6 Tips to Choose the Right Cabinet Hardware
Choice paralysis is a real thing…I talked about this recently in relation to selecting the right appliances for a remodel. And how about paint colors? And how on EARTH do you choose between all those wood types and furniture options?…
If you keep more than three Pinterest tabs open at once (or have a stack of magazine clippings as tall as you are), you might be on the teetering edge of over-inspiration…and to be frank, in a home remodel this can be the kiss of death to get ANYTHING done.
Yes, there are lots of decisions to make, even down to the hardware on your cabinets. This selection does, however, give you one advantage that others don’t…your hardware is not only the “bling” to your cabinets, it also has FUNCTIONAL requirements that can really help you narrow the options down.
Because, yes, you want your cabinet hardware to look beautiful next to your faucet selection and the rest…but if your fingers don’t even slip comfortably into the handle, or if your pant pockets CONSTANTLY catch on it as you walk by, you will not be getting the real “return on enjoyment” you deserve.
Check out this before/after kitchen remodel where the cabinets (and cabinet hardware) were designed PERFECTLY for one family’s needs…
HOW do you choose your cabinet hardware?
Now, there is an art to choosing the right cabinet hardware…which is where your interior designer comes in! You can start on your own, too, with these 6 tips below. Once you review these, you will have a VERY good idea what cabinet hardware will fit the feel AND function in your home.
1: Ask first: are you updating the cabinets or just the hardware?
First things first: if you are updating your existing cabinetry, then the planning and building will get pretty exciting when you tweak all the stuff that previously drove you nuts (or that simply didn’t cut it) in your old cabinets.
We use to build our own cabinets, so we know how these custom jobs go…they are life-changers.
For example, do you have a perfect space to store your blow dryer in the bathroom? For the temperature-safe storage option with the outlet right inside the cabinet, you’re due for a grooming station.
Or in the kitchen, if your trash pull-out currently rests on a platform with open spaces or holes, let me guess…you CONSTANTLY have stuff fall right through! Gross…
These are all things you can address with a custom cabinet re-design. Just look at the DeWils Fine Cabinetry 3D tour right here on our site to see what’s possible…
Even if you AREN’T updating the cabinets themselves, your cabinet hardware is still an incredible opportunity to make functional AND “feel” improvements to your home. Just keep reading for the next question to take into account…
2: Do you want hardware at all?
It wasn’t that long ago that people were regularly opting for NO hardware on their cabinets. They would just flip cabinet doors open by the corners. Simple.
After years of seeing these setups in kitchens and bathrooms, many homeowners slowly came to realize what would happen as a consequence…grimy hands on the same parts of the cabinet finish over years meant the finish was quickly worn down, and nasty smudges constantly had to be cleaned.
So, yes, I’m willing to bet you DO want hardware on your cabinets.
Besides…what better opportunity to bling up your kitchen or bathroom?! Remember—cabinet hardware selections are the “jewels” of your cabinets!
Get a little inspiration in our free quarterly design magazine…
3: Knobs or pulls?
Once you’ve made it this far in cabinet hardware selections, the next decision to make is whether you want knobs, pulls, or BOTH. (Yes, that’s allowed.)
Each of these have their advantages…when it comes down to it, you want to choose what feels best in your hand. You’ll be touching these upwards of 20 times a day, so why not focus on making them COMFORTABLE?
Since we’re in the realm of preference on this one, I can share a few examples. Some people like using knobs for doors and pulls for all drawers, for instance. That makes sense, right? And for pantries and pull-out doors (like those grooming stations and trash pull-outs), a pull is usually the natural choice, too.
You can still stick to ONLY knobs or ONLY pulls, too. Pulls are generally seen as more contemporary, whereas knobs usually have a more traditional feel…
Do you know your interior design style? Find out instantly with our style quiz!
4: How will the hardware be mounted?
Knowing how the hardware will be mounted is another thing that can make your cabinet hardware selection a “love it” or “regret it” choice.
Know how many holes will go into the doors for each hardware handle type, too…AND be sure you know whether the spacing is considered “standard” or something unique. Your remodeler will have this information readily available for you.
Just think…if you install some hardware that you like “well enough” now, but it’s an uncommon size, then when you’re ready to switch it out you’ll be stuck looking for another option of that same size! This is why spacing and the number of drill holes are fundamental details you need to know.
And just my two cents, you also want to consider the tendency for pulls to catch on pockets and pants whenever those handles are mounted horizontally…if you do mount anything in this direction (which is common on pull-out drawers, especially), you might want to favor thicker, heavier cabinet hardware to avoid catching…
Cost is obviously something you’ll consider, too. Cabinet hardware can vary HUGELY in price, and if you want to buy it once and love it forever, then you’ll want to look at higher-end options.
Then again, if you buy the cheaper options, you can switch it out guilt-free whenever you want to re-bling your space!!
Get a little inspiration in this gallery, based entirely on Richelieu and Top Knobs hardware…click on the “next” button to see more!
6: Color, size, and overall “look”
What cabinet hardware can you pair with white cabinets? …Or what hardware do you have to choose if you already have chrome appliances, or a brushed-nickel faucet?…
The answer today is that NOTHING has to match anymore. You can even have white upper cabinets and then stain the lower ones…it’s all about the look AND feel that you want, so have fun with it!
Finding your style can be fun and exciting, even in cabinet hardware.
There are LOTS more tips to keep in mind when selecting cabinet hardware, too. For more one-on-one advice, contact me directly or book an hour of our online interior design consultation services!
For more pictures to help you get thinking about all-things CABINETS, look no further…just scroll through our own remodel gallery below…