When building a home, there are MANY decisions to make (as you know). Obviously choosing your cabinets is one of the big decisions, but it doesn’t stop there. You need a way to open those beautiful cabinets!
If you’re struggling with what style, finish or size of cabinet hardware you need OR you’re unsure whether you should do knobs or pulls or both, this post is for you! Below is an overview of how to choose cabinet hardware for your home.
We’ll cover what cabinet hardware is (i.e. defining knobs vs. pulls), how to choose the best hardware style, finish, and size for your home, AND I’ll answer the question, ‘can you mix cabinet hardware?’ Let’s go!
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WHAT IS CABINET HARDWARE?
Cabinet hardware refers to the knobs and pulls attached to both your cabinets and drawers. Hardware also includes the hinges that allow the cabinet door to swing open. The primary function of cabinet hardware is to allow you to open your cabinet doors and drawers.
The two common types of hardware are knobs and pulls. Knobs are small and typically used on cabinet doors; pulls are long and typically used on drawers. However, you can use knobs on drawers and pulls on cabinets … there is no rule against this.
The photo below illustrates these two hardware types: pull (on the drawer) and knobs (on the cabinet doors).
HOW TO CHOOSE HARDWARE STYLE
While cabinet hardware’s primary purpose is function, it also helps define your home’s design style. Your hardware style is dependent on the style of your cabinet doors as well as the overall design style of your home.
Both pulls and knobs come in just about every style you can imagine. If your home is traditional, choose ornate knobs and pulls. If your home is contemporary, choose simple hardware with long simple lines. If your home is transitional, choose simple hardware like the photo above. There are also rustic choices if your home is rustic. The options are endless!
Some things to consider FUNCTION-WISE:
- Cabinet knobs are typically round but do come in a wide variety of shapes
- Choose knobs and pulls that are comfortable on your hands because you will use them often; rounded surfaces are much less likely to scratch you than a sharp square edge
- If you’re a perfectionist (like me), I recommend round knobs because you can’t tell when they rotate (unlike square knobs that will be crooked when they rotate)
CABINET HARDWARE FINISH
The image below from REJUVENATION shows four of the most popular cabinet hardware finishes (from left to right): oil-rubbed bronze, satin nickel (or brushed nickel), brass (or gold), and chrome (or polished nickel).
Keep in mind that finishes can vary widely from manufacturer to manufacturer. In my experience, oil-rubbed bronze varies the most. The product in the photo (left) looks borderline black; however, sometimes oil-rubbed bronze has more of a rust color.
I personally prefer to keep all hardware finishes matching in my home. (I branch out and mix metals with my decor and accents.) However, as long as you keep the finishes all cohesive in your kitchen and any surrounding rooms, you’ll be fine!
When I say hardware finishes, I’m referring to cabinet hardware (obviously), cabinet hinges, light fixtures, and sink hardware.
There is no right or wrong hardware finish. Choose the finish and style YOU love! Here are a few shoppable options:
HOW TO CHOOSE SIZE
Your home’s overall design style plays a role in the size of the hardware you should choose. A long pull (~ 9”+) provides a contemporary look, whereas a mid-length pull (~ 5”-7”) is more transitional or traditional.
Hardware size as a design element is more specific to pulls … knob size doesn’t really affect the style. It’s the style of the knob (as opposed to the size) that helps define your style.
You can mix up your pull sizes or you can use the same size throughout your kitchen (or bathroom). I have the same size pull (7.5”) on ALL of my kitchen drawers … regardless of drawer size.
Related Post: A GUIDE TO CABINET HARDWARE PLACEMENT
CAN YOU MIX CABINET HARDWARE?
YES and NO! You can certainly mix pulls and knobs (this is what I did in my home … all my kitchen cabinet doors have knobs and my drawers have pulls)… BUT I would recommend that you DON’T mix hardware styles or finishes (colors) within one room.
Choose one pull style (and size) and one knob style (and size). The knobs and pulls you choose should complement each other (i.e. I wouldn’t mix a contemporary bar pull with a traditional knob).
If you’re going to mix and match, I recommend that you choose to use knobs (or pulls) on all drawers (or cabinets) or vice versa. Create a cohesive combination of your hardware (in other words, a consistent pattern).
In this post, we covered (1) what cabinet hardware is, (2) how to choose the best hardware style, finish, and size for your home, AND (3) answered the question, ‘can you mix cabinet hardware?’ When making a decision, keep in mind that your cabinet hardware is closely tied to your home’s overall design style.
Now that you know HOW to choose cabinet hardware, you can order some samples from Shop Cabinet Hardware below!