In many cases, designing a kitchen can be quite a challenging task. The task oftentimes requires making many decisions like choosing the proper kind of knobs and pulls for your cabinets. Choosing modern kitchen hardware is something that can catch people off guard. There are many options to choose from in terms of size, style, and finish and in many kitchens, these options need to be careful throughout in order to achieve the perfect look.
Most cabinets aren’t sold along with their hardware so it’s all up to the homeowner to pick their own pulls, knobs and more home decor. While it’s not a simple decision due to the unique finishes and styles that are available, the proper research can make it easier. The following tips can help you choose the right kind of hardware to match your kitchen design.
There are two big reasons that you’ll want to have more than a single style of cabinet knobs and/or pulls. The reasons are both style and function.
In terms of style for your modern cabinet hardware, you can mix the different types of hardware in order to give your kitchen some more character while also adding a bit of visual interest. In a larger-size kitchen, there’s a chance that you’ll look to avoid repeating the same handle for every last door and drawer.
When it comes to function, there are some cabinets that are better operated with certain hardware choices compared to others. For instance, you’ll want to consider choosing round knobs for swinging doors, small handles for doors that flip upwards, pulls for pullout drawers, etc.
When you mix hardware, you’ll want everything to make sense while still having it look organized and elegant. It will all come down to your personal opinion and comfort; however, there are some guidelines you’ll want to follow to help you easily make the right decision.
There are different types of hardware and you’ll be able to use the different types for different situations. Here are ways to mix some of the more common types of hardware.
Round knobs are considered to have the biggest advantage in terms of comfortability as opposed to T-shaped or square-shaped knobs. They can be grabbed from different directions and that’s what makes them easy to pull.
Even though round knobs come with a great advantage, they also have a big disadvantage that you should be aware of. If you have wide drawers that aren’t easily pulled out from a central point, these knobs can be a problem. If your drawers are heavy or aren’t made with high-quality, a single round knob in the center might be tough to work with. Using two knobs can be an option in this case so that you can use two hands to open the drawer.
Single handles can be more practical in these situations since they can be pulled with one hand. Despite all of this, both options are possible and it all comes down to personal style as well as quality drawers.
These handles have more of a cupped shape so that your fingers can slide into them from underneath. This style is different from other handles that can be grabbed from either above or below. Pulls are similar to the handles that are found on file cabinets and also storage bids as they have more of a retro feel. Bin pulls have the most appealing look to them when they’re installed in the center of the drawer and in a horizontal fashion so that they can easily function.
Bin pulls are the most ideal for a single row of drawers that are running across a set of cabinets. They’re also suitable for drawers that run around the entire kitchen since they don’t look bulky.
These kinds of pulls will typically attach to the top or back of the drawers then wrap around in order to create a lip so that you can easily grab it by curving your finger. This is similar to a bin pull, but it’s wider and has a minimalistic style.
Finger pulls are commonly combined with different cabinet styles since they are commonly found in more minimalistic and modern kitchens. They can be an ideal option to have in a consistent width or with a specific size to match each individual cabinet.
Those semihidden cabinets that are commonly found on the back of the island can make use out of short finger pulls. This is because protruding hardware can interfere with knees, elbows, and more.
For more of an old-school look, you might want to choose latch pulls. This kind of hardware will latch shut and help keep the cabinet door closed. Since this kind of hardware has a specific method of latching, it can require some extra effort to open the cabinet or drawer when compared to a standard pull. While they can act like a child safety lock, they also make for the perfect style piece.
If you have a kitchen with a traditional, transitional, or farmhouse look, you’ll be able to use latch pulls properly in order to achieve the ideal sense of sophistication and visual appeal.
Keep in mind that since latch pulls come in two separate pieces, they can’t just be attached to any cabinet door. Latch pulls require one door to be flush to the frame in order for the two elements to connect as needed. These kinds of pulls can be mixed with a simpler knob so that you don’t need to unlatch the cabinets with an extra step.
