Cabinets, Kitchen and Bath Remodeling

Refresh Your Kitchen with New Cabinet Hardware

Upgrading your kitchen cabinet hardware is an easy and affordable way to give your kitchen a fresh, new look. Whether you have traditional or modern kitchen cabinets, switching out the knobs, pulls, and handles can completely transform the feel of your kitchen space. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most popular kitchen cabinet hardware ideas to inspire your next renovation. 

Table of Contents

We’ll look at different design styles, materials, finishes, and more to help you find the perfect hardware to match your kitchen aesthetic. From clean-lined nickel pulls to vintage-inspired brass knobs, there’s hardware out there to suit any style or budget.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Hardware

Before picking new hardware for your kitchen and bath, think about a few key factors:

Your Kitchen’s Design Style

What look are you going for in your kitchen renovation? Do you have traditional white cabinets with classic styling? Or perhaps a more modern, minimalist kitchen with flat-front cabinets? Your hardware should complement the overall aesthetic.

For traditional kitchens, classic materials like brass, bronze, or nickel tend to work well. If you have a farmhouse-style kitchen, black iron or bronze hardware with an aged patina fits beautifully. Contemporary designs, though, call for more streamlined, geometric hardware in polished chrome or matte black.

Material

Common materials used for cabinet hardware include:

  • Brass – Brings a timeless, warm look; available in polished or antique finishes
  • Bronze – Has an aged, textured finish that works well in traditional spaces
  • Stainless steel – A neutral metal option with a clean, modern appearance
  • Nickel – Subtly contrasts against cabinets for an understated but stylish look
  • Iron – Wrought iron hardware has a unique, handcrafted style popular in farmhouse kitchens

Finish

This makes a big impact on the overall look. Consider:

  • Polished – Gives hardware a shiny, reflective surface
  • Brushed – Has a soft matte texture, often made from brushed metal
  • Oil-rubbed bronze – Dark brown or black finish with a mottled surface
  • Distressed – Imperfect, weathered appearance for a vintage style
  • Matte black – For a super sleek, modern look

Size & Scale

Make sure your new hardware properly fits the size of your cabinets and drawers. Oversized hardware can look too domineering, while hardware that’s too small can get lost.

As a general rule of thumb:

  • Drawers do well with 3-4 inch pulls
  • Doors on average look best with 1.5 to 2-inch knobs
  • For wider doors and integrated pulls, appropriately sized hand pulls (usually 6 inches or longer) do nicely

You’ll also want to maintain consistency across your kitchen, using hardware of the same style and similar sizes. This helps create harmony in your overall design.

Popular Kitchen Cabinet Hardware Ideas

Now let’s explore some of the most popular kitchen cabinet hardware styles:

1. Cup Pulls

Its name is from the cup-like shape on the end. Usually made of round or square metal bars, it offers a minimal, streamlined look. Their simple shape and smaller scale make them an easy match for a wide range of kitchens.

Their lightweight design also makes them practical. It securely opens any drawer while still allowing it to glide smoothly. For a clean-lined contemporary kitchen, try pairing sleek brass cup pulls with white Shaker cabinets.

2. Cutout Bar Pulls

Similar to cup pulls, cutout bar pulls feature a gripping opening cut right out of the metal bar. This gives them an eye-catching, sculptural look. It comes in intriguing shapes like arrows, angles, curves, and more. Their crisp lines offer a tailored appearance perfect for modern kitchens.

Cutout pulls work especially well on contemporary flat-panel cabinet doors. Try experimenting with different shapes and placements to create visual interest. Mixing multiple cutout shapes also adds flair, like pairing arrow pulls pointing vertically on some doors and horizontally on others.

3. Knobs

Nothing beats the charm of classic kitchen knobs. Available with ornamental details or clean, simple lines, knobs have mass appeal across all kitchen styles. And their smaller scale makes them budget-friendly, with something available for every price point.

Vintage-style glass or ceramic knobs look darling in traditional kitchens. For farmhouse spaces, try distressed iron knobs with an aged finish. Or go for faceted brass knobs that reflect light beautifully on modern cabinets.

An eclectic approach with mismatched knobs also brings plenty of personality. Collect knobs from antique shops for grandfatherly appeal, or curate a bright and playful assortment of colors.

4. Drop Pulls

Drop pulls make a big statement with their elongated form and protruding bar. The pulled-out design acts as a natural grip, allowing for easy access to drawers and cabinets. This lends kitchens a more substantial, built-in look compared to smaller hardware.

For contemporary and modern spaces, try combining hammered black iron drop pulls with espresso cabinets and gold fixtures. In farmhouse kitchens, an elongated pull made from raw wood or galvanized metal has an appropriately rustic feel. For added flair, this can be mounted vertically or horizontally.

5. Integrated Finger Pulls

Integrated finger pulls are built right into the edge of cabinet doors and drawers as subtle gripping points. A popular choice for handleless, modern kitchens, integrated pulls give a seamless, futuristic look. Without protruding hardware, cabinets have ultra-sleek façades with clean perpendicular lines.

Finger pulls work especially well paired with contemporary flat panels, aluminum frames, or thermofoil doors. Concealed hinges on the doors allow them to open easily via the discreet side grooves. Integrated pulls to maintain a minimalist aesthetic while still prioritizing function and accessibility. For a cutting-edge kitchen upgrade, consider installing finger pulls across all cabinets.

