If kitchen cabinets are the face of your kitchen, the kitchen cabinets’ hardware pulls and handles are its jewelry. A change of hardware style can dramatically shift a given cabinet line’s feel and appearance from old-world rustic to sleek and modern, or from opulent classic to simple and minimalist. Here are some things to consider and look for when choosing your new RTA cabinets’ drawer pulls and door handles.
Cabinet Hardware Color and Finish
There are four basic categories of finishes that cabinet hardware is typically available in. Many of our models come in all four, or at least two or three of them, and each has its own unique feel to lend to a kitchen.
- Shiny Silver – Chrome, brushed chrome, and satin nickel lend subtle variations, but the end result is shiny. Against white cabinets, these will blend in well, picking up the cabinets’ whites. Against dark cabinets, they’ll stand out as strikingly modern depending on the style.
- Dull Silver – Dull nickel and brushed pewter are the common finishes here. These blend naturally with gray cabinets, and can provide just a hint of contrast to whites. They’re also easier to maintain than the shiny ones, as a polished surface picks up fingerprints more easily.
- Shiny Brass – Polished brass and antique brass are the name of the game here. Brass looks good with just about anything, but absolutely great with mid-range wood tones or dark colors. Depending on the style, it can look like a timeless classic, or an avant-garde modernization.
- Dull Brass – Antique brushed satin brass can lend a classier, more subdued look than the polished variety. It goes great with darker wood tones, but might get lost with truly deep blacks or espresso stains.
- Dark – Distressed silver, gun metal, and brushed oil-rubbed bronze round out the line of dark metals. These tend to pick up a lot of natural highlights, adding depth and variation to textured hardware, or a velvety-smooth finish to smoother designs. Dark hardware does go reasonably well with dark cabinets, but where these really shine is against light cabinet hues; white for distressed silver and gunmetal, pale wood for the oil-rubbed bronze.
In general, you’ll want to choose a finish that shares tone and brightness with your cabinets’ finish if you want the hardware to blend in and let the cabinets shine, and tones that contrast if you want the hardware to make a statement and really be an eye-catching part of the design to make your cabinets pop. There are even wooden pulls made of beech and other species, if you want to make an all-natural statement.
Cabinet Hardware Pull Styles
Here, the sky is the limit, and only personal taste will truly guide you to the right decision, with over six dozen styles available on our site, and most of them compatible with every single one of our dozens of cabinet designs, there’s something for everyone.
In general, though, we should caution you that hardware pulls can be a little counter-intuitive. Your instincts may tell you that a simple design with clean lines and smooth surfaces would be less eye-popping, but that’s actually totally backwards. Smooth and simple stands out from a distance. Intricate detail can actually act like camouflage, letting the cabinets themselves shine, and adding their own unique flair and detail only once they’re inspected up close.