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Cabinet hardware is such a small item, especially in relation to the large and expensive design elements in a kitchen, but it is an important finishing touch that will set the tone in your space. Cabinet hardware can be one of the most difficult design decisions causing many sleepless nights. So many beautiful choices! Widely regarded as jewelry for the home, beautiful hardware puts the finishing touch on a beautiful design and has the ability to elevate your space with its character. How to decide? Consider these three design element; style, finish and size.


Your style ? Should be easy enough, but when you think of hardware as a design element, you quickly realize that one small cabinet pull can completely change the direction of your kitchen vibe. Looking closely at the details in your kitchen can help you decide what style hardware will work best. Curves, lines or maybe a combination ? The shape of your hardware should complement and reinforce your design aesthetic. In my rustic farmhouse kitchen, designed by Steve Niedzielski at, I chose black wrought iron pulls that have a subtle rope pattern for the lower cabinets and coordinating knobs for the upper. ( I’m certainly not going to renovate my kitchen without a nod to my love of the ocean, hence the rope detail.) I think this modern, almost primitive style works well in combining the white and drift colored Wellborn cabinets with the rustic kitchen piece in the center of the kitchen. The length of these pulls is what sets them apart and keeps the look modern.


The finish of your cabinet hardware is just as important as the style and will influence your kitchens theme. The amount of materials being used today are endless and exciting. I personally love the natural element that have been on trend the last few years including leather, glass,wood and natural stone. I replaced basic silver knobs with natural agate knobs on my sideboard and the look is fabulous. In regards to your kitchen, choose a finish that complements your design. Metallic finishes that match other metallic finishes such as appliances , faucets and lighting are a safe bet, but predictable. Choosing a different finish can lend a sophisticated and eclectic look and feel a bit more personal. This adds interest. Another consideration is warm versus cool colors in your hardware. Warm finishes, especially soft gold and copper are fashionable right now and can bring a high end look to your space. The days of matching your hardware to your faucet seem to be long gone. Unique finishes can add interest and personality to your home.


Hardware can be understated or bold depending on its size. Are you looking to create a bold statement in your kitchen ? How about an oversized, 12″ cabinet pull in clear lucite with gold trim? An abundance of metal can give your kitchen an industrial vibe, delicate crystal knobs can lend a glamorous, feminine air to your space and chunky natural elements can give an unexpected warmth to your kitchen. Super thin integrated handles work perfectly to create an invisible look and work well in on trend contemporary spaces. Proportion is probably the most important thing to consider. It’s a good idea to look at your handles up close and also far away to see their size and proportion from different perspectives. I’m a very visual person so after deciding on my hardware style and color, I ordered samples in all sizes so I could play around with what looked best. Incidentally, I went into a panic when I realized my hardware would be drilled into my cabinets while I was on vacation. I had chosen 4 different sizes of pulls and knobs. Gulp. I stayed up late the night before my flight marking every drawer and cabinet with painters tape according to pull size so the carpenters wouldn’t have any issues.

Hardware is the ultimate jewelry for your kitchen and just like in your wardrobe, it must coordinate well to compliment and enhance your style. My advice to you is to do your research, order samples and compare the hardware finishes against your kitchen materials to get the perfect fit. Enjoy the process. How I wish I could go back and do it all again.

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