top of page

Choosing The Right Cabinet Hardware

It’s easy to get caught up in selecting the larger items, like cabinets, countertops or flooring when building a custom home or renovating your existing kitchen. But a project isn't complete until you've selected the right hardware that will tie your kitchen together.

We all know that kitchens get messy on a daily basis, and preventing that mess from ending up on your cabinet surface is important. Knobs and pulls help to protect your cabinet finish because you are not transferring the oils on your fingers to the cabinets.

Your hardware should tie into the style of your kitchen, and should comfortable to use, too. Carefully check out the knobs or pulls you are thinking of buying. Place them against cabinets, then see how they fit your hand. Are they the right size and shape for you?

Knobs are installed with a single screw through one focused entry point on a door or drawer. Pulls are installed with two screws through two points of contact on a door or drawer. Before any holes are drilled, make sure you give detailed instructions to your general contractor so that they know the correct type of handle to install on each cabinet door or drawer. You will also need to specify the position of the knob or pull so that they are installed in a consistent manner throughout the kitchen.

Styles of Hardware


Traditional style cabinetry typically has elaborate detailing, embellishments and moldings. Decorative, ornate hardware is recommended with this style. Often, interior designers choose drop handles for traditional style doors with coordinating knobs on the drawers. Want a vintage look? Try a handle with a porcelain overlay for a sophisticated farmhouse feel. 


Contemporary kitchens have sleek lines, very little ornamentation and minimal colors. So, for a contemporary style kitchen, it is wise to choose hardware that is simple and streamlined. Linear bar handles with straight lines or curved barrel handles are the perfect choice. Since stainless steel appliances are a hallmark of a contemporary kitchen, you can also select handles for your cabinetry in a similar style and finish as your appliance handles.


A transitional style allows you to blend elements that are traditional and modern. For example, you can combine the clean look of cabinetry with an inset door and hardware that is not too ornate, but not too hard-edged and contemporary either, like a cup handle with a matching knob.

Choosing Finishes

Once you choose a style for your hardware, it becomes easier to choose the right finish. There is a wide variety of cabinet hardware finishes: tarnished, polished, brushed, burnished, oil-rubbed, satin, etc. Stainless steel handles in a highly polished finish look great in a contemporary kitchen. Pewter and brass look more at home in a traditional setting. Bronze will patina over time, mature in appearance, and will make a bold statement in a kitchen. A black finish is dramatic on a light colored cabinet. Whatever you choose, just make sure the finish on your cabinet hardware complements the overall decor of your kitchen.

bottom of page