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In life, it’s often the little things that matter most.

In the world of home restoration, this means things like selecting the right decorative wood for fireplace mantels, installing the ideal accent pieces, putting in baseboards that are noticeable but not overpowering or picking out the perfect lighting fixtures.

Similarly, mixing knobs and pulls on kitchen cabinets is one of those little things that can make a big difference in both the appearance and functionality of a space.

Truth be told, the panoply of sizes, finishes and styles that exist can be a bit overwhelming, so picking out just the right combination can be more challenging than one might think.

This piece serves to help guide you and simplify the process of mixing knobs and pulls on kitchen cabinets.

Here’s how you can get your cabinet hardware just right.

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Comparing Knobs vs. Pulls

Before getting into the nitty gritty details, it is important to understand the difference between knobs and pulls.

The definition of a knob is a small rounded lump or ball at the end of – or on the surface of – something.

matte black drawer knob

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In contrast, a pull is a small handle that is either open-faced or that features a closed crescent shape with a cover on the top.

Pretty simple stuff, right?

As for combining them, that task is a little more involved.

Mixing Knobs and Pulls on Kitchen Cabinets

The main reasons that homeowners might opt to use either a knob or a pull on a certain kitchen cabinet boil down to two primary explanations: functionality and style.

Where style is concerned, mixing knobs and pulls on kitchen cabinets can give a space a ton of character and depth, particularly in larger kitchens where repetitiveness can be a concern.

Speaking to functionality, plainly put, different types of kitchen cabinets are better suited for either a knob or a pull.

That said, here are some key tips to remember when mixing knobs and pulls on kitchen cabinets.

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Tips for Mixing Knobs and Pulls Successfully

When putting together knob and pull combinations for your kitchen, there are a few guidelines that you will want to remember, including:

Stick with a Single Finish

While you can coordinate different kinds of finishes with your cabinet hardware, it adds another layer of complexity to the job. Therefore, it is best to keep things simple by sticking with just one finish.

kitchen cabinets white countertop

Source: Jason Finn/

Use One Style for Upper Cabinets and a Second for Lower

One way to coordinate your kitchen’s appearance is to install one kind of hardware on upper cabinets (preferably knobs as they are easier to grip when higher up) and the other kind on the lower cabinets.

Use Different Hardware for Cabinets and Drawers

If you really want to get into mixing knobs and pulls on kitchen cabinets, then it is wise to choose the hardware style based on where it is being placed (i.e., a cabinet or a drawer).

Taking this approach to hardware placement will help to produce a consistent look and feel to your kitchen.

Consider the Future

When mixing knobs and pulls on kitchen cabinets, it is important to consider the fact that you may want to change things in later years.

Therefore, when selecting different knobs and pulls, consider the holes that will need to be drilled into the cabinet and if they will easily accommodate different kinds of hardware or not.

Cooking Up the Kitchen of Your Dreams

When purchasing knobs and pulls for your kitchen, carefully consider how they will be used and who will be using them.

If your elderly parents live with you, knobs on all of your cabinets and drawers may prove too hard for them to open. Alternatively, if you have children and put pulls everywhere, they could easily get into areas they shouldn’t access.

However, no matter which way you choose to go and which combination you decide is best for your kitchen, at Van Dyke’s, we have a selection of knobs and pulls that is sure to satisfy your needs and desires.