Rule of thirds for cabinet hardware...

Laila619August 6, 2013

Does this rule apply not just to drawers but also to door cabinets where the pull will be placed vertically? The reason I ask is that most of my upper cabs are 36 inches, but some shorty cabinets above the fridge and microwave are only 18 and 24 inches tall. So would I use different pull lengths for the shorter upper cabs? Or would this look weird to have different pull lengths on the doors?

Thanks so much!

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gpraceman55

I don't think that I have ever seen different height pulls for doors. Since you are not likely to use two hands to open a door, then I don't see why you should spend more money on longer pulls.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 7:08PM
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Laila619

Thanks. But what I mean is, should I have the same length pull on my short uppers and on my full size uppers? I am going with 128mm pulls, but those look a little odd on the shorter cabinet doors, because they are almost the length of the cabinet door! So do I put smaller pulls on the shorter cabs? Or do I stick with all 128mm pulls?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 9:38PM
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CEFreeman

On those way up there, I'd use a smaller pull if they're available. I think it's ratio, too.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 10:35PM
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badgergal

I used 10 inch pulls on all of my 38 inch upper cabinet doors. On the short 14 inch cabinet door above my refrigerator I used a 6 inch pull. I think it looks fine. This is how it looks in my application:

I see no problem in using different size pulls. I varied the length/width of the pulls on my drawers too.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 12:44AM
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jellytoast

I am struggling with this as well. I hope some others post their opinions on this, as well as pictures where different sized pulls are used on the upper cabinets.

Laila, I hope you don't mind if I add another question concerning pull sizes ...

If I were to use 128mm pulls (vertically) on upper cabinet doors, would the same size be used on lower cabinet doors as well, or would a smaller size (96mm) be used on those doors because they are smaller?

This post was edited by jellytoast on Wed, Aug 7, 13 at 13:04

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 12:20PM
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AJinNH

I agree with badgergal, different sizes would look better.

BTW badgergal I love your cabinets, are they natural cherry?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 5:24PM
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kksmama

I think I'm going to use knobs on all uppers, in part to avoid the dilmma of pull sizes for 18" up-upper cabs over 42" upper cabs. Also considered going all horizontal (and probably will on the doors under the sinks.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 6:31PM
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badgergal

AJInNH, Thank you for the compliment. Yes, my cabinets are natural cherry. They were made by a small Amish cabinet shop about 80 miles from my house. They had done all the cabinetry in my friends house and I saw their work in two other kitchens. It was a great experience working with them. They even did some curved cabinetry for my kitchen and dining area. You can see some of it in this photo:

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 10:21PM
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kksmama

Those curves are sumptuous! Your hardware is perfect for those lovely cabinets, thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 6:10AM
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miruca

So what is the rule of thirds? That a pull should be maximum 1/3 of the cabinet ?

Will 8" pulls look odd 42" or 48" cabinets that go to the ceiling?

Will 8" pulls look odd on 36" drawers?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 12:53AM
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jakuvall

Link below-use it in photos
Golden ratio listed at bottom of that page gets a little more play in architecture but is controversial- I find thatt "close" is often the case there.

Here is a link that might be useful: rule of thirds

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 8:08AM
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northcarolina

There is no rule of thirds for cabinet hardware -- it's a guideline for visual arts as jakuvall posted above, possibly related to the "golden mean" which is sometimes cited in architecture and other types of design. Long pulls are a contemporary feature. We wanted a more old-fashioned look for our kitchen, so we purposely did not use long pulls; even our 36" drawers each have a single 5" pull. Whether they look odd is a matter of opinion [grin] but I like ours very much; it was just the look I was going for.

I realize I sounded very definite just now, but I am no expert and this is all opinion. I think that's both the fun and the frustration of cabinet hardware: there aren't any rules, it's all about what looks good to you. (Well, I guess putting them in a sensible place you can reach and getting them straight would be rules...)

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 9:33AM
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miruca

Thanks - choices, choices are making me dizzy ...and immobilized :)

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 10:49AM
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fouramblues

I didn't have the emotional energy to grapple with the issue of pull sizes, so I used pulls on both drawers and doors, all the same size. Turns out I like the look, in my kitchen. The photo below has three different door heights, all 6" pulls.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 11:29AM
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karin_mt

When in doubt, make a mock-up. We used slender rolled-up cylinders of paper to make mock-up pulls in three lengths. We taped them to various drawers and cabinets, and lo, the answer was perfectly clear. It was a fun exercise and reduced the endless anxiety from yet one more kitchen decision!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 8:41PM
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jakuvall

Sounds fun and resourceful karen
OR
Sketch it to scale-1" or 1-1/2" to the foot
Make your KD work- they can change them in the program and show you 35
Get samples and use double stick foam tape, push hard--remove with a little goof off or lighter fluid

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 9:07PM
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miruca

This was all very helpful - as were several hours at Home Depot looking and trying the handle on multiple size cabinets and both vertically and horizontal. The rule of 1/3 started making sense!

Kitchen pulls now ordered!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 12:08PM
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miruca

This was all very helpful - as were several hours at Home Depot looking and trying the handle on multiple size cabinets and both vertically and horizontal. The rule of 1/3 started making sense!

Kitchen pulls now ordered!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 12:09PM
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