Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Rebecca Ryan Design - Get a grip

Cabinet Hardware is a critical design element that helps define the style of a room. 

Considerations when selecting knobs and pulls are:

  • Style - traditional, rustic, whimsical, clean, historic, transitional, chunky, refined
  • Material - metal, glass, wood, leather, stone
  • Projection - Esp. in corners, will it interfere with the operation of other cabinets, prohibit doors from opening fully or bang into walls?
  • Width - Does it fit the hand size of all people using the cabinetry
  • Color - Will it be high contrast and stand out or low contrast and blend in to cabinets?
  • Feel - How does it fell when you use it? Are there sharp edges? Is it awkward to use?
  • Cleanability - More ornate equals more opportunity for gunk to get stuck. Also, bin pulls look great, but considering hands leave residues up inside of them, they are hard to clean.
  • Expense - Ranging from a couple bucks a piece to hundreds of dollars a piece. Especially appliance handles. Paneled appliances require large expensive handles that start at about $100 per piece. Paneling that French Door Refrigerator will add anther $300+ dollars to your hardware expense.

I am always on the hunt for good design at a great price. I am bananas for the Spaan cabinet pull from IKEA.
Let me tell you why it's so great. 
  1. Style- Clean lines make it work in all but the most traditional settings
  2. Large size - At over 9" long it conveys substance and presence. Hung horizontally it can double as a towel bar. It has the heft to functionally open large and heavy drawers/doors.
  3. Backplate - This pull is a "D" shape. The backplate on it meas it works in any remodel situation without having to consider the length of the previous knobs or pulls that were there. There is no need to fill and re-drill holes, the backplate just covers them.
  4. Rounded grip - When you reach in to use this handle the inside has a rounded profile that is smooth and comfortable on the hand.
  5. Price - Most handles of this size would start at $12-15 per piece and go up from there to more than $80 per piece. IKEA offers The Spaan handle at 2 pieces for $9.99.

ALL KNOBS - on doors and drawers.
Black color is high contrast but small size prevents them from overwhelming the kitchen
ALL PULLS - Vertically Oriented

ALL PULLS - Horizontally Oriented
Can I mix hardware types in the same kitchen? 
1. Keep the finish the same
2. Don't change style, just change shape. For example, the kitchen on the left is traditional and so are all the hardware components - knob with backplate, knob only and pulls. Caveat:The only time it's okay to completely change the style of the hardware within the same room is when there is a piece of cabinetry styled as furniture. For instance, and Asian tonsu inspired armoire in a contemporary kitchen. The armoir could have asian hardware while the rest of the kitchen had simple bar pulls.

This is a beautiful, contemporary kitchen. It's got great sleek lines and whoever selected the hardware didn't want to detract from that aesthetic. The problem is, the tiny little black knobs they chose for all of the cabinets are way too small. Visually they are off in scale and functionally - forget about it. Those drawers are huge and likely heavy too. Can you imagine pulling those open with your thumb and forefinger?

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