Swita Cabinetry Blog



November 19, 2016


Shopping for the right knob or cabinet pull can be like searching a jewelry box for the perfect necklace that’s sure to bring your entire ensemble together. Hardware, however, has the added job of not only looking good but performing well for daily, repetitive use. That makes the material and finish of your hardware as important as the style.

Type, finish & style 

These are the three things you’ll want to consider when looking at display boards. In our showroom at Swita Cabinetry, the top-selling finishes are satin nickel, oil-rubbed bronze and chrome. The most popular cabinetry styles we see are shaker and traditional which flow nicely with other trends including farmhouse, mission, rustic, contemporary and modern.

Selection starts at the sink for a cohesive look

The kitchen faucet is a good starting point. You won’t go wrong by matching the finish and style of fixed elements like hardware, faucets and light fixtures. Of course, there’s an exception to every rule and personal preference wins the day.

Matching hardware with your cabinetry


Most of our kitchens utilize both, with doors getting knobs and drawers getting pulls. However, it’s again a personal choice. If you’re creating a vintage or country look with simple shaker elements, knobs on drawers add the right touch. Contemporary design favors long sleek pulls on both drawers and doors to continue the room’s clean line appeal. Tip:  For drawers 30” or wider, two pulls are often used. When unsure, follow the Golden Mean that says the pull is one-third the width of the drawer. When mounted, one-third is blank on the left, one-third is covered by the pull, and one-third is blank on the right.



These go great with most décor and are highly functional. Typically, they’re installed horizontally on drawers, and vertically on doors. Their overall design will dictate which ones will match best with your cabinets. Let’s say your kitchen is modern, meaning that there’s minimal decoration with clean, streamlined architecture and a mix of geometric shapes and polished surfaces. You’ll want handles with elegant slender lines or slight curves, long parallels like long bar pulls, and finishes in stainless steel or polished chrome. Notice that handles can have straight or eased edges, which can formalize or soften the look. Tip:  Individuals like seniors have an easier time using handles than small knobs.



The upside down cup shape gives drawers a vintage look. They nicely compliment traditional, shaker, colonial and rustic designs. They’re a good choice for raised panel doors that need bulkier hardware to appear proportional. Yet, a shiny polished chrome version can be perfect in a modern white kitchen. Oil-rubbed bronze and satin nickel cup pulls are popular choices in this market. Tip: Shiny finishes like brass or polished chrome show scratches more easily.



They offer a sleek silhouette to modern and contemporary cabinets. Instead of connecting with screws on each end like handles do, these screw in at the midsection for a suspended look. One drawback is that some customers feel like clothes can catch on the bars.



Often a great fashion statement for drawers, bail pulls have moving handles. This type is perfect for reflecting a specific style such as Victorian, Arts & Crafts, Colonial, Old World and rustic antique. They range from very plain to extremely ornate, and offer a feminine feel.


These types have an old-fashioned furniture appeal and fit with a definite style. They may not be the most durable for busy kitchens, but they set the tone with ease. Wood knobs look ideal in a country and shaker kitchen. Ceramic knobs add character to shabby chic, Mediterranean, cottage, and Moroccan looks. And glass knobs give vintage charm to bathroom vanities and furniture cabinets.

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The sky is the limit for these fun pieces. Pick a theme and there’s a knob or pull to symbolize your room. Little pewter t-shirts and socks for washrooms, wine glasses and beer mugs for bars, and flowers and shiny beads for your daughter’s bathroom. 



Dress up a room with formal backplates as they add ornamentation to doors and drawers. If replacing old hardware with new pieces that fail to line up with existing boreholes, backplates can be used to cover up the unsightly holes.

The final word on finishes

As a rule of thumb, follow the design rules, but never limit personal expression. If you absolutely love a knob, but it doesn’t match the other finishes in your kitchen, it’s fine to mix it up. Sometimes people remodel their homes or replace fixtures in phases and everything may not end up coordinating. However, do make a point to match the finishes on the same door as with knobs and hinges. Also, consider how a finish can change the feel. For example, common industrial handles like window-sash pulls can look glamorous with highly polished finishes and added to a modern kitchen. Just remember to keep your hardware attractive and user-friendly and you’ll be pleased.