Cabinet Knobs/Pulls

dstrigzNovember 16, 2012

Hey Everyone-

I'm a single guy in my late 20s (with very little knack for decorating) who recently purchased my first home, and am working on updating the very dated kitchen. I'm working on a limited budget so I'm leaving the cabinets in place... they are very basic, painted white cabinets but are bright, clean, and in good shape. I am getting Black Galaxy granite countertops, stainless appliances, and a white subway tile backsplash. My last big debate is the cabinet knobs/pulls. My mother (the source of most of my design knowledge/inspiration) thinks the current brushed nickel (I think?) finish will look really sharp with all of the updates, but in my online research I've been struck by the look of oil rubbed bronze or black pulls/knobs. My major hangup on going with ORB or black has been that the cabinets have exposed hinges, and I'm worried that if I replace those in a darker color then there will be almost too much black, and that it may look distracting. Lastly, if the counters are black without any real bronze/gold/brown tones, am I obligated to go with black, or can I still get away with ORB?

Any thoughts would be very much appreciated!

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I would go with Mom. Are you replacing all those hinges?

My decision is based on your age, assuming a bit of a comtemporary flavor, without bonneted geese, or hand carved corbel surrounding the wooded hood cover.

Oh, congratulations on the new home!!


    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 10:20AM
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Debbi Branka

I would stick with your mom's advice here too. ORB is browns and I wouldn't put it with a black and white kitchen. The black would be ok, until you mention exposed hinges. Definitely stay with the brushed nickel is my vote.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 11:29AM
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What about something in between the brushed nickel and flat black? There are a lot of aged iron finishes available now that aren't as stark as black, but aren't as light as brushed nickel. I linked to a page of them below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Iron finishes

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 12:18PM
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I have antique pewter. It's less bright and yellowy, but not too dark. It looks good with stainless.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 12:36PM
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Can you post a picture of the current cabinets with hinges? Oh heck, post a picture of the whole kitchen :) Check out the "New to Kitchens..." the link that gets bumped to stay on the first page. It has more information than the "sticky" at the top of the first page.

Here is a link that might be useful: New to Kitchens?...

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 12:51PM
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Thanks for all of the feedback! I guess I should know to trust mom. But, I'll take a look at the iron and pewter hardware.

Here is a picture of the kitchen

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 3:49PM
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PS the placement of that knob on the top left cabinet is driving me insane

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 3:50PM
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Bwah-hah! That knob would drive me nuts, too.

I'm going to disagree with your mom on this and say you should go with a silvered/black iron kind of hardware. There is a lot of white in the kitchen and the few black things (Keurig, grates on range, window to oven) need more black things near them to feel cohesive. Your granite will help, and I think "black but not totally black" hardware will help, too.

Any plan to update the floor while you are doing this? Assuming the current floor is vinyl, there are some really pretty vinyls that will work well with your new counter tops and aren't that much money. I'm linking to one we used in our bathrooms, it looks so real the appraiser noted it as "ceramic tile" (tee hee).

Here is a link that might be useful: Vinyl that looks a lot like tile in real life

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 5:10PM
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I think a dark finish would look good too. Have a look round a hardware display; there are several finishes out there that are dark but not brownish like ORB is. Ours are graphite on white cabinets. I can't tell what color your hinges are but replacing them would be a big pain (and have a pretty high chance of your doors not fitting exactly right afterward), so maybe you can find something that's not too far off their color.

That knob would drive me crazy too. ha. Don't suppose the previous owners left you any of the paint so you can paint over it to match if you fill the hole?

Here is a link that might be useful: Graphite hardware on the Amerock site

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 7:47PM
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I am linking to a blog where the white cabinets have exposed hinges and ORB hardware. Notice the ORB looks like a matte black. The ORB in my kitchen all looks matte black, too (which I think looks fine in a black and white kitchen.) Anyway, I like the contrast and think it looks lovely.

There are people who love ORB, people who love chrome/nickel, etc. on here. I don't think you could go wrong picking either look, as long as you enjoy the look. :)

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 8:10PM
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First of all, congratulations on purchasing your first home! As a parent it is a great feeling to see your kid making sigqnificant life decisions. I think you can pull off a variety of colors with black granite. The biggest challenge will be to find ORB hardware that is not burnished with an orange tint. A solid color and matte knob will be beautiful.

Move the knob in the wayward drawer. Somebody must have been drinking too much beer when that was installed.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 11:57PM
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You could go to Lowes/Home Depot, etc and purchase several different colors/styles to see how they will look. Another source for reasonable cabinet hardware is They have a wide variety of styles and finishes.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 12:11AM
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Honestly, I would use chrome or brushed nickle and handles (instead of knobs), like the ones on the drawer. This would give it a more contemporary feel.
Are you leaving the wall color?

Here is a link that might be useful: white kitchen/black counter

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 8:30AM
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