Cabinet hardware includes all those pieces on your cabinets that help you to open and close the doors, as well as those that hold the doors onto the body of the cabinet. Hinges and pulls are the most important with respect to operating the cabinets on a day-to-day basis. Hinges and pulls are also the two items that play the most significant part in the overall look of your cabinetry. The right hardware lets you express your personal style while improving the look and feel of your cabinets.
On traditional cabinets, hinges are exposed to view. On European-styled cabinets, the doors partially or fully conceal the hinges while the doors are closed. Essentially, cabinets are boxes with doors. Traditional cabinets have a wood frame that sits on the open edge of the box. Traditional hinges attach to the frame and to the door. European hinges attach to the door and directly to the side of the cabinet’s box.
Hiding your hinges allows you to create a row of cabinets that flow from one to the other, uninterrupted by hardware. European hinges favor minimalist designs. In some instances, you can create the illusion that the cabinets are fading into the background.
European hinges give you several options for the degree to and manner in which the doors swing open. Choose hinges that permit doors to swing open wide if you need to accommodate pull-out shelves behind the doors. Changing the angle at which the doors swing open also allows you to put doors on cabinets in corners.
Traditional hinges give you an opportunity to reinforce the overall style of your cabinetry. For example, adding large hand-wrought hinges complements kitchens that are designed with an old world appeal. More modern designs will work well with a polished silver finish.
Knobs, Pulls and Handle Styles
Changing the pulls on your cabinets has an immediate and dramatic impact on the look of your kitchen. The number of choices for pulls means that there is something for every taste and budget. Switching the styles is tantamount to a mini-makeover for your kitchen. Rather than remodeling your floors, you can choose cabinet knobs that highlight some element of your floor to make both the floors and cabinets more appealing. Similarly, with your appliances; you highlight the parts you like to draw attention to the good things about your kitchen.
Glass knobs will reflect light and help to make a small kitchen look a little larger and brighter. You have a considerable number of options for glass knobs. Choose a clear crystal style for a classic look. Choose colorful glass for a modern look.
Use your cabinet handles and pulls to add a touch of the whimsical to your kitchen. Metal handles fashioned into the shape of kitchen utensils are a theme that you can incorporate easily into many kitchen designs. Branch out by adding handles and pulls shaped to look like twigs or leaves for a theme drawn from nature. Pay homage to your favorite hobbies, pets or just about anything else your mind and favorite manufacturer can conjure up.
The shape of the pull determines how well you will be able to grasp it to pull the door open. Take into consideration who will open and close the cabinets. Someone with arthritic hands may have trouble closing their hands in a way small enough to be able to grasp and hold onto small pulls with enough strength to swing the door open comfortably. Choose larger handles with smooth shapes for the greatest comfort in opening cabinets, in particular, cabinets with heavy doors. Straight handles work best for people with smaller fingers, who will have no trouble getting their fingers in the space between the handle and the door.
Your cabinet hardware is functional and decorative. Take into consideration who uses your cabinets and how they use them in order to choose the right hardware. Spend time looking at many options. Purchase a few samples of different types; test them out next to your cabinet doors and under your lighting. In the end, you may find that the right choice is the one that looks and feels best to you.
Denise Hill is a mobile tech blogger, blogging for NetQin mobile security.
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