That’s it! You’ve chosen the perfect cabinets for your kitchen—you’re done now, right? Not quite. There’s still the matter of functional accessorizing. Your kitchen cabinet hardware is the pièce de résistance to tie together the rest of the room: you want to make sure the handles and knobs are functional but work with the atmosphere of the kitchen as well.
Think of your cabinet hardware like the jewelry of your kitchen, embellishing and enhancing the design of the room. This makes new hardware a great way to give new life to a kitchen that needs a facelift. Even if you don’t do a full remodel or replace or refurbish the cabinets, kitchen cabinet hardware can make a room feel new.
Knobs vs. Pulls
The first place to start in making your decision about hardware is to choose the type: knob vs. pulls. Knobs are typically designed for full-handed grabbing, while a pull needs only a few fingers and a looser grip to operate. Here are a few more generalizations about the differences between knobs and pulls:
- Have a smaller profile
- Are less expensive
- Have been used historically for both drawers and cabinets
- Require only one screw to install and no leveling
- Are larger than knobs
- Can be easier to hold on to
- Are more expensive than pulls
- May have a more involved installation process, using at least two screws and a level to ensure right angles
Again, these are generalizations. A brass knob, for example, is likely to be more expensive than a wooden pull. Both knobs and pulls come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Many knobs are round, but some are quirky and asymmetrical. Pulls can be square or curved, and while linear pulls will complement the straight lines of a drawer or cabinet, rounded ones will add visual interest.
Many kitchens use a combination of both styles of kitchen cabinet hardware in their design. As mentioned above, knobs have traditionally been favored for cabinet doors and pulls for drawers, but there is no rulebook that dictates you must follow that pattern. When choosing your kitchen cabinet hardware, take both design and functionality into account. You want your hardware to coordinate with itself and with the other features in the room, and you want it to be comfortable. Test each pull or knob to make sure it fits your hand, and make sure it will fit the door or drawer to which it will mount.
Kitchen Cabinet Hardware Size
If you have a long cabinet and runners on both sides, one little knob in the center is probably not going to cut it. The hardware you choose should be proportional to the cabinetry. This means large (or small) enough for functionality and small enough not to overwhelm your cabinet. A good rule of thumb for pulls is to make their length one third the width of the cabinet. A 1:3 ratio is a common one in general for design: it appeals to our eyes and brains. If knobs are the way you choose to go, for your own sanity use two for any drawer longer than 30 inches.
Find Your Style
There has never been more variety when it comes to your choice of kitchen cabinet hardware. Both knobs and pulls are becoming available in a wide variety of styles from contemporary to eclectic. What feeling do you want to evoke in your kitchen design? Do you want it to feel casual? Perhaps you are striving for a sleek, modern look, or maybe your tastes run more traditional. Do you like all things rural? Whatever your style, allow your hardware to provide the finishing touch.
The Perfect Finish
The finish you settle on for your kitchen cabinet hardware will depend on several factors, the first of which is often the style as discussed above. You will also want to consider texture. The visual and tactile qualities of metal are clearly not the same as those of wood or glass. Cleaning routines should also be taken into account.
Keep in mind the other facets of the room. You not only want your finish to coordinate with the wood of your drawers and doors but also with the other metals in the room: the faucet, the appliances, the lighting fixtures, etc. They do not necessarily have to match—mixing metals can be a bold and visually interesting choice—but they shouldn’t clash.
Whether it is brushed nickel or stainless steel, chrome or antique brass, do not fall into the trap of choosing a finish based solely on price. Quality finishes that will last are generally more cost-effective in the long run. For all your kitchen cabinet hardware needs, feel free to give us a call at Out of the Woods Cabinetry. We would love to help you find the perfect hardware for your space.