6. Antique-Style Hardware

For an effortless vintage look, antique-reproduction hardware hits all the right notes. Time-worn details like dinged surfaces, darkened patinas, or speckled cracks capture old-fashioned charm. Pieces are crafted to mimic salvaged originals from bygone eras like Industrial Age metalworks or carved wooden knobs bearing ornate filigree.

Antique-inspired hardware comes in finishes like tumbled brass, oxidized copper green, smoked bronze, and bleached white that appear richly aged. Intricate shapes like skeleton keys, porcelain knobs, or scrolled drawer pulls have oodles of old-world character. Mixing a variety of vintage-look hardware on kitchen cabinets has a quirky, collected-over-time aesthetic. For seriously merry cottagecore appeal, antique-style hardware also pairs beautifully with beadboard cabinets.

7. Black Hardware

Nothing looks more classic than matte black hardware against bright white cabinets. The high-contrast combination has serious flair. Black hardware also pops nicely against more colorful cabinets.

Its rich shade provides definition and weight. The darker color recedes visually, making cabinets appear to float with barely-there black accents.

Slim black bar pulls or dainty round knobs have particular appeal on crisp Shaker cabinets. For a bolder look, oversized black iron pulls make quite a dramatic statement. Especially paired with glass-front upper cabinets, black hardware calls attention and anchors the space.

8. Two-Tone Mixing

While uniform hardware looks cohesive, mixing metals and finishes can inject lots of personality. The eclectic look plays up variety for an artistic, collected-over-time aesthetic. Mismatched hardware also helps delineate different zones like islands versus wall cabinets.

When combining metal finishes, just stick to the same color family to keep things harmonious. Try pairing warm antiqued brass with polished brass or oil-rubbed bronze for variation. Cool-toned mixes work well too – say, brushed nickel with polished chrome or matte pewter.

Beyond metals, also consider blending painted hardware into the mix. Robin’s egg blue or cherry red knobs make a serious color splash against neutral cabinets. Pastel hues have charming, sugary appeal in cottage kitchens as well.

9. Glass Cabinet Knobs & Pulls

Glass hardware brings unique depth and dimension to kitchen cabinets. Pulls and knobs made from clear glass, bubble glass, or colored glass catch and refract light beautifully. Shadows and shapes visible inside create built-in visual interest. For added playfulness, some glass hardware even encases small objects like shells or dried flowers.

Heavy, substantial curved glass gives traditional cabinets lots of character. More geometric forms like rectangles or cut crystal shapes complement modern designs. Colored glass hardware in deep shades of emerald, sapphire, and garnet resembles gleaming jewels. For cottage-inspired charm, try tiny seed glass knobs dotted across white cabinets.

10. Hidden Release Hardware

For a super streamlined look, hidden release hardware offers a revolutionary upgrade. Specialized hinges, latches, and slides incorporate discreet levers or springs that open cabinets via built-in mechanisms. Without any exterior hardware, cabinet faces blend seamlessly into kitchen architecture.

High-end modern designers often employ hidden hardware for a minimal, almost magical effect. Cabinet doors seem to open automatically with the push of unseen sensors or gears. This provides an incredibly uncluttered appearance especially effective on handleless designs. While pricey, hidden hardware makes quite the sophisticated style statement for contemporary kitchens. Release points are also strategically located for ease of use.

Hardware Placement Ideas

Beyond just the style of hardware, placement matters too for the overall look. Get creative with where your position pulls and knobs. Centering them works just fine, but going asymmetric makes things a touch more intriguing.

Here are some kitchen remodeling ideas to experiment with hardware configurations:

  • Stagger multiple pulls at different heights on one cabinet door
  • Align vertically on some doors and horizontally on others
  • Pulls only on the top or bottom drawers
  • Alternate large knobs and small knobs
  • Create visual triangles or diagonal lines using staggered knobs
  • Mismatched sets on doors versus drawers
  • Solo knobs juxtaposed next to dual pulls

The options are endless for playing around until you find the perfect composition. Stepping back and seeing the entire range of cabinets together, make sure the full look feels cohesive while still having some moments of whimsy.

FAQs

What hardware is popular on kitchen cabinets?

Some of the most popular right now include cup pulls, cutout pulls, knobs, drop pulls, integrated finger pulls, and black hardware. Vintage-inspired and two-tone mixed hardware are also on-trend.

How do you choose kitchen cabinet hardware?

Consider the design style of your kitchen, the size of your cabinets, and the material that will best complement your color scheme, and the overall visual balance. Hardware should align with the kitchen’s aesthetic.

What is the best color for kitchen hardware?

Polished nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, and matte black work well in most kitchens. Brass hardware also pairs nicely with white cabinets in farmhouses or modern spaces. Go for polished chrome or stainless steel for a very contemporary look.

How does hardware change the look of kitchen cabinets?

New hardware is an easy way to give old cabinets a fresh facelift. The shapes, sizes, materials, and coating of knobs and pulls dramatically alter cabinet styling from traditional to modern.

Should my kitchen backsplash match my hardware?

Not necessarily. While complementary colors in the backsplash and hardware look cohesive, it’s not mandatory that they precisely match. Having some color contrast can make hardware stand out more.

Conclusion – Finding Your New Kitchen Style

Switching up hardware provides such an easy kitchen refresh. With limitless styles and finishes to choose from, new hardware helps set just the right tone you have in mind, whether classic or contemporary. Experiment with different shapes and placements until you find a look that resonates. When in doubt, don’t overthink things too much. Finding hardware you genuinely love will guide you to configurations with lots of personalized flair.