Kitchen Cabinet Handles: How To Choose The Right Design

During a kitchen remodel, kitchen cabinet handles are often overlooked in favor of other glamorous additions. However, kitchen cabinet handles are crucial for the final design and functionality of a kitchen.

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Kitchen handles and knobs add subtle design touches to a new kitchen. Even if you aren’t undergoing a full kitchen remodel, you can still create an uplifting atmosphere by changing the handles of your kitchen cabinets.

While cabinet handles and knobs are often the last addition to a kitchen remodel, we highly recommend beginning your search as soon as possible. This will help you avoid costly mistakes or unappealing designs.

So, how do you choose the right kitchen cabinet handles for your kitchen? Start with your kitchen remodel design.

Planning Your Kitchen Remodel

Determining which kitchen cabinet handles are right for your kitchen can be a difficult decision. This is why we recommend speaking with a cabinet expert at USA Cabinet Store to determine the best fit for you.

However, you absolutely can – and should – begin searching, now. Start by looking at your overall kitchen remodel design. Certain knobs and handles will stand out as a better fit for your kitchen cabinets.

For example, certain cabinets swing outward. Other cabinets pull outward. Cabinets that swing outward would pair best with knob handles. While cabinets that pull directly outward could utilize a bracket-style handle for a better grip.

Let’s look at a few popular cabinet handles for your next kitchen remodel:

Kitchen Cabinet Handle Styles

There are essentially two main styles of cabinet handles: knobs and pulls.


Kitchen cabinet knobs are characterized by their smaller profiles and simple appearance. Cabinet knobs are usually much less expensive than other alternatives. They’re also easier to install since they usually only require a single screw and an easily-rotatable knob.


Cabinet pull handles are characterized by their larger profile and bolder designs. Pull handles come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes. They tend to be more expensive than knob handles, but this extra expense is often well worth it. Pull handles are typically more aesthetically pleasing on larger cabinets with linear shapes.

Modern or Traditional?

Once you’ve determined the style of your kitchen cabinet handles, it’s now time to figure out the more granular design choices, like ridges and materials. This can be greatly based on your overall kitchen remodel. The first question to ask is whether your kitchen design is more modern or traditional.

To elaborate, your kitchen cabinet handles should be influenced by the era that your kitchen is aiming for. Traditional kitchens pair better with traditional finishes like brushed bronze or weathered brass. On the flip side, more modern kitchen designs pair better with minimalist cabinet handles like black matte or polished steel.

Kitchen Cabinet Handle Finishes

Next, you’ll need to determine the final finish of your cabinet handles. Cabinet handles look their best when they contrast against the final finish of your cabinets.

You’ll also want to stay consistent with this finish choice throughout your kitchen remodel. Consider the finish of your sink, towel rails, and other kitchen hardware before deciding on a handle finish.

For example, white cabinets look stunning with black handles. Darker cabinets pair best with lighter handle finishes like white matte, bronze, or gold. Speak with one of our cabinet specialists at USA Cabinet Store to determine a handle finish that works best with your overall kitchen design.

We’re now going to break down some of the most popular handle finishes around:

Glossy or Matte Black

Blackened metals are bold in the kitchen. You want to avoid the handles from appearing too bold, though. That would only take away from the appeal of the rest of the kitchen. Instead, black handles serve as bold accents for your kitchen.

These stand out most when paired with light kitchen cabinets. However, they can also be paired with darker cabinet finishes. Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that matte black sometimes showcases fingerprints more profoundly than other finishes. This is something to keep in mind if your home has children.

Antique Brass

Antique brass kitchen cabinet handles are gorgeous and provide a traditional feel. These handles work great against both light and dark cabinet finishes. Given the name, antique brass works great for kitchens with a more classical style. Antique brass usually isn’t utilized in modern kitchen designs.

