How To Choose Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

Trend Manager Knikki Grantham helps to simplify the head-scratching, often frustrating, process of choosing kitchen cabinet hardware

Choose Your Hardware
Courtesy Hickory Hardware.

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Choosing hardware isn’t easy. There are just too many options! So we asked trend manager Knikki Grantham how the heck to decide on one product among the thousand to choose from. She gave us some great tips to help simplify the process.

White Cabinets
Courtesy Hickory Hardware.

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How do I know what color/finish would look good with my cabinets?

Strip down to the undertones

  • Hardware on white cabinets will steal the show, so it’s a great opportunity to go bold!
  • If you have warm tones, go with gold, blacks, or bronze.
  • If you have a cold grey, then silvers, pewters, blacks and stainless will work.
  • Take note of lighting, appliances, and other metal accents in the room and stick to the same tone.
  • It’s never a bad idea to buy one sample of several different options to see how they actually look installed. Some manufacturers will ship you samples for a small fee.

Textured cabinet pulls
Courtesy Hickory Hardware.

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Should I always try to match the décor of the room/house?

Not necessarily

  • Think about coordinating more than matching.
  • There is a flow that can be achieved from room to room by coordinating finishes, but it is much more pleasing to see variety than the same canvas in every room of the home.

Knobs and pulls
Courtesy Hickory Hardware.

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Pulls or knobs?

There isn’t a rule, rather a preference

  • Knobs are generally less expensive and easier to work with from a design perspective, as they are less significant to the overall look of a cabinet.
  • Pulls are generally more expensive than knobs and significant to the overall appearance or design of a cabinet.
  • Pulls tend to be more appealing from a handling standpoint for some homeowners.

Satin Nickel
Courtesy Hickory Hardware.

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Is there a finish I know will still look good in ten years?

Yes, but is it worth it?

  • Satin Nickel is always a safe choice for hardware.
  • Swapping out kitchen hardware is financially friendly, so why not take a risk?
  • There is no other single thing in a kitchen renovation that packs as much punch as changing the cabinet hardware.

Courtesy Hickory Hardware.

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What about size?

Overall, the hardware needs to FEEL right

  • Pulls and knobs with large overhands or profiles can easily get caught on clothing.
  • From an aesthetic standpoint, if the design or size of the hardware overshadows the kitchen, then it is too big.
  • The hardware needs to be easily gripped.
  • Since pulls tend to have a short profile, you need to make it easy for people with larger hands to use.
  • Nothing is more frustrating than non-functional hardware, no matter how good it looks.
  • If you are choosing from a show room, test how they feel. Or again, buy a sample and try them out at home.

Mix and match hardware
Courtesy Hickory Hardware.

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Can I mix and match knobs and pulls in the same space?

Of course!

  • Don’t feel like you need to be defined by a style bucket. Hardware in an accessory to the kitchen, much like how shoes or a handbag can complete an outfit.
  • Mixing styles allows you to put your signature on the kitchen.

Hickory Hardware

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Knikki Grantham is a Trend Manager with over 20 years in the Furniture and in the Furniture and Design Industry. She grew up in the furniture industry with early memories of sawdust and hand tied springs. After working in various phases of furniture production and development she moved into Design Sales for a Luxury high-end retailer, attaining an Associate ASID as well as other accreditations from various furniture manufacturers.

All images provided by Hickory Hardware.