Cabinets are going in! Still need pulls - help, please!

kaysdFebruary 20, 2013

My kitchen cabinets started going in today, which is very exciting. The tall pantry and oven cabinets went in, along with some of the base cabinets. Unfortunately, I didn't think to take a picture until the sun was already going down, so you can't really see any detail. The cabinets are custom walnut with slab front drawers and doors.

I have been so consumed with other details, that I forgot to order pulls. I have been considering the Top Knobs Princetonian in brushed nickel for a while. The style is very similar to the Gaggenau handles on the refrigeration columns and steam oven, although the Princetonian handles are thinner and have slightly different end caps. They have multiple sizes from 4" - 37" and I would probably go with pulls just a little shorter than the drawer widths. Unfortunately, it will take at least 2 weeks to order them. DH will be annoyed if we can't open our cabinets easily and the cabinet guys will be annoyed if they have to make a separate trip to install the hardware.

While I was at an appliance showroom a couple days ago, I spotted a slightly beefier bar pull I liked. I asked the salesman where they were from, and he said IKEA. I liked the way they looked on the slab cabinets and how they felt when I pulled the drawers open. I liked that the diameter of the rods was a little thicker than the Princetonians. I brought packages home, but they seem different loose than in the showroom. The stainless steel IKEA Vinna pulls are lighter in weight than the smaller Princetonian sample and the finish is not quite as fine, although I think it would be fine if you did not have something right next to it to compare the finishes. The IKEA handles are in stock and would cost $400-500 less than the Princetonians. They come in 6" and 14" lengths (it's both good and bad to have fewer size options from which to choose).

WWYD? Which do you think looks better: longer & thinner or shorter & beefier pulls? The house is a 60's ranch with some MCM detailing, although not entirely modern. The walnut cabinets are fairly sleek, but the fir ceiling looks a bit rustic. Faucets are sleek chrome, light fixtures and door handles throughout house are brushed nickel. Non-paneled appliances are stainless steel.

World's worst teaser photo:

The layout:

Refrigeration columns like these:

Top Knobs Princetonian pulls:

Contemporary Kitchen design by Dallas Architect Domiteaux + Baggett Architects, PLLC

Contemporary Kitchen design by Dallas Architect Domiteaux + Baggett Architects, PLLC

Contemporary Kitchen design by San Francisco Architect Duxbury Architects

Contemporary Kitchen design by San Francisco Architect Duxbury Architects

Ikea Vinna pulls:

Contemporary Kitchen design by Other Metro Furniture And Accessories IKEA

Modern Kitchen design by Other Metro Furniture And Accessories IKEA

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Oh funny, we just made this exact decision with those same two pulls. We went with the Princetonian, mostly because they had better options for the various lengths. But ours is a small kitchen and the price difference was not so bad. If it were an extra $400-500, I might have gone with Ikea.

That said, I prefer the less chunky pull in favor of the thinner and cleaner version.

The last thing I'll offer is that you can use blue tape to make temporary pulls. It's not the end of the world, and it will make your really appreciate the pulls (whichever you choose) when you get them!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 11:01PM
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I wasn't imoressed with the quality of those Ikea pulls when I bought a pack. I originally planned the Pricetonians after seeing Theanimala's gorgeous kitchen early in my time here so I, too, was looking for a cheaper alternative. The Ikea pulls seemed just that--a cheap alternative.

You've been planning and waiting for this kitchen for so many, many months. Two more weeks is nothing, in the grand scheme. To me, I'd much rather wait a mere 14 days than settle for something with which I'm not truly happy for thousands of days.

Blue tape pulls work well if you use a long enough piece to start. I used them for more than a month on most of my cabs and for about six months on my dish hutch, a heavily used cab.

If you order the pulls tomorrow morning, they'll be on their way that much sooner. :). I really want you to be done, too! I can't wait to see those gorgeous cabs and appliances.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 1:53AM
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Ok, so that's 2 votes for the Princetonians. I guess I can live with blue tape for a while, lol. I'm just so excited to have cabinets after almost 7 months without a kitchen. More base cabinets are going in today. If the sun ever comes out, I'll snap a few WIP pics.

