You: Holy cow, what’s this?! A blog entry?
Yes, I know, it’s been a while. Things have been crazy around here for the last . . . year or so, but I think I’ve finally got a ~*handle*~ on things 😏 And speaking of . . .
When designing our dream kitchens we often get caught up in the larger decisions (colours! countertops! secret bar fridges!) and end up leaving the smaller details for last (for when we’re at our most frantic). One of these small but important details is your cabinetry’s decorate hardware. While we do usually recommend leaving your hardware decision for last — so you can check the samples against your finished, installed cabinetry – it’s still a good idea to at least get a feel for what you want. Remember, it will be the most utilized part of your kitchen, so it has to work and look good (like me 😎).
- There are a variety of hardware-related questions that are worth considering:
- ⚫ What size should you go for, and should that size be consistent throughout the kitchen?
- ⚫ Which style is easiest to clean? Is it safe for kids? Does it match your aesthetic?
- ⚫ What is the most practical choice for the amount of use your kitchen gets?
- ⚫ Can your Labradoodle use them effectively and get at your snacks? (I’m personally interested in this last part).
- Here’s hoping this blog gives you a little insight into the choices you’ll need to make and the factors you have to consider before you choose the perfect decorative hardware.
First up on our list is knobs. Knobs are primarily used for doors and smaller drawer fronts (while it is possible to put use a row of two or three knobs on a wider drawer, the feasibility of that will depend on your kitchen style and how often you utilize those drawers). The following are a range of different knob shapes you can look out for:
Round knobs are a common and practical choice for all rooms of the house. They’re uniform enough to order in bulk, and since they obviously look the same from all angles it doesn’t matter if they rotate over time. Spherical profiles are also more comfortable to use than sharper corners, which could possibly catch on your clothes and skin.
For example . . .
I hate to *sound* like a square, but sometimes this design choice just doesn’t work. Unfortunately square knobs have a tendency to rotate over time, which means you could be constantly adjusting them so they’re properly aligned. They can also snag clothes such as your favourite maroon shaker-stitch cardigan from Old Navy (ahem). However, if you want a bolder hardware choice that complements a more contemporary kitchen design, square knobs might be the choice for you.
There are increasingly unique knobs and handles coming out every day, proving that if you can imagine it you can find it on the Internet somewhere. While animal/sports/flower themed knobs (like the above left) are great for kids bedrooms or playrooms, options such as the denim handle (the jandle?) are a truly eclectic choice that should be used sparingly (though of course it all comes down to personal taste; I’m sure there’s someone out there that can make jandles work). However, I would suggest using eclectic hardware sparingly, like as signature pieces or in a very specific area of the house.
And speaking of handles . . .
“Regular” pulls are available in many different lengths and projections. As long as your hand can fit in between the drawer/door front and the handle while you use it, you’re good to go! But remember – banks of drawers can quickly become climbing gyms around kids, so keep an eye on little ones around groups of long pulls.
- Quick tip: measurements for pulls will include both the overall length (end to end) and the center-to-center length (the distance between the holes drilled to attach the handles). Keep those lengths in mind when deciding on handles and pay special attention to factors such as available panel space, which size is optimal for operation of each size of door front/door, and whether the sizes line up aesthetically.
Cup pulls are a good option for narrower banks of drawers and though they are not typically used on doors they can be made to work there as well. They’re a less “modern” choice and are therefore great for adding character to traditional kitchens and/or ornate millwork. As with regular pulls it is important to make sure the cup pull projects enough to put your fingers underneath and to provide the leverage needed to open any size drawer. The pull pictured above is a wider option (top to bottom) of cup pull; they are also available in thinner and longer formats.
Tab pulls come in multiple lengths, from the small tab pictured above to longer tabs that can run the entire length of your drawer and/or the majority of your door. They’re are a good option for when you want your decorative hardware to go relatively unnoticed. You’ll want to use them on drawers and/or doors that are easy enough to open with only a few fingers – nothing that needs yanking open.
Speaking of . . .
They’re an expensive but heavy-duty option that’s especially useful for sliding doors (as pictured above) or for panel-ready appliances.
These are called edge pulls because they’re routered in to the edge of the door or drawer front, rather than attached to the face. Edge/recessed pulls come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can also be used in larger versions for barn doors and sliding doors (the ones in the photo above were custom-made by us). Available pulls range from a simple divot in the cabinet edge to a pull with a flush center that collapses in when pushed (see diagram below)
AND DON’T FORGET FINISHES . . .
These are popular finish options that I tend to order more than the rest . What you choose depends on various factors, such as your kitchen style, how concerned you are about fingerprints and dust, and of course, personal taste. If your preferred handle doesn’t come in the finish you’d like, it is also possible to powder-coat them (as we have done in the past).
HANDLE-LESS OPTION #1 – FINGER PULLS
The first of our handle-less options is the finger pull. This involves cutting into the door/drawer front itself to create space for your hand to grip rather than attaching a handle. This solution definitely cuts down on handle cleaning and maintenance; it also creates an appealingly uniform look. It’s especially suited to the slab profile, as it produces a smooth, flush line of drawer/door faces.
HANDLE-LESS OPTION #2 – TOUCH-LATCH/PUSH-LATCH
Of course, what’s to say you need to get a grip on anything? (Take that, MOM).
Touch latch hardware is an accessible option for kitchens that are low on space and high on traffic. It saves you from bending down or reaching up, making it ergonomically friendly. It is also a great option for when you have your hands full (which, let’s be honest, is all the time). Check out the video below for an example of touch/push latch drawer and door systems:
HANDLE-LESS OPTION #3 – NO TOUCH
We can also take things a step further with a system that involves no touching at all — perfect for the cats above and anyone who likes to pretend to be a Jedi (*raises hand*). In an increasingly modernized world it only makes sense that we’d eventually develop a way to automate even the simplest household tasks. No-touch opening systems, such as the one in the video below, run off an app, utilize WiFi, and combine sensors and under-cabinet lighting. You can tailor the system to fit your operational needs with adjustable features such as drawer speed, sensor sensitivity, and the brightness of the sensor light.
Hope this gave you a better handle on decorative hardware 👉😀👉 See you next time!