Cabinet hardware comes in an almost infinite number of shapes, sizes and styles. Choosing the right knobs and pulls to complete your kitchen design can feel overwhelming, but with some planning, it’s easy to find the perfect accent pieces. The first step is to understand the difference between knobs and pulls—knobs generally have one screw hole while pulls have two holes. Once you have that down, it’s time to decide what size hardware is best for your space. It’s also important to consider how comfortable the hardware feels when you use it. The last thing you want is to have oversized pulls or handles that are difficult to grip and get caught on clothing, so try the hardware out in a showroom before making your purchase.
Lastly, keep in mind that your kitchen hardware will get dirty over time, so it’s a good idea to choose something durable. Knobs and pulls made from materials such as brass, iron and ceramic are great choices, since they’re resistant to stains, splatter and grease. Stainless steel is another popular option, as it resists corrosion and keeps a crisp appearance for longer than other metals.
Once you’ve decided on a size and style, it’s time to pick a finish. While mixing finishes is definitely possible, it’s usually easier to coordinate your cabinet hardware if you stick with a single finish. That way, any differences in shape or size are less likely to stand out and look jarring.
The color of your hardware should complement the rest of your kitchen, so it’s important to take into account the overall tone of your decor. Typically, metallic finishes like copper and brass are best for more traditional or transitional styles, while bronze and oil-rubbed finishes work well in contemporary kitchens. However, don’t be afraid to break a few design rules and mix different metals for an eclectic, modern look.
When it comes to kitchen cabinet hardware, you’re basically only limited by your own imagination—and budget. Decent-quality hardware doesn’t have to break the bank, and there are plenty of affordable options from reputable brands like Liberty, Amerock, Top Knobs and Richelieu.
If you’re replacing existing hardware, make sure the new knobs and pulls match the existing mounting holes. To do this, remove a piece of existing hardware and measure the center-to-center distance between the screw holes. This information will be helpful in your search for replacements.
Often, hardware manufacturers offer template-like tools that can help you figure out where to drill the mounting holes on your cabinets (or at least give you a close estimate). If you’re installing new hardware, or if you’re going from pulls to knobs, you may need to replace the existing holes on the cabinet doors with coordinating backplates, which will cover up any unused holes and add a layer of interest to your cabinet design.
While there are many ways to choose the right cabinet hardware for your space, personal preference will ultimately trump all else. Don’t be afraid to break a few of the “design rules”—if it makes your heart happy, why not?