5 Tips for Choosing the Right Cabinet Hardware


When it comes to designing your dream kitchen, there are so many big decisions to make, like choosing appliances, countertops, and cabinets. But with all these big choices, it’s important to remember that the small details make a huge difference in your design too. Hardware is often an afterthought when considering the elements of a new design, but it’s an important decision to make because hardware can make a big impact on the look and feel of your space. 

The right choice of knobs or pulls (or a mixture of both) can effortlessly elevate your design and complement other elements of your space like fixtures, appliances, and surfaces. Hardware is like jewelry for your home. Just like jewelry puts the final touches on an outfit, – hardware is the finishing detail that pulls your whole design together.

Selecting hardware can be a challenge because of the vast array of choices there are. There are so many different styles, sizes, materials, and finishes to choose from. So, whether you’re building a new home, completely remodeling your kitchen, or are just looking for a quick way to spruce up your space by swapping out your old hardware with new, we’ve got you covered with five helpful tips for choosing the right cabinet hardware for you. 


Decide if you want Knobs, Pulls, or a mixture of both

The first step in choosing hardware is deciding if you want knobs, pulls, or a mixture of both. But before we move any further, let’s give you a quick breakdown of the difference between knobs and pulls.

Knobs are smaller in diameter. They are usually in a circular or square shape, and they only require one screw to install to the surface.

Pulls are larger and easier to grip due to a bigger surface area. They are attached to the cabinetry by at least two screws; therefore, they require more measurement.

When it comes down to deciding between knobs and pulls, there are no hard and fast rules to follow. You can choose all knobs, or all pulls. You can also opt to choose knobs for doors and pulls for drawers.

According to William Zhang, the Director of Design and Product Innovation at Emtek, a leading hardware brand, “There really are no wrong answers when it comes to deciding whether to mix knobs and pulls, but there are some tricks to selecting hardware that can enhance your kitchen design.” William continues, “If you’re going with the more eclectic, ‘tuxedo’ look, (aka split cabinet approach where your uppers are different from your lowers), then take the opportunity to mix your hardware as well! If your approach is to have more unity in your design, then using consistent hardware will help you achieve that.”

Regardless of what you decide, be sure to choose hardware that is functional and comfortable to the touch, because you will be using them so frequently.

Emtek white porcelain knob and wire pulls in unlacquered brass blend 

Tribeca by Emtek

Find the right balance of functionality and design

The main function of hardware is to allow you to open your cabinets, drawers, and doors. This something you will be doing multiple times throughout the day in your kitchen. So, when you are exploring hardware options, make sure to really touch and feel it to ensure it feels comfortable in your hands. When it comes to hardware, the degree of functionality is equally as important as the aesthetic. In other words, how it looks, is just as important as how it feels.

Consider the finish

When you begin your search for the perfect hardware, you’ll find it in several different finishes. First, it may be helpful to decide if you like black, white, gold or silver. Then, you’ll need to narrow it down even further, and decide between polished nickel or brushed nickel, stainless steel, matte black, lacquered brass, or brushed bronze, etc.

Cabinet hardware can elevate your design by either providing a contrast to the space or coordinating with the other elements of the home. According to Mimi Carreon, Sales Consultant at PIRCH in San Diego, “It is important to ask about the client’s faucet finishes, whether it is for their bathroom or kitchen, bar or other room. I believe it is best to match the faucet finishes in that room.” Mimi adds, “Mixing finishes is pretty popular now, so there are no rules with matching all finishes. Decorative lighting is also good to coordinate with cabinet hardware.”

Like Mimi said, interior lighting can help guide your choice of hardware finishes. For example, warmer-hued tones tend to breathe well with warmer toned finishes, like brass. A cooler-toned kitchen matches well with cooler finishes like chrome or stainless steel. Thinking about these elements will help you determine what hardware will flow best in your space.

Explore styles

While there are so many different styles to choose from when it comes to hardware, you may want to select hardware styles that reflects the overall design of your space. Is the overall design of your kitchen modern? Rustic? Industrial? Traditional? Farmhouse? For example, if your kitchen has a more streamlined, modern, contemporary look, sleek pulls with a linear design might be a good fit for you.

According to Sales Consultant, Annette Reeves, “Cabinet hardware is the final touch, the jewelry of the cabinets that accents each detail of the fixtures, the lighting and the appliances.” Annette continues, “Adding beautiful texture like Turnstyle’s unique Amalfine, or Ashley Norton’s knurled pull, is a beautiful way to accentuate the personality of the home and capture the elements of the design.”

Amalfine by Turnstyle

Knurled pull by Ashley Norton

Find inspiration

When looking for hardware, it can be helpful to explore different styles of hardware in lifestyle settings so you can imagine how it would look and feel in your home. At PIRCH, we have numerous lifestyle kitchen displays in each of our showrooms that showcase beautiful and diverse selections of hardware that you can touch, feel and experience in person. Our kitchen displays are designed by designers, with a variety of looks that allow you to discover what style of hardware is best for you.

Visit a showroom near you and speak to one of our knowledgeable sales consultants who can help guide you in your selection process.

Hardware may be an afterthought in your design process, but it can make a major impact on your overall design, and the look and feel of your space. Just like jewelry puts the finishing touches on an outfit, hardware will put the finishing touches on your home. So, when choosing hardware, find the perfect style for you. Try it on, make sure it is comfortable, and make sure it coordinates well with the other aspects of your design.

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