It’s crucial for you to know the difference between knobs and pulls and when it’s appropriate to use the two. For many cabinets, knobs can be a much better option to have compared to pulls. The difference is simple to note. A knob is a small and simple fixture that will typically not draw attention away from the cabinet design.
The theme in your kitchen can say a lot and so can the hardware on your kitchen cabinets. You’re going to want to choose hardware that works well with the theme that you have in your kitchen. If you have a more modern and contemporary kitchen, you can explore sleek and maybe tubular pulls. For a more traditional themed kitchen, you can go for some simple and smooth knobs. If your kitchen has a farmhouse or country theme to it, you can potentially benefit from hardware that has a bit more of an antique look to it. This includes choosing bronze finishes, and more.
When you want to coordinate the appearance of your hardware, you’re going to want to use a single type of hardware for the upper cabinets and another type for the lower cabinets. Knobs will typically be suitable for the upper cabinets since they’re easy to grip when you need to swing open the door. For lower cabinets, short handles or pulls would be ideal as they can work for both lower cabinet doors and drawers.
If your kitchen has full-height pantry doors, you can treat them similarly to the way you would treat the upper cabinets or lower cabinets, or even choose to split the hardware by their upper and lower halves. Keep in mind that if you do decide to split the hardware, you should follow the verticle line of your counter height. If you don’t want to do this, then the most ideal solution is to choose large appliance pulls or a single style for the entire pantry area.
You might be a fan of mixing different hardware or you might even have a larger size kitchen to work with that also has different cabinets and drawers. In this case, you can look into choosing different styles of hardware based on the functions of each door and/or drawer.
While sticking to one kind of finish for your kitchen cabinet hardware is ideal, it’s not impossible to actually mix different finishes in order to achieve a beautiful effect. Be mindful of this decision and try to follow the proper guidelines:
Similarly to mixing different kitchen cabinet hardware styles, you’re going to want to also pay attention to the scale. When you mix hardware that looks similar, but it’s quite identical, it can create an “off” feeling. It can seem to be a mismatched look which might not be what you’re going for.
In order to avoid having a kitchen that looks mismatched, you’ll want to mix hardware styles that are also different in scale. For instance, you can choose some medium-sized handles for your lower cabinets and drawers and small latch pulls for your kitchen’s upper cabinets. Larger handles can be used for panelled appliances. You can also use this technique if you have mismatched kitchen appliances.
You can always change the finish and style of your kitchen’s hardware over time; however, you can’t easily change the holes that have been drilled into your cabinets. This is why it’s crucial for you to consider long-term choices for your kitchen hardware. Oftentimes this includes choosing the right size shape and size hardware so that they’re functional enough for you long-term.
If your choice is one that you regret sooner rather than later, you can avoid replacing or refinishing the cabinet doors by picking new hardware with a backplate that coordinates and covers the unused holes. This can also add an additional accent.
Quality is important, even when it comes to minor details like the hardware on your kitchen cabinets. Since the hardware for kitchen cabinets will see a lot of traffic, you’re going to want to pay specific attention to the quality of the hardware. Look for strong, sturdy, and easy to hold hardware.
The hardware for dark kitchen cabinets can be hit or miss. Depending on the type of cabinets and/or drawers that you have, you’re going to want to choose between knobs and pulls. Cabinet pulls for dark cabinets can range in style and finish.
Most dark cabinet hardware is either silver, chrome, bronze, or something similar. You can have dark cabinets with bronze hardware and more. Bronze knobs on dark cabinets are a common style choice as it’s one that you can rarely get wrong. You can even go for dark oil-rubbed bronze cabinet hardware.
When you’re looking for the best cabinet pulls for white cabinets, it’s important for you to choose something that will make your kitchen stand out, yet not be too overpowering. Going for white kitchen cabinets with brushed nickel hardware is a safe bet and it can definitely make your kitchen pop as a whole.
