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9 Tips to Choose the Perfect Pulls for Your Cabinets

I’ve noticed that most of the cabinets are not sold with hardware. So I think it may be a very detail place to show my uniqueness. Anyway, the hardware in the jewelry of your house. But when I started to look for the perfect pulls and nobs, I find I might overestimate myself. It is actually a big deal of my sweet home. There are so many shapes, finishes, and colors to choose from.

So, I did some research and list the key point that you have to bury in your mind when choosing your ideal pulls and nobs.

1.   Consider where you are installing these pulls or knobs.


When you choose the pull or the knobs, you have to pay attention to the style, function and where you are installing them. Generally speaking, there are two principles here, which is either eye-catching or hidden in the cabinets.  For the functional furniture, such as cabinets in kitchen, wardrobes, the hardware should be hidden, so as not to interfere with the owner's daily use of the furniture. However, for the decoration cabinets, some eye-catching, gloss and contrast color designed hardware can be a good choice for you. Here I list some idea for you.

  • At the entrance, the porch cabinet is one of the key decorative parts in the living room, which means you can choose some decorative hardware.
  • As for shoe cabinets, the knob may be more suitable than pulls. And the color should be cohesive with the cabinets. The hardware in this area mainly includes the handle of the entrance cabinets and it of the shoe cabinets. The hardware of the porch cabinet can be more decorative; while the handle of the shoe cabinet should be more functional, in order to improve the user experience.
  • In the living room, the hardware of the TV cabinet can be considered to be similar to the color of the TV or the cabinet, such as black, gray, dark green, and gold-colored.
  • In the study, the pull and knobs in the study or studio should be minimal decoration style so that it will not attract your attention when you are working here.
  • In the bathroom, there are only a few cabinets in the bathroom. However, you’d better pay more attention to the material of the handles used here. Because of the humid environment, ceramic or plexiglass knobs are better choices rather than metal.


2.   Decide if you need a knob or pull

Some articles may say there are no strict rules to follow when choosing whether to select a knob or a pull or both. However, I have to say there are some rules that you can follow which may largely improve your user experience.

One suggestion is to use knobs for all doors and pulls for all drawers. For any large door such as a pantry and any pull-out door (including pull-out base pantries or trash pull-outs), use a pull.

Comparing with knobs on the drawer, pulls will be much more comfortable to be used, which allows your whole hand to grab instead of only your fingertips. This is extremely helpful since drawers can get very heavy with all of your pots, pans, dishes, etc. And it is much easier to grab when you are drunk or just with loads of stuff on your hand.

So, now you get my point, pulls are much more useful than knobs. And that’s why I personally have a suggestion for you, which is using pulls when you can’t decide.

Although I prefer using the right one at the right place, you may be concerned to achieve a uniform look, which makes you stick to only knobs or only pulls. The use of all knobs is a fad apparent in many older kitchens before there was a variety of hardware to select from. When kitchen cabinets are ornate or finely detailed, go with a knob rather than a pull. A knob is smaller and simpler and doesn’t take attention away from the design of the cabinets.

The use of all pulls is a more contemporary look but is also seen in more traditional kitchens with a more traditional pull style. When deciding to use all pulls, there is one particular thing that you must consider, which is how they will be mounted. Use horizontal (contemporary) for drawers and vertical for doors. If you choose the latter, find a pull that is not heavy, as this tends to add weight to a kitchen.


3.   Stick with the theme

What is the interior design style of your home? Modern, contemporary, industrial, minimalist, shabby, etc? The hardware you choose speaks to your theme in the same way your kitchen cabinets do. So, which hardware works best with your style?

Sleek, tubular pulls, complement the streamlined look in modern and contemporary kitchens. Traditional cabinets tend to have more detail and benefit from simple, smooth knobs. French country can benefit from hardware with an antique and sophisticated look.

To stick with the theme, don’t forget to choose the right color to match your cabinet. The color of your cabinets is as important as the style when choosing hardware. With white and painted cabinets, almost any finish will work but some shades of brown are not as flexible.

By the way, be aware of the appliance and fixtures in the kitchen. Pulls and knobs are not the only hardware in your kitchen. Take into account the finish on appliances, light fixtures, and your sink and faucet. While mixing metal finishes is trendy right now in kitchen design, be sure not to overdo it. If the colors clash, it could disrupt the cohesiveness of your kitchen and take away from the beauty of your new cabinets.


4.   Choose the right material and finish

Choose the right material and finish actually is part of the theme-sticking, However, I would like to tell you more about the finish. While most homeowners will choose chrome or brushed nickel, there are numerous other finishes available to add interest to your house. You don't need to match your faucet as long as the finish complements other finishes in the design.

There are finishes that go well with brushed nickel or brushed stainless faucet: antique pewter, bronze (light to dark), satin brass (this one can get tricky), oil-rubbed bronze, aluminum, black matte, and rust.

Finishes that go well with a chrome faucet are more limited, such as white, black, dark bronze, pewter, or clear glass.

One thing you should keep in your mind is that always thinking the usage scenario of the pulls. For example, as I said before, in humid environments, such as a bathroom, metal pulls may not be a good idea, but in the living room, the metallic shine is quite a highlight.


5.   Think about the comfort and safety

This should be paid high attention to safety, especially, when you have young kids at home.

Touch it, feel it, and fit your hand inside the pull. Does it fit? Does it feel nice? Or does it cram your fingers and feel sharp around the edges? You should be able to fit four comfortably.

When you grab the knob or pull, does it have pointy edges or ridges that press on your fingers? That can get pretty annoying when you use them 1,000 times per day.

6.   Don’t overlook quality

The hardware in your kitchen sees a lot of traffic. Don’t put so much importance on the look that you forget about quality. You want hardware to be sturdy, strong and easy to hold onto.

7.   Step outside the box

Your standard hardware will come in finishes like gunmetal, brushed nickel, and bronze but it’s okay to go with something out of the ordinary. Glass or mirrored hardware can work equally as well, and can add a creative touch to your kitchen.


8.   Examine the cost

A good price range for knobs is $6 to $10 and for pulls is $7 to $12 and higher. Price is based on finish and design. Solid stainless steel or bronze are going to be much more, though. The longer pulls will also run more in cost since there are more materials used.


9.   Order a few extras

The last suggestion is you’d better always order a few extras whatever you choose, just in case a screw breaks or the finish starts rubbing off.


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