Open and Shut Case

By Steven V. Philips –

IMG_5683Kitchen knobs, pulls and handles. They’re all supposed to help you easily open doors, drawers or cabinets. There are probably more variations on this hardware item than there are TV cable options but, like the buggy-whip channel, some are more appropriate than others.

The best knob or pull is one that you can use with either hand, or even better, one finger. And easily useable from the top, bottom or either side. Without further dilly-dallying, go directly to the photo to observe my four randomly picked designs whilst I force you to consider my random wisdom. Or, more modestly, true genius.

The lattice: Only one anchor point. Can be pulled from top or bottom, but if you are a neurotic twit (no names here) do NOT chose this type. It’ll go out of level (twist slightly off the horizontal or vertical) binsooner or later. You will then go out of level to early looniness attempting to keep them “looking” right. Plus, this one is a two-fer-crazy because goop will gather in the squiggle. Crooked AND sticky, a winning combo. Can be used with both drawers and cabinets to quadruple your nuttiness. Finished here in antiqued nickel and look!, it’s already crooked!

The bin pull: Probably started on seed bins in ye olde general store or grannie’s kitchen. You’ll visually know when you have a kitchen full of these for sure. Shows fingerprints with enough fidelity for poor police work. And you can only pull them from the bottom. Best on drawers, never on cabinets. All I can think of are half 1950s “moon” hubcaps. Happy Daze Fonzie.

knobsThe “S” shaped minimal-model: Two anchor points. Works from either direction. Always correct if installed correctly. Variation on the time-tested classic simple bar theme. Could be a bit visually loopy but I like it. Drawers or cabinets. This finish is satin nickel.

The two-color bronze bar: While you may not love this specific shape, the idea of “color interest” is interesting. Not so bland and the accent might pick up the countertop color or my lovely eye shade, should I visit. Again, two anchor points so they’re always level, unless your cousin, the non-professional installer, didn’t know how to use a setting template.

Country or modern or traditional. No matter which style, remember:

Brass and porcelain are out. This week.

Oil rubbed bronze is in. This week. Maybe next.

Brushed nickel is forever. Until it isn’t.

And kids, don’t go too far down today’s trendy-fad road, unless your trust fund allows you to change-out hardware every other year. Plus, don’t spend the kid’s college fund on over-priced stuff. More and more good design is available reasonably when you hunt. The average kitchen has 13 cabinets and 30+ pieces of hardware. Thus if you search, for about the price of your new tablet computer, you’ve got something attractive that you’ll use way beyond Version 11.0.


3 thoughts on “Open and Shut Case”

  1. As always, I enjoy reading your very educational articles and your usual humor. I liked your comments on nobs. Of course I have the lattice which you were not too thrilled about, but I love them. Gives the kitchen a little traditional look amongst the cold stone and glass.

  2. Great timing on cabinet hardware. I had nice handles in my master bath but are showing signs of wear. Loved the finish when they were new but thanks to lotion on hands, they are not holding up. My clean stainless in the kitchen are GREAT! Look as new today as they did almost ten years ago.
    Do love the cute sea stars in the bathrooms. Might not be functional but who cares in a guest bathroom!
    Enjoyed the humor, once again made me smile 🙂

  3. New knobs can make such a difference! We are looking at new knobs for our bathroom now, so this is good timing. Great article!

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