We’ve owned a mid-high end cabinet shop for the past 10 years. One of my favourite aspects of each project we do is still selecting the handles for the job. Its like putting on a nice piece of jewellery and really makes a kitchen feel finished. There are a few ways to break down the process of how to select handles and a few key things to think about:
1. PULLS, KNOBS OR A MIX?
This is one easy way to break down where to start looking. The term “pulls” is classified in my books as anything that is not a knob. You can do one or the other, or mix and match; doing pulls on drawers and knobs on doors. I would say the majority of what is chosen nowadays is horizontal pulls on drawers with vertical pulls on doors.
2. COLOUR GROUP
Next question I generally ask to start narrowing down selection is what colour group are you thinking of? Most people tend to know if they want black or silver or gold. Good enough, we can drill down the specifics from there. Think about having enough contrast in the handle to the cabinets (IE - a dark stained oak may need some warm champagne gold pulls in there to bring it to life), or maintaining a streamlined look if you want a modern appearance (IE - matte black cabinets with matte black edgepulls).
3. GENERAL SYLE
Something more traditional? Contemporary? More rustic and farmhouse? Cup pulls tend to lean towards farmhouse/country, or traditional. Edge pulls (streamlined minimal pulls that sit literally over the edges of the doors) lean towards modern, contemporary or mid century modern. Most knobs lend a more transitional to traditional look, though there are very modern ones out there now too.
4. SIZE AVAILABILITY
Make sure to look at what sizes the pulls come in and how they will fit on your cabinets. If it only comes in one smaller 4” size and you have large tall cabinets or wide drawer banks, you might need to reconsider. While not completely necessary, it does give a bit of an elevated look when sizes are switched up a bit between cabinets.
Think about where you want your pulls or knobs placed. On shaker cabinet drawers, pulls can be placed on the top rail or the door, or in the centre of the panel. Edge pulls can sometimes be installed vertically or horizontally on doors depending on how you’d like them to open and look.
That’s about it! Those are my starting points when we have a client and we are starting to look at hardware for their cabinets. We narrow down based on the above and go from there. Hope that helps!