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Knob or pull? Bronze or silver? Small or big? Kitchen cabinet hardware is more than just a pretty decoration; knobs and pulls keep your cabinet cleaner and protect the finish. Plus, while they’re little, they can actually make a big impact on your kitchen’s appearance. But with thousands of options out there, how can you select the right hardware to make the best impact? Take these things into consideration before you make your final kitchen cabinet hardware selection.
This is a big choice because once you’ve decided, you’ve narrowed down your options by 50%. You’ll need to consider both form and function when making your knob versus pull choice.
Pulls are easier to use; they give you more space to use more of your hand. You can have a firmer grip and move about your kitchen more easily.
When it comes to style, knobs can be stylish on cabinets but tend to make a kitchen appear dated when used exclusively. One nice look is to use knobs on cabinets and pulls on drawers. This adds variety, as well as your own unique style.
Knobs are typically less expensive and are easier to work with from a design perspective because they make less of a statement. They work well when you have other fine details in your kitchen because they take a back seat and let those details shine.
Pulls make a bigger statement so it’s important you get the look right. Using all pulls can create a very attractive look.
Chrome, brushed nickel, brass… how should you choose the finish of your kitchen hardware?
You should maintain the same finish on all the hardware in your kitchen, even if you choose different styles to be used in different places. Look to all your kitchen’s metal accents, including your faucet, lighting, and appliances.
The type of finish you choose depends largely on your cabinets. For example, if you have white cabinets, choosing a bold finish will make a huge impact. Warm-toned cabinets tend to look best with bronze, black, or gold hardware. Silvers, pewters, and black hardware work well with gray cabinets.
Look at the other elements of your kitchen to help you determine the right style for your kitchen hardware. You’ll notice that your cabinets, countertop edges, and lighting fixtures have either square or curved lines. Choose hardware that matches those lines. Curved hardware tends to be more traditional, while square hardware styles are often more contemporary.
Of course, none of the appearances matters if you’re going to hate using the hardware. Think about how you work in your kitchen. You probably move around swiftly, opening and shutting cabinets and drawers as you cook and do the dishes. You don’t want to choose hardware that’s difficult to manage or that feels uncomfortable in your grip.
Photo by Tomwsulcer [Public domain] from wikimedia commons
Go to a showroom and try the hardware you’re considering. Make sure your fingers don’t have to cram together to make it work. Pay attention to the edges — are they sharp or uncomfortable in any way? Do they fit your hands? What about the hands of other people in your home? Are they easy to use?
Bonus tip: Think about what will happen to clothing as it passes by the hardware. Will it catch and rip? What about little toddler hands or pets’ bodies? No matter how attractive the hardware is, it won’t be worth it if someone is always getting hurt or snagging clothing.
Budget is, of course, a key factor in any part of your kitchen remodeling decisions. While you’ll want to pay as little as possible right now, remember that quality matters in the long run. Your local kitchen cabinet showrooms will offer you the largest variety, with people who can help you choose high-quality hardware within your budget. Remember that the price is based on the finish, as well as the design and size. Knobs are less expensive than pulls.
Price is important, but don’t sacrifice quality. Remember that your hardware needs to be sturdy and long-lasting.
Bonus tip: It’s always a good idea to buy a few extras, in case one or two get damaged at some point.
When all is said and done, your kitchen cabinet hardware choice really should come down to your personal preference. Make sure you love it, and you’ll be happy with it for years to come.