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How to Choose Cabinet Hardware

We say this a lot as designers, but it truly is all in the details when it comes to a kitchen remodel. You've honed in on a color for your cabinets, but what color actually best emphasizes the color of your stone countertops? You love a certain chandelier, but need to make sure it casts enough light for kitchen tasks. Where are all these pans going to go? It goes on and on...

In the order of operations with a remodel, the cabinet hardware is technically one of the last choices you have to make. There are a ton of options and price points, and many brands have options in stock.

However, it's best to make the decisions on cabinet color, countertop material, backsplash options, flooring finish and hardware selections all at the same time, so you can be sure that all the options play well in the sandbox together.

Cabinet hardware is oftentimes referred to as "the jewelry that pulls the whole outfit together."

Below, we have outlined a few ways to go about the selection-making process.

(Designer: @drakeanderson)

Find Inspiration

In this phase, the main question is "Do I want the hardware to really stand out, blend into the cabinets, or a combination of both?"

Waterworks sells luxurious fixtures that elevate the everyday experience of opening and closing those beautiful new cabinets. Their website is a great source for inspiration and trending designs.

West Elm, Etsy and Anthropologie are also great sources for more of-the-moment, whimsical kitchen cabinet hardware. Prices here vary, and some clients choose to purchase a few cabinet knobs in key locations while making more economical purchases for the rest of the kitchen.

Websites like and have thousands of options to choose from as well.

(Designer: @communedesign)

Knobs vs Pulls?

When it comes to choosing knobs versus pulls, there is really no right or wrong answer. It's all personal preference- although we do find most clients using pulls on drawers and a mix of knobs and pulls on cabinets.

(Designer: @studiomcgee, Photographer: @lucycall)

Drawer pulls should be about 1/3 the width of the drawer. That being said, drawer widths can vary slightly in a kitchen (say between a 30" and a 33" cabinet.) We recommend finding a drawer pull dimension that works on them both. The eyes prefer symmetry, and if you have a bunch of drawer pulls ranging from 4" to 5" to 6" wide, it will feel fragmented. Go for the average and it will look cleaner.

Keep in mind that for panel-ready appliances such as refrigerators and dishwashers, the doors are heavier and will require a longer pull to handle the weight.

Below, elongated pulls with slab front, modern kitchen cabinets create a streamlined, elegant look.

(Designer: @shawnhenderson, Photographer: @stephenkentjohnson)

If you are going for a Gilded-Age butler's pantry look, bin pulls are a great choice. They make a grand statement and are an added design element. Just make sure your fingers are comfortable using them!

(Designer: @philipmitchelldesign, Photographer: @annieschlechter)

Choose a Finish

This can be tough because you are blending together quite a few materials. Now is the time to decide if you want one material to have the leading role or if this is more of an ensemble.

A fantastic company, Schoolhouse, has more information and some great imagery HERE.

Whatever your budget, and whatever style you choose, make sure you like the way the drawer pull or cabinet knob feels when you use it. A rough edge or a too-small pull will only get more annoying every time you use it! Go for the best quality you can afford.

And lastly, remember all this hard work will show itself in a beautiful new kitchen that is unique to you!

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