Cabinet Hardware Knobs Style Guide

Cabinet Hardware & Knobs Style Guide

There is an incredible variety of cabinet hardware and knobs available and the newest styles truly run the gamut! No longer are you limited to round knobs and plain handles. Whether you’re in full remodel mode, or just want to freshen up your cabinets, updating your home’s cabinet hardware is one of the easiest, most inexpensive ways to add instant style to your kitchen!

So where do you start? Which style, design and finish do you choose? Most people these days don’t fit into one style category, so we’ve gone ahead and dissected the different styles to help you decide which style is most like YOU.

Modern Styles

You say modern…I say contemporary. You may think that these two styles are synonymous and refer to today’s current looks. But they each have their own distinctive style. Modern design refers to the time period between the early to mid-twentieth century. Hence, the reference to “mid-century modern” denotes ’50s and ’60s design.

Chic Modern Hardware

The popular art and design of the day was clean and boasted simple form and function, as in Scandinavian and German Bauhaus design. Think Frank Lloyd Wright: crisp lines, warm neutrals and balance. (For a deeper look, also check out of Modern Style Guide!)

True Contemporary Styles


Contemporary style is forever what’s happening in design right at this moment, in a style that is constantly changing and fluid to reflect the present day’s popularity. It doesn’t focus on one style, but steals looks from modernism, minimalism and even global design. With it’s fluidity, the only thing that never changes about contemporary style is change itself!

Traditional vs.Transitional Styles


Traditional style is what some call old-world. It’s warm and inviting … even luxurious. This style harkens back to interiors from the 17th and 18th centuries, with curved lines, ornate woodwork, elegant fixtures, rich tones and a variety of patterns. If you love gilded frames and china patterns, this is probably your style.

Ready to Transition?


Transitional style mixes elements from both traditional and contemporary design. Transitional style is more casual and relaxed … less stuffy, or elegant. In home interiors, texture is used with a variety of different fabrics to create depth and interest. Color and pattern is used more sparingly and repeated. If you love a blend of both modern and classic styles, you probably fall into the transitional category.

Early Americana vs. Victorian


Early Americana is an interior design style that never goes out of style, from furniture to you guessed it – cabinet hardware. Admired for its simple lines, this style emphasizes natural materials and a handcrafted look.

Ode to Simpler Times


Unlike the more formal style of the 18th century Colonial furnishings, Early American style was more casual and simple (think long, rustic tables and Windsor chairs). Later, it went beyond practical to a bit more ornamental using carvings, raised panels and wood turnings. Our selection of Early Americana hardware is reminiscent of pieces created in a blacksmith’s shop.

Who Can Forget?


The Victorian period (1840-1910) of style arrived in full regalia. Named after England’s Queen Victoria, this period of design is opulent and formal. Rich heavy wood, rosewood inlays, needlepoint, and tapestry adorned most furniture; so naturally this style of cabinet hardware boasts beautiful golds and more formal details like florals, faux carvings, crystal and more lavish detailing. For a deeper dive, be sure to check out our Victorian Style Guide.

Southwestern Sass


Nothing says the southwest like cactus and cowboy boots. So spruce up your cabinets with ranch-inspired accents including longhorns, Aztec designs, a Kokopelli man and other earth-tone hardware that boasts a cool vibe.

Rustic Lodge Livin'


Who knew the rustic cabin/lodge look would enter the cabinet hardware industry? Well it has, and now you can get that worn, outdoorsy look for every cupboard imaginable.

Famous Finishes

Chrome is the hardware standby. It’s been around forever. It’s sleek, shiny and coordinates with just about every style. People who like more streamlined design and who don’t want to stand out from the crowd love this finish.

When you want a unique look, choose copper. An unexpected rose-orange hue, this metal has a pretty tone like that of a copper pot and it stands out in a crowd. And probably no one you know has copper knobs or pulls!

Polished brass is a shiny gold-tone finish once considered very ’80s, but now, is in vogue again. Bright and cheerful, it’s a pretty shade that comes in a world of updated styles. Similar to gold, it stands out on any surface and offers a sophisticated accent to a white kitchen or bathroom.

Among the most durable metals, nickel in any kind of finish is a smart, sleek choice for hardware. Its shine offsets nicely against nearly any color, but especially with darker colored cabinets. It’s a top choice with white contemporary cabinets, too.

Oil-rubbed bronze is one of our favorite finishes and a popular choice. This exquisitie finish is a deep, rich brown hue that can look black (this finish varies widely). It’s best described “traditional” and reminiscent of old-world finishes.

Antique brass is another stunning hardware choice – just look at these options in whimsical designs. Antique brass goes with a variety of styles and has an aged look so it isn’t as bold as polished brass. It can easily mix with polished brass to create a custom look.

Sky’s the Limit

Cabinet “jewelry” is often the last thing you think about when decorating your home. But cabinet hardware can make a big impact in creating a look that sets your home apart from everyone else’s. Replacing existing hardware or adding hardware to bare cabinets is a great way to freshen up a kitchen, bathroom, laundry room or bar. From new copper and polished nickel pulls to whimsical knobs that make a statement, the options are virtually limitless for creating a chic custom cabinet look.



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