Cabinet Hardware Tips for Maximizing Your Kitchen Design

In January, we talked about interesting accessories for your kitchen and bathroom. This month, we share information about cabinet hardware and how it affects your kitchen or bathroom design.

kitchen remodelDoing a kitchen remodel that includes installing new cabinets will mean choosing cabinet hardware that completes the look. Even if you aren’t remodeling your Hudson Valley kitchen or bath, changing your cabinet pulls and knobs are an easy way to refresh your cabinetry and bring a new point of focal interest to your kitchen décor. If you’ve stained or painted your existing cabinetry, you can top off that project with different cabinet hardware to complete the look. 

Pull or knobs on cabinetry?

You may prefer the look of pulls or want to do something interesting with knobs. The decision of which to use may be informed by the width of your drawer fronts or height of the cabinet doors.

  • Pulls on cabinets – Pulls on all doors and drawers tend to elongate, especially in kitchens with shorter wall cabinets. This creates a sense of height. Pulls also contribute to simplicity and consistency, which is important in smaller spaces. That elongated look can make the space feel grander in size. 
    • Knobs are really designed to open cabinet doors, not large drawers or pullouts. You can certainly use knobs on small drawers. 
    • At Affordable Granite & Cabinetry, we recommend you use pulls on pullouts (such as a trash or pantry pullout) and large drawers and doors.
    • The weight of those larger drawer fronts or cabinet doors won’t be properly supported by a knob’s small single stress point. 
    • This is especially true for soft-closing drawers; these have some resistance to them by design, and will stress that knob point. 
  • If you are feeling adventurous, you can mix and match a combination of pulls and knobs for your cabinetry. Today’s cabinet hardware designers are putting out some fun new shapes that really jazz up the long-time selection. And there are cool metal finishes, ceramics, and glass. 

Cabinet pull designs and shapes

Gone are the plain smooth or simple brushed metal surfaces of metal cabinet pulls. Like their knob friends, pulls are getting fancy and fun. Look for fluted, decoratively embossed, hammered, and other designs that bring life to your cabinetry. Mix curved and straight, cupped and hanging . . . there are loads of choices to play with. Your cabinet style will guide you to a certain extent on which pulls or knobs to choose.

You may find that small knobs are hard to grasp and longer pulls are easier to use. Again, you’ll find endless sizes and shapes to try in a showroom to see what feels best for you.

Does size matter?

The answer to that is, “it depends.” 

Consider mixing up the sizes of your cabinet pulls—especially on oversized cabinet doors that have lots of “real estate.” You can install longer, larger pulls on top and smaller on base cabinets, for example. Or double up on the pulls with side-by-side configuration that adds a sophisticated look to your kitchen.

What about cabinet pull or knob finishes?

Manufacturers of cabinet hardware are tuned into consumer demand for high style and to the latest kitchen design trends. For panel-ready appliances (such as a dishwasher or refrigerator that has a built-in look) you can select an appliance handle that matches your cabinet hardware.

Just as you can mix hardware sizes, you can mix up the hardware finishes in the kitchen as well. Hot finishes today are bronze, gold, pewter, and black. These can add a striking contrast to what you already have installed, and really brighten up your kitchen décor. Some ideas for this are:

  • Be creative and mix metals, or have ceramic knobs that complement the metal pulls. 
  • Paint big wooden knobs to match or contrast with your cabinet doors, or find ceramic or glass knobs that coordinate or contrast with your cabinet colors. 
  • Contrast the metal pulls or knobs with your faucet or other kitchen fixtures. 

Beautiful Hudson Valley kitchens—and cabinets—start at Affordable Granite & Cabinetry

At Affordable Granite & Cabinetry in Fishkill, our home remodeling experts will assist you with your kitchen design, cabinet, tile and flooring selections, and guide you on the cabinet hardware that will set off your new kitchen in style. Make an appointment for a consultation in our Fishkill showroom; or call our remodeling team at (845) 564-0550 to discuss your cabinets and design in your Hudson Valley home.