Buyer’s Guide: What To Know When Choosing Cabinet Hardware

Buyer’s Guide: What To Know When Choosing Cabinet Hardware

From selecting lighting to curating furniture, making a house a home requires considerable design choices. But in the midst of all major decisions, there are fine details that fall to the back of the priority list and remain afterthoughts in bringing your interior layout to life. Accents like cabinet knobs and pulls are tiny technicalities that quickly and effortlessly elevate a room’s presence.

With the amount of usage cabinet hardware experiences, it’s safe to say the investment is worth the time taken during selection. Whether you’re remodeling your kitchen or bathroom, here’s what to know when choosing cabinet hardware for your home.

Types of Cabinet Hardware

When deciding on cabinet hardware, start by visualizing whether you’d like to see pulls, knobs, or a balanced combination of both in the area. There are no strict rules to accent placement; however, opening a cabinet with a knob is more common, as is using a pull feature to open a drawer. No matter your decision, you should envision the hardware’s functionality to direct your choices.


This type of hardware is versatile enough to install on both cabinets and drawers. Knobs are generally smaller and are less costly than pull handles. They are easier to place on than handles since you’ll only need one screw to secure the feature to its surface.


Pulls are slender pieces of cabinet hardware that allow for better handling. These features are more prominent than knobs, and thus, they’re more expensive despite being made in various sizes. Pull handles benefit drawers and larger cabinets best since these spaces can get heavy with pots, pans, and weighty dishes.

Selecting Styles of Hardware

After selecting the hardware type to include in your home, it’s time you focus on the style, as it should reflect the overall design of your space.


A modernized space incorporates clean, sleek lines with little ornamentation to distract from the visual. Choosing simple, streamlined cabinetry hardware like curved handles or tubular alternatives is an excellent choice! You can pair your door accents with stainless steel appliances for a cohesive look.


A traditional layout design features elaborate detailing, adornments, and moldings as stars within the space. Fancy knobs with porcelain would do well within the room to accentuate a vintage tone.


Rustic or farmhouse-style homes prioritize warmth and inviting tones, so selecting fixtures that convey the same aesthetic can provide a cohesive intention. Simple knobs and pull handles in bronze, copper, or black finishes are perfect choices that develop a patina over time. The rustic, worn detailing adds a homey feel to the area.


Unique hardware handles like seashells and intricately painted handles allow you to bring personality to the space and spice up cabinetry. You can also paint hardware on your own to bring creativity into the area’s atmosphere.


Tuscan hardware accents are chunkier and more dramatic. Their oil-based bronze knobs and pulls offer a stunning contract against lighter material for a provincial yet elegant look.

Choosing the Right Finish

Cabinet hardware finishes provide pleasant contrast and bring a room together. To select the best fitting finish, start by evaluating the colors of your cabinets, the tone of your appliances, water fixtures, and lighting.

When coordinating metals and colors, warmer tones with beiges and pinks benefit from brass options providing a vintage flair to the layout. Cooler-toned hardware complements white cabinetry while offering a more contemporary aesthetic.

The Benefits of Mixing Metals

Your home is a reflection of your preferred design tastes, so your experimental freedom is vast. Don’t shy away from trying something new and mixing metals. Plenty of bathrooms and kitchens incorporate brass cabinet hardware in a space where platinum or silver light fixtures are dominant.

On the other hand, if silver appliances and accents decorate a specific area, consider adding black cabinet hardware to match finishes and leave the room well-coordinated.

Determining Size and Positioning of Handles

Cabinetry ranges in size, so determine the hardware size beforehand to avoid ill-sized decisions. While there is no set ruling, pull length should cover approximately 1/3 of the cabinetry or drawer width.

The positioning of handles contributes to the overall comfort of accent hardware while in use. Taking your selection for a test run ensures that you conform to cabinet pulls and knobs and make any adjustments.


Smaller drawers of 12 inches or less can require a 3 to 4-inch pull or a knob an inch in diameter.


Mid-size compartments usually range between 12 and 30 inches. These drawers look best with 4 to 8-inch long pulls or knobs that sit between an inch to 1.5 inches in diameter.


Larger, more spacious drawers fall between 30 to 48 inches and may require pull handles 8 inches or longer. Knobs are usually greater than an inch in diameter and will require two fixtures to enhance the look of the drawer or cabinet door.

Vertically vs. Horizontally

Drawer pulls have a linear shape, allowing horizontal or vertical placement. Placing pull handles horizontally on cabinet doors provides a sleek appearance to modernize a space.

Examine the Cost of Handles

Remember, hardware expenses range based on their aesthetic and finish; however, these stipulations aren’t always correct. Big box retailers tend to offer sub-par options of lesser quality that affect cabinet appeal. Many selections can range between $5 to $9 for knobs and higher for pulls.

Finishes and metals also affect price range, but regardless of your decision, remember to order extras in case of malfunction or finish deterioration.

Simply put, a buyer’s guide breaking down what to know when choosing cabinet hardware is a fantastic starting point in your shopping. In the end, experimentation offers you the chance to incorporate twists and flair to elevate your interior design. These small details are significant impacts, bringing the perfect finish to your space.

When looking to introduce vintage with a bit of modernity, consider Illuminate Vintage as your go-to hub for interior design elements to improve the look of your home. Our mid-century modern cabinet pulls are just what you need to refresh kitchen and bathroom cabinetry for a timeless, exquisite appearance.

Buyer’s Guide: What To Know When Choosing Cabinet Hardware

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