If I use the Princetonian bar pulls, I have to figure out what sizes to order. I have 3 banks of 36" wide drawers, plus three 30" wide drawers below my wall ovens. The long pull options are 19-11/16" (2 posts), 27-1/2" (3 posts) and 31-1/16" (3 posts). Should I use: (a) 27-1/2" pulls on both the 30" and 36" drawers, (b) 19-11/16" pulls on the 30" drawers and 27-1/2" pulls on the 36" drawers, or (c) 27-1/2" pulls on the 30" drawers and 31-1/16" pulls on the 36" drawers.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 2:25PM
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You may want to mock up the different sizes. Cardboard cut to size, a little blue tape folded on itself and you will get the idea of how different sizes look. Sure helped us make that decision. Good luck, loving your style!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 4:38PM
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I'll add another vote for the Princetonian to help you out. It's one that I've been considering myself.

And I'd go with b in your choices above. I think you want a little breathing room on either side of the pull and the other options don't offer that.

Or if you wanted to save some of the $400-500, you could just go with smaller pulls overall. But proportionate on each drawer/cab, of course.

Can't wait to see your kitchen!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 5:33PM
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Looking good - and yes quite a tease!
Take a look at Badgergal's pulls - lots of sizes and I think they would look great in your kitchen.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 7:25PM
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I would do option B. If you look at the pics you posted, you'll see some breathing room between the pulls and the ends of the cabs. You'll have about 5" of empty space on each end. That seems right for the look you're trying to achieve.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 7:40PM
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I managed to snap a few pics today. They got more done today than these pictures show, but it was too dark to get pictures when they left.

I am loving my Haze Blue accent wall (range and fridge wall). The color shifts throughout the day, sometimes looking more blue and other times more gray. It looks great with the cabinets, wood ceiling and tile floor. As long as it looks good with the White Macaubas counters too, I am golden. Once I am sure of the paint color, we are ordering a back-painted glass splash for the range wall. The other wall will either have just paint or a 2" stone splash, depending on how templating goes for the counters.

The back wall: range will go in center, fridge column on left and freezer column on right.

Drawer banks next to range have 3 drawers with an extra deep bottom drawer to store frying pans in vertical dividers and stock pots. I love the walnut grain.

Wide, shallow pantry cabinets and double ovens (appliances being installed tomorrow).

Sink wall: sink in center with 16" wide 4-drawer cabs on each side, DW on far left and wine fridge on far right:

My slabs:

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 9:15PM
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MaggieQ, good tip for mocking up pull sizes, thanks.

Ck squared and Breezy, I see what you mean about breathing room. I've seen pictures done both with and without space at the ends on Houzz, and like both. I was able to order 3 of the 27.5" pulls from Amazon with 2-day shipping (they only had 3 in stock), so I will see how that size looks on the drawers and either go up for the 36s or down for the 30s.

A2gemini, I am off to try to find pictures of Badgergal's pulls.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 9:21PM
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That all looks like it's going to be gorgeous!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 10:33PM
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I just had the Princetonian pulls installed on my cabinets yesterday. I ordered them from Knobs4less. They came in within a week and they are currently 10% off $600+. I used the 4, 6, 8" sizes and the 1/3 rule (pull is 1/3 size of cab or drawer).

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 10:48PM
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Thanks, Amanda. It is exciting seeing it all come together, finally.

Momand3boys, thanks for the tip about the sale at Knobs4less. Amazon had the best prices I could find, but rather limited supplies of the various sizes.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 1:09PM
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I got ours at
With a coupon code I managed to get them at less than $10 each. (for the ~7" size and the ~9.5 inch size)

They had the full range of sizes in stock.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 1:40PM
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I just wanted to say we have the Ikea ones and we love them. They feel very solid when you pull, and the space between the cabinet and the bar is wide enough as to not touch the cabinet when I"m trying to open it with, say, wet hands (which I should not be doing anyway).

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 1:53PM
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Karin, thank you so much for telling me about The various sizes I needed were $2-3 less per pull than any other website I checked, which made a big difference since I was ordering 35 of them.

Olney, I did really like the IKEA ones that were on drawers; the loose ones just threw me off. The Princetonian came in better size options for my drawers, but I think the Vinna would have looked good too.

