Cabinet Hardware: What’s Your Handle?

March 28, 2017

If you’re basically content with the style, wood and color of your kitchen or bathroom cabinets but feel some updating is in order, it may be time to consider new hardware.

A relatively inexpensive way to transform the entire look and feel of your kitchen or bathroom is to swap out those old knobs or pulls, which can make a dramatic difference. With a multitude of choices available in styles, materials, finishes and colors, new cabinet hardware can help you achieve virtually any look you desire. Just remember: when it comes to the look and feel of your space, the hardware matters as much as the cabinets themselves, so take the time to understand what your options are so you can make the right choice. This begins with two basic rules of thumb:

  1. If your first consideration is resale value, choose hardware with traditional finishes—satin, nickel, chrome or bronze—that have broad appeal.
  2. Base your selection on your kitchen or bathroom faucet finish and style


While the choices in material, finishes and detailing are nearly endless, there are a few common styles to first consider. Knowing which general kind you’re looking for can help you narrow your search and dial in the look you want. Here are a few of the most common styles:



Bin PullBin Pulls

Also known as Cup Pulls, these cabinet pulls are an upside-down cup-shaped pull popular for giving a kitchen a minimalist, vintage feel. They look clean and understated, and come in a variety of finishes.




Bar Pulls

Designed to be sturdy yet glamorous, bar pulls complement many styles of cabinetry, but are especially appropriate for kitchens of Bar Pullcontemporary design. Bar pulls eliminate the need for two knobs on a wide drawer, but be careful in sizing the pulls so they don’t overwhelm your cabinets. There is no hard and fast rule on how long bar pulls should be, but most designers keep them at two-thirds the width of the drawer.

Though most often stainless steel, bar pulls come in many other finishes such as satin, nickel, black and polished brass. Another consideration: pulls are easier for the elderly to use than knobs, so these are a great choice for kitchens that are primarily used by seniors.



Window Sash Pull

Window Sash Pulls

Based on window sash fittings designed to lift heavy windows, these industrial-feeling pulls are a blend of colonial and Arts & Crafts, and come in a wide variety of finishes. Described by some as the “homey comfort food” of cabinet hardware, the window sash pull takes us back to an old-fashioned era of softly rounded handles.


Novelty KnobsNovelty Knob

These are artsy knobs with personality, and usually a theme. If you feel that your kitchen is bland and needs some pizzazz, the novelty knob may be the perfect touch. If you have a cabinet that stand alone, this can be a good space to show some personality and flair. More than any other knob style, the novelty knob can bring a small touch that really makes a room.



Back Plates

Back PlateKnobs with a back piece that lies flat against the door, this style of pull offers the opportunity to add another dimension of form to the function of opening a cabinet door. The style, finish and color of the back plate, in combination with the knob itself, can dramatically complement your cabinets while bringing a unique new look to your kitchen or bath. Back plates can also hide existing holes from previous hardware thereby broadening your selection.



Drop HandlesDrop Handle

These two-piece handles, with a mounted portion and a dangling pull, are excellent for making built-ins look more like furniture. While a dangling ring is the most common style, drop handles work in other shapes and styles as well. Besides their aesthetic appeal, drop handles are a good choice for families with curious toddlers as they make it harder for little ones to open cabinets.



Glass Knobs

Glass Knobs

Glass knobs trace their lineage to the Depression era when they became an affordable luxury for many. They come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors and prices that can be closely matched to cabinets and backsplashes.


Recessed PullsRecessed Pull

These streamlined pulls are built into door facings with slim indentations that keep the visual plane uninterrupted, especially appropriate for contemporary kitchens. Their smooth lines keep your cabinet pulls out of the way, a great choice for galley kitchens with a lot of traffic where clothes could snag on knobs that stick out.



These are just a few of the most common styles of pulls and knobs available for your kitchen or bathroom cabinets. To see the full complement of choices available, we invite you to schedule a no-obligation appointment with one of our designers by calling 970-242-6899.

Posted Under: bathroom, cabinets, kitchen