What constitutes "Hardware Overkill"?

GoosterMarch 24, 2013

So just what constitutes "hardware overkill"? I see many references to this on GW but I'm wondering what people have in mind when they say this? A mix of too many? Too much of one size? I see (googled) the phrase used a lot, but I don't know if I have a firm definition in my mind. I have a feeling it is a personal thing...

This photo got tagged with a similar phrase in Houzz

Modern Kitchen by Austin Architect Urban Jobe Architecture

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Lovely natural woods, clean-lined cabinetry, light-filled room with a sleek, organic feel...but the first thing you notice are those big honkin' pulls.

Hardware overkill.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 6:47PM
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But that's a pretty cool installation of plugmold tucked in there just under the window sill. Didn't even see it at first.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 9:21PM
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Maybe it is just me, but I like that hardware. It isn't the first thing I notice....

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 9:49PM
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Yeah, but the hardware is under the microscope with that shot and they appear to go with the vibe of that kitchen. I'd have to see the whole kitchen before I branded it hardware overkill. There are much bigger, longer pulls being put on modern and contemporary cabs, that's for sure.

Love how they look in certain kitchens, but I wonder how long before long pulls are dated? I imagine it's pretty much impossible to update by changing hardware without leaving a mark when you have those babies.

But I digress... Gooster,what's overkill? I think it could mean anything you mentioned and probably means different things to different people.

I personally don't like a mix of different styles or finishes and don't like ornate, crafty or whimsical . At most I'd pair a knob with a pull depending on the cabinet choice, but anything more than that would be overkill for me.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 10:00PM
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You notice that hardware because of the way it was photographed. It seems that the photographer was aiming at the handles. There is nothing that says "overkill" to me, those are just regular handles. One per door/drawer, not at all over-sized. What else would you put on a modern slab cabinet? Not have any?

I actually tried not having handles on some of my cabinets and it looked wrong.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 10:09PM
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I just posted an example, because people on Houzz had labeled it as overkill. I think people are reacting to the size of the pulls. The same pulls would work, but perhaps in a small size or some variation.

I am struggling with the question myself, as I have a cup pull that I like, and a handle that I like. I don't especially like the knob that matches, but I do have a small slideout that needs a nob (too narrow for a cup pull). They are a bit on the fussier side, so I'm concerned with overkill.

That got me thinking... what is overkill? Are there examples?

Here's an example with knobs, bar pulls and cup pulls. There are a lot of items here in a small area... probably could have swapped some cup pulls for knobs...

Traditional Kitchen by Fairfax Kitchen And Bath Kleppinger Design Group, Inc.

Here is an example of three types, but one that seems to be in balance:

Traditional Kitchen by Chicago Architect COOK ARCHITECTURAL Design Studio

And finally, a link to pulls that are way ornate

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 1:06AM
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What the heck is plug mold from Smiling's post? It sounds like a disease :)

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 6:37AM
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See the thin strip that runs under the length of windows that has outlets in it? That's plugmold. Some GWers use it under their upper cabs so that they don't have to have outlets showing in their backsplash. It can keep it "cleaner" looking, unless you have some things plugged in all the time. Then you'd have wires snaking up to the underside of the uppers. That's known as "plugmold snakeline disease". Just kiddin'. : )

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 3:57PM
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I don't remember reading that term in Gardenweb.

I don't think the first one shows overkill although the large bar pulls sometimes are overdone. I think there is enough consistency in this one, although I may have considered all horizontal.

I think the second picture has too-many-things-going-on overload, generally--and I know you don't see it in real life as much but the vents and drains in the toe kick bug me with that particular manufacturer.

The third one is fine.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 4:21PM
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I too, have never read anything on GW (or anywhere else) that refers to "hardware overkill." I was merely trying to pinpoint what, in the first photo, others may have been thinking when they labeled it as such.

The owners of that kitchen probably love those pulls and purposely made them a prominent feature.

If you have an assortment of hardware you like, you should use them and not worry about how others may perceive it. Plenty of people very successfully combine pulls + cup pulls+ knobs. Maybe find a simpler knob in the same finish if you're concerned that it may be too ornate.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 5:06PM
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I was just trying to calibrate my assumptions on combining hardware. There seems to be a line that I want to be careful of not crossing. That is why I posted examples of things I felt might cross the line, and one that does not Plus, the original one that was labeled as such.

Below I've linked a whole thread from last summer where overkill was used frequently.

Here is a link that might be useful: Knobs vs. Pulls

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 7:15PM
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