you freedom during your search: You don't necessarily need to pull options from the same collection, as long as your final selects have something in common (like the finish, silhouette, or overarching style).

Be cautious when buying online.

A good rule of thumb with any renovation or remodel is to bring a sample of the materials into the space first; this is especially important when you are shopping online. Weinstein always advises her clients to order a sample before springing for the full lot. "You may order an antique brushed brass faucet and it looks one way online and then comes to you and looks orange," she explains. Just be sure to check the return policy wherever you are buying from to avoid getting stuck with sample pieces that you cannot, or will not, use.

Ultimately, there aren't any rules.

One thing is certain, says Weinstein: There are no real "rules" when it comes to picking out finishes that you love on a personal level. And while she is a fan of mixing finishes—especially to showcase something unique, like a fancy faucet—there's nothing wrong with playing it safe, if that's more your style (you can't go wrong with choosing matching finishes, for instance).


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