Knobs Away

By Diane Schlindwein

May 1, 2009 4 min read


A small change makes your cabinets look like new

Diane Schlindwein

Creators News Service

If you're in the mood to make some changes but your budget is holding you back, new doorknobs or cabinet hardware might be the perfect way to update your home.

Most do-it-yourselfers can install door handles fairly simply with just a knob kit and a screwdriver. You'll need a key door knob for an exterior entry door and a button door knob for a bedroom or a bath.

Modern kitchen cabinet, bathroom or dresser drawer knobs come in a nice variety and are even easier to install. In fact, most of the time you won't need any tools. "There's almost no limit to what they can put on knobs," said Curt Trampe, president of DreamMaker Bath and Kitchen in central Illinois. "They range from glass to rocks to knobs with athletic themes like golf or athletic equipment like footballs for a kid's room."

Kitchens are especially fun to work with, said Trampe. "They might use a fork on a silverware drawer. That's a neat way to let people know what they're looking for -- what's inside what drawer.

"You don't have to be consistent. Some people like mixing different kinds of drawer pulls. Of course, there is a certain segment of the population that doesn't want to mix it up and that's OK, too. There really is no right or wrong way."

There are plenty options that provide style. Glass knobs are a great way to glam up a door. They first came into vogue in the 1820s, but became more popular around the time of World War I because metals were in short supply. Now, they are back in style and even available in patterns and jewel-tones.

Remember that kitchens have cabinets in a variety of sizes, so one kind or size of pull won't work everywhere. "Some of the newer cabinets are heavy, so you need a larger scale piece of hardware," Trampe said. "The cabinet will determine what kind of pull you'll need." Companies like Amerock, Cliffside and Top Knobs are customer-friendly and offer great designs, he added.

Dana Pfeiffer, an interior designer, faux painter and furniture designer, recommended oil-rubbed bronze knobs that "go with anything" in a kitchen or bath. Pfeiffer, who travels around the country helping personalize homes, said do-it-yourselfers should check out Home Depot, Menards and Lowe's. "Just go in those places and look around. They have so much to pick from -- it's easy to find something you like."

"We do have over a thousand different knobs to choose from in a multitude of prices," said Jeremy Cunduff, a department manager at Menards. "Most of them range in price from about $1.19 on up to $10 to $12 a piece. Some the larger ones cost more, of course. But using the right knobs is a good way to set off your kitchen."

Picking out new knobs and kitchen pulls can be as simple as checking out the major home improvement stores' websites. For example, Home Depot has hundreds of designs in their kitchen cabinet hardware gallery. You can choose from nickel, bronze, brass, chrome, black, pewter, white, wood and artsy specialty knobs. Folks who want to follow the glass trend will find Victorian glass drawer knobs for $3.99 and 3-inch Victorian glass pulls that cost just $6.99 a piece.

If you are truly on a budget, Pfeiffer said it makes sense to stick with stainless steel. "Since saving money is a big deal right now, stainless steel is a wonderful choice," she said. "It is inexpensive, but it looks like a million bucks."

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