A more modern and timeless look is white cabinets bronze hardware. When you choose white cabinets with bronze knobs or pulls, you can mix and match them with different sizes and styles to complete the look as desired.
Another classic kitchen hardware option for white cabinets is white cabinets silver hardware.
Stainless steel kitchen cabinet handles are some of the most common finishes in terms of hardware. They’re ideal for both light and dark colored cabinets which is why they’re used so often. Stainless steel cabinet handles come in different styles and sizes so customizing the hardware around your kitchen can be simple. For stainless steel kitchen cabinets, you probably want to stay consistent with the theme and choose pulls or knobs that match.
Modern cabinet pulls stainless steel and modern brushed nickel cabinet pulls can be installed in different kinds of kitchens. While stainless is a classic choice, brushed nickel is more of a bold move. It’s something that is trendy, but not used often so it’s best to plan out the style of your hardware. Brushed nickel cabinet pulls and brushed nickel cabinet knobs can be just what your kitchen needs to stand out.
In modern kitchens, you’ll likely want to have the hardware stand out in a pleasing manner. With modern kitchen pulls, you can achieve the look that you desire. There is also an option to mix and match modern kitchen knobs and pulls around your kitchen with proper planning.
Modern kitchen hardware isn’t hard to come by and all that is required is a consistent theme and proper finish. Modern knobs for kitchen cabinets can include ones that have brushed nickel finishes, stainless steel, or even bronze.
Modern chrome cabinet hardware is also a good choice for an up-to-date kitchen. It works on dark cabinets and light cabinets which is ideal for customization. Polished chrome cabinet pulls modern is a similar option and also be a good option to consider.
If you want to have a more minimalistic look to your kitchen, consider modern black cabinet pulls. These can be added to white cabinets or even light grey cabinets so that the hardware pops.
Another option for white cabinetry is modern brass cabinet hardware or modern gold cabinet hardware. These are a very modern choice and great for minimalistic kitchens. They can be either knobs or pulls or some kind of mix. However, it’s important to keep the finish consistent. Modern cabinet edge pulls are also an option for a different kind of hardware style.
Coordinating different finishes with different hardware on your cabinets is possible. It’s also possible to match the appliances in your kitchen with the hardware on your cabinets. However, you might want to go for a safer choice by mixing different knob and pull styles in a single finish. This will give the hardware some coordination and make the difference between each of the hardware choices in an instant.
Be mindful of the fact that the finish on your cabinet hardware is also relevant to the texture, apart from the material. Take finishes that are gold in tone like satin brass, brushed brass, and chrome cabinet pulls. They look different due to the fact that has different textures on the surface and also a different kind of shine.
If you choose to have a coordinated appearance in your kitchen, you can go for a metal finish when it comes to your cabinet hardware. Match it with your faucet and other details like the switch plate covers and light fixtures.
Go for a white refrigerator with chrome handles for a bolder move or a stainless steel refrigerator with black handles for a minimalistic look. Some kitchens might even have an oil bronze refrigerator and in this case, you’re going to want to choose similar hardware for your cabinets so that the theme is consistent.
Chrome refrigerator handles are gaining popularity in kitchens these days and it’s something that you might want to consider if you’re planning on adding chrome hardware to your cabinets.
Stainless steel appliance handles are the most commonly found in kitchens and to match these, you might just want to go with standard stainless steel hardware for your cabinets, too.
Valentina Melnikova - Lead Designer at Cut2Sizevalentina@cut2size.ca
Hi there! I’m a millwork designer and an owner of a kitchen cabinet manufacturing company. With a team of professionals, I work on designing and manufacturing high-end millwork. Combining professional designing and manufacturing skills is what allows us to develop and translate our plans into a reality through our uniqueness and exclusive ideas. Our employees are highly skilled and creative thinkers that also utilize their professionalism and experience to take millwork to the next level. I’m very familiar with the industry and I take on each project from the design to the final product. With that said, if you’re looking for design advice or technician help, you’re in the right place.