Dwell On This: Level Up Your Cabinet Hardware

Dwell On This: Level Up Your Cabinet Hardware

From kitchen cabinets to bedroom dressers, your furniture could benefit from some sprucing up.
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At a Glance


  • This will be an easy swap.


  • You'll need new knobs and pulls, but these don't have to be fancy.


  • Aside from some research, switching out old hardware is a snap.

Have you ever spotted someone wearing an impressive outfit—only to have the spell broken by poorly coordinated shoes? Or a dashing suit marred by an unfortunate tie? Like these fashion faux pas, a cabinet outfitted with dated or drab hardware can affect the overall impression of a room. Fortunately, switching out knobs, pulls, and handles is that rare type of home improvement project that’s easy, cost-effective, and won’t take longer than a weekend to complete.

Dwell On This: Level Up Your Cabinet Hardware - Photo 1 of 1 -

Whether you’re refreshing your kitchen cabinets, a bathroom vanity, or a bedroom dresser, the options are numerous. While there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to choosing the right hardware, a good place to start is calculating how many pieces you’ll need to replace, which will give you a ballpark spending figure. Knobs are cheaper and easier to install than pulls, but may not be as ergonomic—we advise using knobs for smaller drawers and pulls for wider designs. (That said, if your decor leans more toward a heritage style, two knobs on either end of a drawer might look more appropriate than a single, modern pull.) 

Cabinet hardware specialists suggest installing pulls that are approximately a third of the length of the drawer; extra long hardware that spans the entire length of the cabinet can look great in a modern setting. Pro tip: Use painter’s tape to determine whether short or long pulls deliver your dream look.

Just remember to treat cabinet hardware like jewelry: A little goes a long way.

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Illustration by Mar Hernández

Gregory Han
Co-author of Poketo's Creative Spaces: People, Homes, and Studios to Inspire Find me at @DesignMilk /// @Wirecutter /// @dwellmagazine /// @dominomag


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