Kitchen Hardware Guide: How to Choose the Perfect Finishing Touches for Your Cabinets

When designing a new kitchen or renovating an existing one, it’s simple to become immersed in choosing the more important items, like cabinetry, countertops and flooring.

However, you can’t say you’ve finished the project until you’ve chosen kitchen cabinet hardware that perfectly balances form and function. With this final decorative touch, you’ll complete the project and give it a unique flair that reflects your personality.

Types of Decorative Hardware

Decorative Pull Handles for kitchen

Cabinet hardware typically comes in two different varieties: knobs and pulls. The type you decide on comes down to personal preference but should keep with the style of your kitchen and be comfortable to use. You can use all knobs, all pulls, or a combination of both, depending on your preferences. While there are no rules for it, typically, it’s easier to open a cabinet using a knob and drawer with a pull.

With smaller profiles than handles, knobs are less expensive and slightly easier to install than pulls, as they only need one screw to secure the knob to the surface.

Pulls are the statement makers of the cabinet hardware. They come in different sizes and are easier to grip. Originally made to complement drawers, beautifully designed drawer pulls work well with baseboard cabinets and built-in cupboards of a bigger size, as well.

Mixing knobs and pulls creates a visual interest; you can choose to install knobs on the doors and handles on the drawers, or vice versa. Only be careful to choose complementary style hardware and stick with the same finish throughout the kitchen. On the other side, if you want a cleaner look, use only one type of hardware.

Tips on Choosing the Right Hardware for Your Kitchen Cabinets

Not all options have the same quality or features. Some are better suited for certain applications than others, which is why you should take care when choosing what kind of hardware you want to grace your kitchen cabinets.

Consider Size and Positioning

When choosing the size of a knob or pull for your kitchen cabinetry, consider proportion, balance, aesthetics, and function. Oversized cabinet doors or drawers require a large piece of hardware, while smaller doors or drawers need a smaller knob or pull.

For traditional or transitional style pulls, it’s a good rule of thumb to keep them at about one-third the length of the cabinet drawer. Drawers wider than 45 cm might require installing more than one knob or pull. Long pulls that are at least two-thirds the length of the drawer or cabinet door are required by more modern designs.

Should cabinet pulls be vertical or horizontal? Pulls are typically positioned vertically on doors and horizontally on drawers. Think about mounting the door pulls horizontally for a sleek appearance in modern kitchens. Consider the placement of the knobs and pulls before they are affixed to the cabinetry permanently, no matter the design of your kitchen.

Embrace the Right Hardware Style

Your choice of cabinet hardware should complement your kitchen’s overall design. The five primary types of kitchen cabinet hardware are contemporary, transitional, traditional, rustic, and eclectic.


Modern kitchens feature clean lines, little ornamentation, and a muted colour scheme. The Scandinavian interior design is a great example of a contemporary style. It is advisable to select hardware that complements this design aesthetic. The best options are curved barrel handles or linear bar handles. Choose handles for your cabinetry that match the style and finish of the handles on your stainless steel appliances for a unified appearance.


You can combine traditional and modern elements in a transitional style. For instance, you can pair the simple design of inset-door cabinetry with contemporary, yet not overly ornate, hardware, such as a cup handle and a matching knob.


Traditional drawer pull

A traditional kitchen will typically have ornate mouldings, embellishments, and details. For kitchen cabinetry in an antique style, interior designers frequently opt for elaborate drop handles or elaborate knobs. Like the retro style? Try porcelain-covered drawer pulls or knobs.


Kitchens decorated in a farmhouse or rustic style should be cosy and welcoming, so your hardware should reflect that. Select a simple knob or drawer pull with a black, copper, or oil-rubbed bronze finish. These coatings turn into a patina over time, making them ideal for a rustic, cosy-looking kitchen.


Would you like your personality to come through? To add flair to your cabinetry, think about using unusual hardware. For the door handles on your beach house, choose seashell-inspired designs. Or choose attractively painted knobs for your kitchen’s laidback design.

Choose the Proper Material

There are many different types of materials for kitchen cabinet hardware, the majority of which are metal alloys. Brass hardware is frequently coated with lacquer or plated to increase its durability in a kitchen. Due to its antimicrobial properties, it helps to stop the spread of germs.

Antimicrobial as well, bronze hardware has a substantial appearance and feel that complements cabinets made of heavier woods. Another choice is stainless steel because it is enduring and easy to maintain. Nickel and pewter are also common choices. Or, for a vintage appearance, pick glass, crystal, or ceramic knobs.

Pick Up the Perfect Finish

The best finish is easier to choose once you’ve decided on the type, size, style, and material for your kitchen cabinet hardware. There are many different finishes available, including painted, brushed, satin, matte, burnished, oil-rubbed, antique, and weathered, to name a few.

In a modern kitchen, drawer pull handles made of stainless steel with a highly polished or brushed finish look fantastic. Brass and pewter fit better in a more formal environment. In a rustic kitchen, bronze will make a striking statement because it will age and develop a patina over time.

And a light-coloured cabinet with a black finish is intriguing for a transitional kitchen. Whatever you decide, make sure the hardware finish matches the rest of your kitchen’s decor.