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Kitchen Cabinet Knobs vs Pulls

Cabinet hardware is a pivotal element of kitchen design, providing not only function but also defining the aesthetics of the space. Whether opting for knobs or handles (pulls), the choice makes all the difference when achieving the desired look.

This guide will help you make an informed decision while considering the design style, material quality, and placement.

Quick Guide: Knobs vs Pulls

When choosing between knobs and pulls for your kitchen cabinet hardware, consider cabinet pulls for a modern, sleek look. Pulls are also a great choice for big, heavy drawers. Opt for knobs for a more traditional feel and for use on cabinet doors. The right choice depends on your kitchen's style, the cabinet's functionality, and personal preference.

Theme-Driven Choices

6 diffrent handle and pull placement style

Whether handles (pulls) or knobs are a better fit for your kitchen cabinets is mainly determined by your chosen kitchen theme.

  • Traditional kitchens demand more intricate hardware, so ornate knobs on heavily embellished cabinets are the way to go.
  • Modern-style kitchens are based around minimalism so simple pulls on white cabinets would be best, although square knobs are another good option.
  • Transitional style kitchens usually contain a combination of both pulls and knobs.
  • Farmhouse and Rustic kitchens can be beautifully adorned with some antique knobs that complete the homey feel they provide.
  • Contemporary-style kitchens create a sophisticated atmosphere by incorporating sleek and minimalist design elements, such as slim, unadorned handles.

Choosing Hardware Colors

Matte black is a popular finish choice when it comes to kitchen cabinet hardware. Whether you prefer knobs or pulls, matte black can be a great way to give your kitchen design a modern and stylish look.

Chrome and nickel match stainless steel and are popular choices for cabinetry. Their sleek and modern appearance adds sophistication, while also providing a durable grip that can withstand frequent use.

Dark bronze or Oil-rubbed bronze is rich and dark with warm tones of brown and reddish hues. Not only does it enhance the look of your cabinets, but it also provides a luxurious feel that is both inviting and timeless.

Brass has become a timeless material in kitchen hardware, known for its elegance and ability to complement features like sinks and lights. Using brass square knobs alongside longer handles can offer a chic, sophisticated look.

If you're opting for a more colorful choice, like painted handles or uniquely designed knobs, make sure the colors match your cabinets and any other colors in your kitchen. This ensures that all the different aspects of your kitchen complement each other and create a pleasing aesthetic.

Money Matters

Renovating and redecorating can be costly, as expenses can quickly add up for items such as cabinets, countertops, and paint. In terms of cost, cabinet knobs are typically more affordable than handles per piece, making them a budget-friendly option for redecorating. If you're looking to save money in the kitchen, you can consider purchasing knobs.

Practical Tips

  • Keep Functionality and Comfort in Mind: Handles are better equipped to deal with heavier items like pulling a drawer, while cabinet knobs are better suited for doors.
  • Budget and Quality: While knobs are generally less expensive and easier to install, investing in better finishes and materials pays off in the long run in terms of both appearance and durability.
  • Design Consistency: For a uniform look, choose all knobs or all pulls. Knobs suggest a vintage style, while pulls lean toward a contemporary design.
  • Upper cabinets vs lower cabinets: Handles give easier access to base cabinets and cabinet drawers, while knobs are helpful when it comes to reaching those upper cabinets.

Installation Insights

  • Knob and Pull Placement: Knobs should be placed opposite the hinge side, with precise measurements. Mount pulls vertically on doors and horizontally on drawers for optimal functionality.
  • The Fifth Wall: Consider the ceiling as the "fifth wall" in your kitchen. Hardware can play a role in coordinating with lighting fixtures or hanging pot racks, adding to the design continuity.
  • Visual Impact and Practicality: Pulls create a significant visual impact but might feel awkward on doors and can be more complex to install. Knobs, on the other hand, offer a classic appeal but may catch on clothing due to their shape.

Open Options: Mixing and Matching

Feel free to blend knobs and handles, ensuring they match in finish and material for a cohesive look. Remember, the hardware you choose should not only be about aesthetic appeal but also about functionality and practicality.

Traditional Use and Modern Practices

Traditionally, knobs have been used for cabinet doors and pulls for drawers. However, modern design practices vary widely, allowing for more personal tastes and creative design choices. This flexibility in hardware selection means you can tailor the look and feel of your kitchen to your exact preferences.

Coordination & Placement Tips

  1. Cabinet hardware can differ from faucet finishes but should still match them.
  2. Chrome faucets can go well with dark bronze or gloss white cabinet hardware.
  3. Create a visually stunning and perfectly symmetrical look by aligning the knobs on doors with the handles on the drawers.
  4. Pulls should be vertical for doors, and horizontal for drawers.
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