Where to put the handles? Vote!

CEFreemanFebruary 3, 2014

Hi all!
I have some of these cottage cabinets in my MBR and just can't decide where to put the handles. I don't like one better than the other, so I just can't pick. Let me know your vote, and perhaps why?

There are from Pinterest.

First, we have the handles places on the stiles? rails? I always forget which runs which way, so we'll say on the edge of the drawer front:

Then we have the pulls put in the center panel -- which I've always thought might be a weaker point in the drawer.

So. Aren't these pretty? What do you think?

This post was edited by CEFreeman on Mon, Feb 3, 14 at 21:38

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I usually prefer center on shaker style but think top of stile works better in this case

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 9:38PM
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I agree with zeitgast.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 9:43PM
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Pretty cabinets. I normally like the pulls on the center panel but I think I like them better on the stiles. The 3rd pic (white cabinet), the pulls seem lost within the center panel. I don't mind them in the center panel on the green cabinet.
I'd want to see the chosen hardware on the specific cabinet to make a decision. Maybe we need some of Oldbat's excellent photoshopping.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 2:14AM
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I have always preferred pulls in the center of the cabinet drawer. I think for me it is about symmetry and centering. I am a little obsessive that way. That is just my opinion though.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 5:20AM
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Beautiful cabinets! I also prefer the first!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 6:08AM
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I like them in the center but I'd put them on the top rail so I didn't have to bend over so far.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 6:36AM
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I normally like them in the center, but with the beadboard detail in the middle, I would put them toward the top. (And thank you for posting pictures of what you have...without those examples from Houzz, I would have probably just said that my preference was in the middle)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 6:44AM
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I like them on the top, as in the kitchen with the blue backsplash (so pretty).

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 6:55AM
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I vote as shown in picture #2

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 8:15AM
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I like them on the rails so I don't have to bend over so far for the bottom drawers.

I always remember rails by thinking of hand rails.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 8:29AM
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I think it depends on the size of the handle. If its a smaller, skinny handle, put it on the rail, if its a thick fat handle, put it in the middle. That'd be my vote.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 8:40AM
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I think also it depends on your style of pull, and are you having a mix of doors and drawers, and are you using the same pulls on both doors and drawers? How thick are the rails? How wide are the cabinets? (I can be a little peculiar about what "just looks right" to me sometimes... I guess the overall proportions and balance of the handle and cabinet have to work somehow)

Delicate pulls just don't work on the center panel unless it is a rather small cabinet, but something with a little heft looks good.

I personally don't care for pic #1, with the placement of the door pulls putting me off. I tend to not like pulls in the center panels of doors as well, but I think the cup pulls on the green cabs look fab where they are.

Sorry, this isn't much help, is it?

I realized in another thread that my handles had actually been the very first thing I had chosen for my kitchen; I had thought that I would place them in the center of the top/bottom rail/stile of all the doors and drawers, but that just didn't look right to me when I finally had the cabinets.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 9:52AM
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Great examples/pictures of the cottage cabinets! Another vote for #2 - But I agree- depends on the type of pulls/handles/knobs. The cup pulls work in #4.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 10:04AM
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I'm doing something without a lot of weight to them, but they're dark, so they'll stand out.

Interestingly enough, again in my own weird way, this is a conglomeration of handles, pallet wood, barn wood, actual cabinet doors (the type in the pictures), antiquing and a tiny bit of stencil.

So, I'm using a bunch of different handles, too! I have so many order-me-one-to-see-if-I-like-it handles, I decided to just use 'em. The continuity of the handles is my anal need for symmetry. The cabinet type above will have the same handles. Let me see if I can....

So they're not too heavy --- I don't care or that -- but they're distinct. It's interesting that most, well, all the votes are pretty much for example 2!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 10:32AM
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I too can never remember which way is the stile and which way is the rail, so

I like may_flowers "hand rail" memory assist. Maybe railroad tracks for me.

Oddly enough, in this instance I think I like the pulls in the center of the panel. Generally I prefer them in the rail, but the beadboard panels just make a difference.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 10:46AM
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On the rails. I'd vote that way even if they were smooth in the middle.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 10:51AM
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There is another option. I placed my pulls on the panel nearer the top, similar to the green drawer under the window seat, but not quite as high and close to the top rail.

This post was edited by ctycdm on Tue, Feb 4, 14 at 21:11

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 12:00PM
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The problem, for me, in example #3 is that the handles and knobs don't seem to have enough substance, they get lost in the sea of white. Other than that I like the placement just fine. Your dark handles would look better. Are your cabinets going to be white or a color?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 3:01PM
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Raee, my cabinets are an unusual, one-of-a-kind finish that is really between a mild brown and dusty green. I'll try to put a picture up, but you know how colors go on monitors.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 3:08PM
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That sounds interesting!

Yes, I do know -- the pics of my kitchen looked like I had pink cabinets, when they are in reality not really grey, not really cream, not white, but sort of all three...

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 6:18PM
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I agree with most of the others- With the BB, I would go with putting them on the rails.
Mine are on the panels - but I remember Badger put them on the rails - much easier to open the drawers - but I was chickenâ¦

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 8:46PM
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natebear zone 10B

My .02--

I don't like the handle on the rail (thanks, suzannesl). If I saw that placement, my first instinct would be to pull down to open. Fwiw, that is also the most cottage-y of the looks.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 8:56PM
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We just went through this decision process. My cabinet maker was willing to place them wherever I preferred, but he has been doing this for many years, so I listened to his advice. He said that the center of the panel is actually stronger than the rails and would be his recommendation. I did predominantly drawers and they are *loaded* down. I think I would have felt that I needed to be more careful when I pull the drawers open if the handles had been on the rails. :)

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 7:44AM
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That is a really great point sum!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 8:00AM
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ctycdm, that's a great picture! It wasn't there before. I like that look. My pulls are only about 5", so I'm wondering if they'd look as good as your longer, sleek pulls?

I can't imagine the panels being stronger, given they're a completely different cut of material (if you try to stain it, it's obvious) and only 1/4" thick. The rails are 1/2" thick. I measured. Unless I install these pulls going through the drawer, thru the drawer face, and then screwed on. Then, of course, it'd take an act of God to damage the drawer front. Oh - and these are in my MBR, so the usage won't be what it would be in a kitchen. (Yes, they're kitchen cabinets, which is another reason I'm here!)

Gotta think about this stuff. You're all raising great points and I appreciate the votes. So far, the rails have it. :)

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 8:57AM
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Christine, I just thought I'd clarify the panels placement in our case. As you can see from the picture our handles go through the 1/2" face (below the 3/4" rail) and through the 3/4" drawer box. So in our case it actually is much stronger. If your panels are thinner then I'd probably go with placement on the rails too. :)

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 10:08AM
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I wondered. I could go through the drawer, too, but now I'm wishing I had wider pulls! :)
It's tough to make a decision. Everyone's kitchens are so lovely.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 12:29PM
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