Ordering from, the price difference between the 2 pulls was not as much as I had expected based on the Princetonian prices at our local hardware store. I finally figured out all the sizes I needed and ordered today. 1 more item off the list!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 8:32PM
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Congrats on another decision off the list! Your kitchen is shaping up to match the vision I had in my head of what your space would be. Looks GREAT!!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 2:01AM
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Thanks, Breezy. I made a list today of the final decisions to be made: range hood, height of glass BS, stain or paint color for French door, color and/or texture of Solyx film to use to obscure glass on pantry doors, 3 individual pendants or track lighting over island (waiting for GC input re cost and feasibilty of changing from track on plans to 3 separate pendants), switches/dimmers (waiting on pricing and compatability info from electrician), location of island outlets (waiting for GC to comfirm whether my preferred spots will meet Code), and bar stools. We are so close, but all the little details are maddening, especially when you have to wait for someone else to do research they keep forgetting.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 7:45AM
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Kay--I made a list of all my finishing pieces in early January. It's enough to make me cry even though its shorter than yours.

It's towards the end that a GCs attention begins to wander away. Sorry about your frustration, but hang in there!

Hey, are your appliances hooked up and working at least now?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 1:38PM
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Some of our appliances are in. The fridge and freezer columns are in -- love those!. Advantium is in & I am experimenting a little, but don't want to make messy pans because the dishwasher won't get hooked up until the sinks do, after the counters go in. The appliance installer discovered I was missing a few parts for the steam oven (open box purchase at 70% off), so I have to wait for parts to arrive from Gaggenau. The Wolf range is in, but because it was a floor model for several years, the installer suggested we schedule a maintenance check for safety before we use it, since o rings may have dried up or other issues. I am still going back and forth on hood choices -- that has been the hardest appliance choice for me in the whole kitchen. It's such a visible item that I want something attractive, but still functional. Sleek, baffles, 1000 cfm and under $2k has been hard to find.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 3:54PM
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Yay, glad the pulls worked out as well for you as they did for us. Our pulls are definitely part of the everyday "I love this" moments we have in our kitchen.

Despite the details still remaining, you are getting there. You know you're over the hump when you're down to switchplates and dimmers (but damn those are complex decisions!).

Keep chugging along and we all know your kitchen is going to be jaw-droppingly gorgeous!


    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 9:38PM
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Thanks, Karin. I am having sticker shock at the cost of dimmers for LED and fluorescent fixtures. I want more energy efficient lighting (plus have no choice under Cal. Title 24), but lighting is totally killing my budget between the expensive LED/fluoro fixtures and the specialty dimmers. I'm used to $20-25 dimmers, so I did not budget enough for that "little" line item.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 9:53PM
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Yeah, I hear you. Are you looking at Lutron dimmers? If it makes you feel any better, we opted for one of these instead of 3, and used a cheaper solution for the other 2 locations (undercab LEDs). Now I regret the cheaper ones and wish I had bit the bullet and gotten Lutrons all around.

We blew our budget with lighting but wow was it worth it. DH was just in the kitchen commenting on how nice the new lighting is. Alas, I am still not quite ready to spend the $90 on LED bulbs for our pendants. We're using old incandescents which look great, but we are moving away from them, so they cannot stay!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 1:06AM
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Your kitchen is coming along - glad you made your pull decision.
We went with LED for the cans, UCL, and decorative lighting in the glass cabinet - yup, expensive - I think we doubled our estimate on electrical.
Our decorative lights are still incandescent.
We used lutron dimmable switches on the LED cans but had to use transformers on the UCL, glass cabinet, and trim lighting in the sun room. - The transformers are expensive!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 10:26AM
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We are looking at Lutron dimmers/switches/outlets -- either Nova T or Maestro. I prefer the shape and available colors of the Nova T, but think it is more expensive. I am waiting for Sparky to tell me the price difference between the 2 options and confirm compatability with the various dimming fluoro ballasts and LED fixtures.

There is no attic above the vaulted wood ceiling on the south side of the house, so recessed cans are out and we have had to get "creative" with expensive alternatives like track lighting, cove lighting and long up-down fluoro wall sconces. Standard track kits won't work because of the ceiling height, so everything has to be custom from one of the more expensive companies like Tech or Bruck. When we bought this house, we knew we would have to add a lot of lighting, but had no idea just how much it would cost.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 2:55PM
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