Cabinet hardware is often the very last thing to select during a remodeling or new construction project, but it’s something that can have a huge impact on the personality and function of a space. Following are some tips to help you make the best choice for your home and lifestyle.
First, consider the style of your room. A room decorated in a French Provincial style requires different (and often more ornate) cabinet hardware than a contemporary or Arts & Crafts-styled space. Look at the “lines” of your light fixtures and other elements of the space. Are they scrolled and curvy, or straight and simple? Select cabinet hardware that reflects those same lines.
Now, think about the function of the hardware. Cabinet hardware can be selected in many different combinations. Some homeowners prefer to install only knobs on their cabinetry, as they find them easier to grasp than wider pulls. Others dislike knobs, as they can catch on pants pockets when they walk by a lower cabinet. (Never thought of that, did you?). Some folks like to use a combination of both knobs and pulls to add variety to the room. There are no right answers here; for best results, check out the knobs or pulls you are considering in person. Try them out to see how they fit your hand. Everyone is different, and you want something that will work for you and your family. Function is most important – especially in high-use spaces like the kitchen.
Next, look at the colors in your room. Quite often, but not always, cabinet hardware is the same color as the other metal tones in the room. For example, if you have bronze light fixtures, your cabinet hardware could be the same (or similar) tone. Stay in the same color family for best results; if you have cool-toned black, pewter or nickel light fixtures, for example, consider something in the same color family for your cabinet hardware. Also, make sure you like the color against the finish of your cabinets, as they will be installed directly on the wood or paint finish. Whether you like them to contrast with the wood finish or blend in, be sure you like the result before you buy your hardware. And, if you choose a mix of knobs and pulls, selecting them from the same manufacturer will ensure that the finishes match exactly. Hardware finishes vary widely from company to company.
Be sure to also consider the size of the hardware. Standard pulls have a 3″ center-to-center measurement. This means there are 3 inches between the centers of the screws attaching the pull to the drawer or door. However, there are many other center-to-center measurements available, from the very small to the very wide. The hardware measurement you choose is up to you. However, be aware that if you choose a non-standard or trendy center-to-center measurement (very wide hardware is currently trendy), you may have trouble changing the hardware later. There may be very few (or no) options in 10 years; the result is that you will need to replace your cabinet doors or keep the hardware you already have. To choose a pull with a different screw spread will mean that at least one of the screw holes will be exposed – not a good look. Knobs, since they require only one hole for installation, are the most versatile option.
Novelty hardware can be a fun choice for smaller areas. Leaves, rabbits, flowers, martini glasses, socks – if you want it, you can probably find it in a cabinet knob or pull! They can be fun additions to dining room buffets, laundry room cabinets, mudrooms, desks or other areas. They tend to be more expensive than more standard hardware, so they aren’t always the best choice for kitchens or areas with large quantities of knobs. Although, I have used them in conjunction with standard knobs and pulls for a fun mix.
Cabinet hardware can make any space look fresh and new, adding personality and style. These tips should give you some things to think about as you shop for your remodeling project.