There’s no hard and fast rule on how long bar pulls should be, so go with personal preference. However, most designers keep them at two-thirds to three-quarters the width of the drawer. Notice they’re even longer in this kitchen, yet the length works. A good idea is to purchase a few knobs and pulls, bring them home and try them out before replacing your entire kitchen’s hardware.
The importance of selecting quality hardware is impossible to overstate. As with many parts of our home, hardware is an investment. We have all seen cabinet knobs that loosen too easily and hinges that wear out. Because hardware is going to receive the bulk of a cabinet’s wear and tear, investing more in it is ultimately investing more in the life of your cabinets.
That being said, buying every make and model turned out to be a good idea. I was pretty pumped when I installed my first door…until I shut the door and there was a gap the size of Kansas where the door didn’t cover my opening. I should have taken a picture because it was pretty hilarious-looking. Wrong hinge. So I removed the 1 1/4″ overlay hinge, installed the 1/2″ overlay and was good to go. The holes that need to be drilled in the door will be the same in size, depth and location regardless of your overlay measurement.
You probably noticed from the after photo that I didn’t just replace the hinges and add glass, oh no, I went big with this transformation. I replaced the hinges, added glass to the upper, upper cabinets, removed the wood valances, closed in a window and added open shelving (super simple), added upper and under cabinet lighting, new counter tops, new back splash and new appliances. But I did all that with the original cabinets and they no longer look tired, worn out or dated. Now if I could just find something to renovate my tired, worn out, dated self…
I can totally appreciate that. You’ll notice that these cabinets are also flush with the cabinet frames, which makes the hinges a little less noticeable. But sometimes, the hinge effect just isn’t quite as charming, and can be more distracting than anything. A lot depends on what kind of cabinet overlay you’re dealing with and the aesthetic that you’re looking for in this sort of project.
After the center panels have been removed, take measurements of the inside openings. I subtracted an 1/8” from the length and width just to make sure the glass would fit. Now, go to Lowes, find the glass cutting isle and give the kind man or woman working there your list of measurements. Make sure you have other things to shop for because this is going to take a while, but it’s super duper cheap so it’s worth the wait. By the way, you don’t have to use glass, you could use that cool radiator metal, chicken wire, punched tin, you name it, sky’s the limit!
My go-to shop for all of my hardware needs is D.Lawless Hardware – I’ve been using hardware from there for a while now and it’s always the best quality at the lowest prices. They sell so many other awesome products too. Everything from knobs and pulls, drawer slides and systems, to wood appliques, trim, DIY, craft supplies, outlet covers, and so much more!
Robyn and Sam’s home in Toronto is an all-white, minimal lover’s dream. Intentionally kept simple and streamlined, it has just the essentials. Their kitchen is a great example of a minimal and modern space done right. It’s also a great blank canvas to play with to show you more examples of how just making one small change to your kitchen can make a huge difference!!
At a home renovation in Connecticut, cabinet fabricator Michael Madore experimented with what he calls an "aggressive" metal-sanding process to pull out the grain from the whitewashed oak plywood. For the hardware-free cabinets, Julie Salles Schaffer looked to a drawer pull detail derived from Giò Ponti’s work—though she admits the radial edging is an effect entirely her own.
The size of your cabinets will influence the size of your knobs. If your cabinets are smaller in scale you’ll want to opt for hardware that is likewise, such as minimal-scale circular knobs. Longer hardware is necessary when you have extra long cabinet doors—or can be used if you want to make a more of dramatic statement. Most cabinet doors are 24”, so you want a knob about 2”-3” size knob. For a larger cabinet door you can size up to 3½” or 4”. For a cabinet door under 20”, source hardware that’s closer to 1” to 2” size in diameter or length.
It can be tempting to stick with hardware that “matches” the style of your kitchen cabinets. But what if you don’t like the style of your kitchen cabinets? Lead with your own style first, and you’ll move the kitchen more into the direction you want it to go. I swapped the more traditional hardware in this San Francisco kitchen above with two patterned, shapely styles.