You’ve chosen cabinets for your kitchen. You’ve selected a tile for the floor and one for the backsplash. You’ve chosen a one-of-a-kind piece of granite to have your countertops carved from. Your kitchen is going to be gorgeous, but you haven’t made every important decision that you need to make. Or, you’re looking for a quick and easy way to add style to your kitchen without tearing anything down. The hardware for your kitchen cabinets is something that you see, touch and use, every day. It’s also an opportunity to add a complimentary touch of style to your kitchen. If you take your time, consider it carefully, and choose something you love, you’ll appreciate your kitchen even more.
A very popular choice for modern, minimalist or contemporary kitchens, tubular bar pulls, as the name implies, consist of a simple bar secured horizontally to drawers and vertically to cabinets. Tubular bar pulls tend to stand out from the cabinets more than other styles and, essentially, become a feature of the kitchen. They are available in a variety of finishes from brass to black, but stainless steel is a very popular choice and many designers find them to be a great compliment to stainless steel appliances.
Tubular bar pulls are also a very functional choice. Opening a drawer or cabinet with a bar pull is much easier, for children or seniors, for example, than a small knob. When selecting and installing tubular bar pulls, however, be conscious of how prominent you want them to be. Typically, they run two-thirds to three-quarters the width of the drawer, but there’s no rule that says they can’t run the entire length of the drawer. Rely on you personal style to determine how much pull you want on each drawer or cabinet.
Taking their cue from the Streamline Moderne and Art Deco schools of architecture of the 1930s, curved bar pulls are slimmer and curvier than tubular bar pulls. They offer a sleek, modern look that is slightly more elegant and subtle than the more industrial straight bar pulls.
Flat Bar Pulls
Another more subtle alternative to tubular bar pulls are flat ones. These consist of a flat, rectangular bar that is secured to the cabinet. Flat bar pulls create a more squared off look that compliments many of today’s modern styles, including shaker cabinets.
Also known as cup pulls, bin pulls are, basically, an upside down cup that you pull from underneath to open the cabinet. These are typically used in more traditional or vintage kitchens, though, they are less ornate than some traditional options. Bin pulls are known to be stable, sturdy and functional while adding a subtle touch of style without dominating the kitchen.
Back plate knobs and pulls include a metal piece that sits flat against the cabinet or drawer and a knob that extends out from the plate. It’s the plate that makes these handles fancy. The back plate can be a very simple design or it can be incredibly intricate and offer an opportunity to do something very unique in your kitchen.
With this type of handle, a pull hangs down, or dangles from a piece mounted to the cabinet. Traditionally, the dangling piece is round, however, other shapes are available to compliment a variety of styles. They are, however, less functional than other types of pulls and handles as you basically have to lift the dangling piece every time you open the cabinet. You may also scratch or damage the cabinet door over time by lifting and dropping the dangling portion of the handle. The upside, however, is a style that gives cabinets the look of furniture and a cozy feel to your kitchen.
The ultimate in streamlining, recessed pulls are built into the cabinet door itself. Ideal for a modern or minimalist kitchen, these handles do not break the visual plane of your cabinets. They also eliminate the possibility of snagging your clothes on a handle, a particularly useful feature in a high-traffic or smaller kitchen. Obviously, some advance planning is required here and you can only add recessed pulls if you are replacing your cabinets or at least the cabinet doors, but if streamlined and modern is what you’re looking for, there’s no better choice.
If you’re looking for something unique, artsy or quirky, take a look at the variety of novelty handles that are available. Maybe you want something natural, like a tree branch-shaped pull for your cabin, a seashell-shaped pull for your beach house or fork and knife-shaped pulls to highlight your culinary skills. If you can imagine it, chances are an artisan somewhere has created it.
Whether you play it safe or go bold, don’t overlook your kitchen handles. Don’t get overwhelmed either. The choices are almost infinite, but trust your instincts and find something that fits your style and gives you the functionality you want.