How to Choose Kitchen Cabinet Hardware to Match Decor

Finding just the right set of kitchen hardware to match your kitchen decor is harder than it looks. There are so many styles, materials, and sizes to choose from that they all look perfectly lovely. However, when the blending process begins with cabinet styles, countertops, and appliances, there are only a few professional choices that fit the bill. The popular choice is not always worthy of your individual taste and cabinet doors can create a personality all their own.

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Where to Begin

Without investing in the professional services of an interior designer, the style of kitchen cabinets can give you a good idea of what kitchen cabinet hardware could look stunning. Traditional kitchens call for classic materials like satin nickel, glass, chrome, or iron in cabinet pulls or cup pulls. They offer a design element of grace and personal taste. Traditional favorites, like soft nickel or decorative glass, adds class to traditional favorites.

Modern/contemporary styles are a bit more sleek and linear when it comes to the clean lines of fashion sensibility. Stainless steel bar pulls define streamlined displays of a modern kitchen design with contemporary styles. A variety of lengths of stainless steel, chrome, brass, or matte black contributes to a unique look of a Cosmopolitan metro design style. A modern look is easily firmed with white cabinets and popular cabinet hardware that matches stainless steel appliances. Cabinets with a transitional look will often host a light gray background which serves a personal preference of black long pulls or stainless steel bar pulls.

How to Choose Kitchen Cabinet Hardware to Match Decor - White Kitchen Interior

Farmhouse kitchen cabinet hardware has become an exciting option for homes that desire a bit more ornate and vintage look to a rustic style of your kitchen. Drawer pulls of iron or rubbed bronze add a simple farmhouse definition to white or pastel drawer fronts. Use an oil-rubbed bronze, copper, or black finish to develop a patina over time. The wear creates a homey, rustic look to the hardware.

A kitchen with an eclectic flair may use decorative knobs and handles that reflect a person’s personal interest. Wooden-painted knobs or colorful seashells can introduce a beach house look. 

There is a different type of hardware for every style. Mixing and matching door pulls and cabinet knobs are acceptable with almost any style as long as they are properly balanced with the size of the cabinet front. For a virtual effect, choose upper cabinet knobs of different types.

A cabinet drawer larger than 18″ usually requires more than one cabinet knob or pull style handle. Contemporary designs work best with handles that measure at least two-thirds of the length of the cabinet door or drawer. There are a variety of lengths of hardware for standard or custom pullouts to create a balanced look. Hard and fast rules to placing pulls or knobs are to evenly balance the look. 

Small Cabinet Doors

The size of the hardware should be considered for small cabinet doors. Using regular-sized hardware for a door that is noticeably smaller in dimension will cause the hardware to appear off-centered. 

Large Cabinet Doors

There is no set rule for long, large cabinet doors. Long, bold handles can be used in the place of a regular-sized pull, but a knob will work just as well. Still, smaller handles can portray a minimalist feature.  

Small Drawers

Use a small or regular-sized pull or knob when a drawer is less than a foot wide. Small drawers do not need a powerful tug and a knob or pull in the center of the drawer will work just fine.  

Large Drawers

If your drawers are longer than one foot, a single large center-pull or smaller knobs.

Other Thoughts

You don’t have to start with a new kitchen to create an uplifting design for existing cabinets. The right cabinet hardware can transform a transitional kitchen style to a more reserved traditional classic look with metal hardware.

A large kitchen with lots of long doors and wide drawers offers the best choice to form a cohesive look with kind of cabinets and perfect cabinet hardware. An important feature of working with larger kitchens is to never forget the balance and access that is provided by decorative hardware, right down to the trash pull-outs.

The cabinets are not the only part of a kitchen that plays a role in the type of cabinetry hardware that you choose. Floors, countertops, and faucets all lend a hand in the different options of style. A stainless faucet or a chrome faucet blends in with a cabinet hardware collection of glistening pulls or shiny crystal knobs. Mixing black matte finish or dark bronze with a variety of finishes can cause an awkward sense of style. An exception to this rule can be found with vintage, rustic material finishes. Matte black finish, patina worn copper, and scarred iron bring an aged highlight to rustic and farmhouse decors with an overall look of old country style. Different hardware styles can be used in a cohesive way, such as a smaller kitchen with smaller versions of a contemporary look. 

