The style of your kitchen cabinets, from their construction to the wood and finish, is tied to your hardware choices. While your instincts can guide the way for much of your kitchen remodeling, some traditional design matchmaking should take place.
For example, a rustic shaker-style cabinet in a knotty pine stained a rich red color might clash with modern, sleek, brushed steel hardware. It’s a good idea to match style for style, whether you lean toward mid-century modern, traditional, rustic or contemporary.
One of the biggest trends in kitchen cabinet hardware, and one that’s here to stay, is cup pulls for both kitchen and bathrooms. These large, easy-to-grip handles look like upside-down small cups and are an homage to traditional hardware of the first half of the 20th century. They work well with farmhouse styles as well as modern and contemporary looks.
This type of hardware comes in a variety of colors and finishes, although stainless (brushed or not) and black are the most popular.
It can be difficult to look at various sizes of hardware and match them correctly. Go too big, and the hardware can overpower a kitchen or look clownish. A good cabinet store will ask for the measurements of your cupboards and help you match hardware size accordingly.
Most hardware comes in standard sizes, and unless your cabinets are extra large or extra small, it’s best to go with the ready-made sizes. One exception would be a homeowner with exceptionally large hands, in which case comfort may override looks.
Where the hardware is placed on the cabinets also can play a big role. For example, bars (often on tall cabinet doors) are traditionally placed either directly in the middle of the cabinet or aligned with a stylistic element (for example, shaker-style cabinets often feature bars aligned with the top of the panel insert).
Both choices are correct, but more modern designers tend to favor an off-center look. Play with both options at home before choosing one.
Durability for Life
Ideally, your kitchen cabinet hardware is strong enough and installed well enough to last for life. However, swapping out hardware is one of the most fun and easiest ways to change the look of a kitchen. Still, you want to make sure you’re getting quality hardware, and that’s usually best found at a reputable cabinetmaker shop.
Cupboards and drawers that get a lot of use might end up with loose handles, knobs or pulls, but those should be easy to fix yourself. If a piece of hardware perpetually loosens up, that can be a sign of subpar hardware, or worse, trouble in the cabinet wood.
Get expert help with hardware troubleshooting and contact AWA Kitchen Cabinets for more information on complete kitchen cabinet care, from wood selection to hardware options.