Polished Brass

Polished brass is reminiscent of gold finishes – creating a bright and welcoming appeal. This finish is a bit warm in tone, making it ideal for both light and dark cabinets. However, these particularly shine when paired with colored cabinet finishes.

For example, a dark blue cabinet looks stunning with polished brass handles. Additionally, this finish is very versatile; it can be paired with other metallic finishes in your kitchen if needed.


Coper handles look amazing in an antique kitchen. Rustic homes utilize antique copper finishes to create a warm, well-used ambiance. Coper pots used to be very popular in home kitchens, which is where this style draws from. If you have additional copper elements in your home or kitchen, this finish is for you.

Polished Chrome

Polished chrome is a very popular cabinet handle finish. Many modern kitchens include shiny finishes like polished chrome or stainless steel. Chrome is versatile and can be installed in both light or dark cabinets. This finish provides a modern or traditional appeal, depending on the rest of the finishes used throughout your kitchen.

Silver Satin

Silver satin is similar to polished chrome, but without the “polish.” They are stunning finishes for those looking for a more understated appeal than shiny chrome or steel. Silver satin cabinet handles are beautiful when paired with darker cabinet finishes – especially cabinets with subtle tones of color.

Stainless Steel

The last (and most popular) finish we’re going to cover is stainless steel. Did you know that stainless steel is the most “green” metal finish? It is environmentally neutral and nearly 100% of it can be recycled. 

This is such a popular choice for homeowners because the kitchen is such a messy environment. Stainless steel is unique in its ability to avoid stains from fingerprints or food materials. This makes it the ideal finish for homes with children.

Determine The Size of Your Cabinet Handles

Cabinets come in such a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and styles that is difficult to provide a catch-all solution for choosing the right handle size. We highly recommend speaking to one of our cabinet specialists at the USA Cabinet Store to find the perfect fit.

However, there are a few good rules of thumb to follow, here. For pull cabinet handles, you want to stick to around ⅓ of the overall length of the cabinet. For example, if your cabinet is 30 inches long, you would want to aim for a pull handle that is approximately 10 inches long.

Additionally, larger kitchen cabinets may require more than one handle. For instance, we generally recommend that kitchen cabinets larger than 30” have at least two pulls or two knobs installed. If you would like to only have one handle, though, that can certainly be accomplished with a larger handle length.

Choose Function Over Design

The kitchen is a high-traffic area in any modern home. From preparing meals, cooking, baking, to hosting parties or events, your kitchen has to be functional while providing obvious visual appeal. However, if you have to make the choice between function or design, always opt for functional comfort first.

Fortunately, this isn’t likely to be a real decision you’ll have to make. Most kitchen cabinet handles are created with functionality in mind. After all, the best design is gorgeous while providing optimal capabilities. Our specialists at the USA Cabinet Store will help you find the perfect balance for your new kitchen.

Stay Mindful of Costs

While kitchen hardware is usually one of the smaller line-items in any kitchen remodel, they can quickly add up if you aren’t careful. To avoid costly mistakes, we actually recommend that you order a small variety of your favorite handle styles and finishes.

This will allow you to purchase only a few handles to find the one that best matches your kitchen. We’ve seen a few homeowners opt to buy all the kitchen hardware at once only to go on wishing they had chosen a different alternative.

Choosing The Perfect Kitchen Cabinet Handles from USA Cabinet Store

As you can see, a lot of thought goes into even the most granular design decisions when remodeling your kitchen. Fortunately, we are experts in everything kitchen-related. We have a massive variety of kitchen cabinets available for you to browse, and an equally large selection of cabinet handles.

Whether you are looking to remodel your existing kitchen or simply update your kitchen hardware, we can help. At the USA Cabinet Store, we work with you every step of the way to find the perfect design that matches your home and budget. Utilize our free design quote today to learn how we may help.

We serve various areas in Virginia, Maryland, and Texas. Visit our showroom today or check us on Facebookso you can view our wonderful designs.


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