How to Choose Kitchen Cabinet Hardware to Match Decor - Kitchen worktop unit in palm springs home

Examples of Kitchen Cabinet Hardware to Match Decor

A contemporary kitchen will more than likely be man-made that uses material of metal, concrete, glass, or plastic.  The cabinet colors can range from white, gray, and off-white to expand the size of the room. Tan, wood, or stone gray are also becoming popular with the clean look of contemporary. Full overlay cabinetry that conceals the entire door frame presents an excellent choice for sleek and bright. Popular cabinet hardware finishes should be straight and classy like brushed nickel drawer pulls that highlights a nickel faucet.

Shaker cabinet doors are popular and give you options in changing styles at a later date. While they are less bold in a modern look, they are always easily accepted as traditional, transitional, or contemporary. They will never go out of style and almost any type of hardware will look stunning against these fronts. Simple wood cabinets are not out of the question with straight lines and natural grain. Many modern-styled kitchens are opting for a two-toned look in wood for lower cabinets and white formica cabinets above the counter. The difference in material provides nice separation from modern at its finest without too much sameness in one room.

Inserts of frosted or clear glass in upper cabinets deliver a way to keep a stylish decor without challenging a contemporary look. Cabinet knobs of pewter or stainless steel can help highlight the open panes without taking away the beauty of the glass. 

Floors play an important part in delivering a contemporary/modern backdrop to the best cabinet hardware. Lower cabinets will introduce sleek lines of symmetry while metal bars or cabinet knobs will show off their grace. Look to bright white marble or tile to a modern laminate or even a light, neutral, subtle wood. In some homes, you could even opt for concrete which gives the room an undeniably modern look while staying super durable.

Light Fixtures

Light fixtures have an impact on making a good choice of different styles of cabinet hardware. The positioning and angles can bring a bold statement with reflections or shadows of different metals and glass. Glass knobs can catch the morning sun at certain hours and brass pulls can shine under recessed lighting.

How to Choose Kitchen Cabinet Hardware to Match Decor - Interior of modern kitchen with glass cabinets and decorative bulbs

Look to Appliances for Hardware Hints

Modern appliances often have the same hardware type in dishwasher doors and refrigerator doors as cabinet doors. This is because appliances keep up with current design trends to entice customers to purchase their goods. The design is usually sleek but not overly ornate, so they are able to match a similar style of cabinet handle.

If it has been a long time since you have made any type of decorating change to your kitchen, consider how new hardware could bring new life to your cabinets. One of the most affordable and easiest ways to bring a dramatic change to your environment is through the small simple things. New cabinet fronts, a fresh coat of paint, refurbished countertops, or stylish hardware can update your style and bring a refreshing change to your kitchen.

Where to Shop

A good place to begin your search for new cabinet hardware is home improvement centers and online retailers. Another good place is cabinet builders and remodeling companies. Many times they have the experience to point to the most trendy and popular perfect hardware that will make a huge impact on your kitchen.

The price range for knobs is $6 to $10. Pulls run around $7 to $12 and higher. Price is based on the finish and the design. However, solid stainless steel or bronze is going to be much more, though. Many people believe that drawers should have knobs while doors look better with bars. This concept is a personal one and there are no hard rules on the type of hardware used for doors and drawers. Consider your comfort in selecting hardware on whether a grip is better than using only fingertips.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I have the right size of hardware for small to large drawers?

The easiest way to double-check your selection is to take samples home and place them against your cabinets for sizing. Sometimes a simple knob will work better than a satin brass bar. Take your time until your final decision is perfect.

Is black hardware too cold to cover my entire kitchen in?

Black hardware can be sleek and graceful when used in the right decor. However, too much of anything can be overbearing, especially when a warm feeling is sought after. If you are shooting for a relaxed and comfortable space, try mixing satin nickel or antique pewter as a major metal for cabinets and drawers. They will reveal a softer look.

Is a single screw heavy enough to secure a metal or glass knob on a kitchen drawer or cabinet?

Most hardware is designed to bear the weight of a cabinet door or drawer. However, use the measurements provided to determine if more than one knob is needed. The right balance may require one knob on each end of the drawer or a long pull to make the look symmetric.

What if I am not happy with the look of my hardware after the kitchen doors and drawers have been fitted?

Work with a company that is acceptable to refunds or returns if you are not satisfied with any part of your purchase. There may be a restocking fee for a large purchase, but you will be able to receive the goods that you will be happy with.