Choosing the right cabinet and drawer hardware for your kitchen and bathroom probably seems like a last step that can be put off until the last minute, right? Wrong. The average kitchen has at least 24 pulls so the impact of your cabinet hardware cannot be understated.

You might think that after agonizing over tile choices and paint colors, picking out some cabinet handles and drawer pulls is no big deal, but unless you already know what you want, sorting through the thousands of choices available could prove a little daunting. We’ve compiled a few tips to help you narrow down your choices so you can land on a style and finish you’ll love for years.

While the most popular finishes are satin nickel, chrome and bronze, you can really do whatever you think looks the best. We caution you to remember that polished surfaces like chrome tend to show smudges and fingerprints more than their brushed and oil-rubbed bronze counterparts and may require a little more maintenance to keep them looking new.

You’re going to pull on these pieces hundreds of times a week. Make sure they feel good in your hand and that knobs have plenty of room for your fingers to help avoid constantly scraping your nails on the cabinet door or the drawer front.

Also important? Making sure your cabinet hinges match your pulls and knobs if your hinges are exposed. Any finished look you were going for will be negatively affected if you have polished brass hinges and nickel pulls. for example, so plan and price accordingly.

Help! There are too many choices

Don’t let the sheer volume of choices overwhelm you; look instead at the style and finish of your faucet. While you don’t have to stick with the same metal finish throughout the whole room, keeping some color families together can eliminate confusion up front.

Traditional cabinet hardware Berenson Echo Collection
Traditional cabinet hardware from the Berenson Hardware Echo Collection

For example, if your faucet is a transitional brushed nickel piece, try looking for more streamlined pulls that are longer for cabinet doors and between four and six inches wide for drawer pulls. Choose a finish that either matches completely or is complimentary and matches the overall color scheme of your room – black hardware on white never goes out of style and blends well with brushed nickel and polished chrome finishes.

Round shapes and square edges both work on cabinets that are flat front – more modern or transitional – or Shaker style – traditional, transitional, country and modern styles.

Traditional, Mediterranean or Tuscan kitchens could show off pulls and knobs with a little more detail like a back plate. Not only does a back plate help prevent knicks and scratches in your cabinet finish, it also dresses up the pull and the door or drawer front. Shoppers should note that choosing this kind of cabinet and drawer hardware can be pricier than pieces without a back plate.

Country kitchens look great with cup pulls; the upside down, well, cups that create an instant note of the past. Like most other cabinet hardware, cup pulls come in a variety of sizes and can be found in almost any finish. The only downside is that you’ll have to find a more traditionally shaped pull for your cabinet doors since cup pulls are designed for drawers.

A final note … A growing number of families are living with multiple generations under one roof again, and pulls can be easier to use for the youngest and more senior members of your household.

Have you recently changed out the cabinet hardware in your kitchen and/or bathroom? We’d love to see photos! Share them with us on Facebook.