Choosing the best hardware for your furniture

Posted by Joan Shumaker on

The hardware you choose can make or break the look of your furniture. It can also transform an older piece and make it look like new without having to spend a fortune. Here are a few things you should think about when picking hardware for your kitchen, or on stand-alone pieces like sideboards, dressers, and TV-stands.

1) Knobs or pulls

When you select knobs or pulls, you should consider aesthetics, but maybe even more so, function. It's easier to open a drawer with a pull. Alternatively, you can add two pulls on each drawer, to get an even pull-out effect. 

If you have several cabinets, like in a kitchen, consider just sticking to knobs or pulls, or at least be consistent in terms of when to use what. Pulls usually are more expensive than a knob due to size. The price will, of course, depend on the material and the style you choose. More about that later. 

In terms of installation, knobs are easy to replace on your own. They are often installed with a single screw. Pulls need a bit more measuring to make sure the holes are in a correct position, and that the pulls are straight.


Black knob and pull

Matte black knob Elisabeth and pull Ingrid.

 

2) The right grip

Whenever you compare a knob to pulls, a knob is usually harder to grab onto. If a person has a disability or arthritis, then it can be an issue. Even if you're perfectly healthy, a knob can slip in your hand, especially if you're opening something a bit heavier like a drawer.

The best way to determine that the hardware has the right grip for you, you should try it before purchasing a larger quantity. How does it feel when you grip it? Is there anything that is pressing into your hand when you grab it? Does it look good when you hold it in front of the door or drawer? 

Customized IKEA Malm Dresser
Susan drawers in White Lace on IKEA Malm dresser.
The dresser in the picture has our Kristina Knobs in chrome, which provides an excellent grip for these more extended drawer fronts. The lucite material also makes the knobs visually appealing, as you can only see it from certain angles.
 

Chrome and Gold Kristina Knobs

Kristina Knobs in Chrome and Gold

 

3) Size and position

There are a lot of lengths available for pulls, but most commonly, the length is 3-4 inches. Choosing the right length is essential because if it is too small, the cabinet will be overpowering, and vice versa. 

Chrome pull on Iconic Iron IKEA Besta Cabinet

Amelia doors in Iconic Iron on IKEA Besta cabinets.
When it comes to pulls, you can either place them vertically or horizontally. To ensure that it's straight, we recommend using a template, a laser level, or something that gives you more comfort than eying it. 
Knobs should be placed in the center of drawers, but with doors, you can get a bit more creative, and either have them centered or close to one of the edges.
Chrome pull Jenny and Brass pull Ingrid

4) Style and finish

When considering different styles, you either should focus on the look you're going for in the room, but don't disregard the style of the piece of furniture you're putting them on. Using rustic hardware will pair nicely with a distressed cabinet, and going with too modern hardware might clash.

A square design of a cabinet, such as “shaker” and flat panel, can have hardware that is round but preferably with square contours. A more curved design includes raised and recessed panel doors, beads, or similar patterns, which benefit from having hardware with soft edges and more details.

Long and short tubular pulls give the piece a more modern look, a flat bar will provide it with a contemporary edge, and a wire pull will make it more traditional. Vintage pulls usually have exposed screws, which could both give a classic and industrial feel.

Marie Tanned Leather IKEA Besta CabinetsMarie doors, top and sides in Tanned Leather on IKEA Besta cabinets.

With both knobs and pulls, you have endless options; luxurious to accent an elegant piece of furniture, modern and sleek for a more contemporary look, small or large, basic or colorful, square or round, etc. 

Chrome and brushed are the most common hardware for kitchens, but that doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to those finishes. If you’re replacing the hardware on a stand-alone piece of furniture, you can get experimental with glass, wood, leather, brass, or matte black.

Knobs and Pulls Norse

Brass knob Elisabeth, black knob Marlen, and Chrome knob Kristina. 

A good price range for knobs is $7 to $12, and for pulls is $8 to $15. Price is based on finish and design. Solid material, like stainless steel or bronze, will be more.

Get creative and remember that one single knob can transform a cabinet. 

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You might also like: How this IKEA Besta cabinet got a stunning new look.

For more inspiration, follow @norseinteriors