Styled, Staged & Sold

Bringing you the latest home design and staging trends. From REALTOR® Magazine.

Décor Details: Choosing the Right Cabinet Hardware

One way to give a kitchen an inexpensive update: Stylish knobs and pulls for your cabinetry. The choices are abundant, and they can dramatically enhance your kitchen's look. But how do you choose the right style? 

Knobs vs. Pulls

White kitchen cabinets with black knobs

Photo by MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.

Two of the most popular choices are knobs or pulls. You'll find plenty of choices in knobs, from rounded to squared edges. Knobs tend to be cheaper and easier to install, and they're more fitting in a traditional kitchen.

Pulls come in a variety of lengths and tend to be more contemporary. The most common length for a pull is three to four inches, according to the DC Drawers Blog. You'll want to carefully consider the size: Too small of a pull can look underwhelming, while too large of a pull can be overwhelming. Pulls are usually positioned vertically on cabinets and horizontally on drawers. However, some contemporary styles employ horizontal pulls for both.

Mix and Match

Many homeowners nowadays are opting to use both pulls and knobs in their kitchen design. They may use a combo of pulls on the cabinet doors and knobs for the drawers.

White kitchen island with silver bar hardware for the island cabinets

Photo by collaborative interiors

Find the Right Style

Make sure the cabinet hardware fits your kitchen style. Here are a few insights into some trending hardware choices.

Bar pulls: For a contemporary style, bar pulls are a popular choice. These can have straight lines or curved barrel handles. They tend to work especially well on Shaker cabinets but can also provide a little twist on a more traditional door, according to 

A home bar, with win fridge, glass cabinets, and white cabinets with stainless steel bar hardware
Photo by PB Kitchen Design

Bin pulls or cup pulls: These upside-down, cup-shaped pulls can offer a vintage feel to a kitchen. They tend to be combined with small knobs on surrounding cabinetry. They offer a more relaxed, casual look in a kitchen.

White cabinet hutch with cup pull hardware

Photo by Martha O'Hara Interiors

Choose Your Metal

Cabinet hardware comes in a variety of finishes. Contrasting your finish can make more of a statement, too. Darker cabinet finishes tend to fit better with lighter hardware, while lighter cabinets—like your white kitchen—tend to work better with darker hardware.

Dark wood kitchen cabinets, with stainless steel pull out bar hardware

Photo by Andre Rothblatt Architecture

Traditional favorites: Chrome or brushed nickel have long been favorite finishes in cabinet hardware. But gone are the days where you need to worry about matching your faucet to your cabinet hardware. The Spruce website offers some insights on popular finish combos: For a brushed nickel or brushed stainless faucet, opt for antique pewter, bronze, satin brass, or oil-rubbed bronze for the cabinetry hardware. For a chrome faucet, you might pair it with black, pewter, or a dark bronze. 

Polished brass hardware: To make a bigger statement with a contemporary twist for your cabinets, try brass. This will make hardware look like jewelry for your kitchen. 

Dark kitchen cabinets with brass metal bar hardware

Photo by Elizabeth Lawson Design


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Styled, Staged & Sold, created by NAR and REALTOR® Magazine, is produced by professional home staging and style experts around the country.

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