Tips for Selecting Door Handles that Rock!

Tips for Selecting Door Handles that Rock!

You might think it's such a small thing, and really it is. But it is the small touches such as door handles and hardware that can make all the difference in the world when decorating. The little things are the subtle reminders that bring warmth and confirm that great care was taken in selecting the perfect touches for a room.

Here's some ideas to help you select the perfect door handles to match your style and personality.


Common materials for cabinet knobs include wood, , glass, plastic, and ceramic. Since most cabinets are made wood – or sometimes particle board covered with a wood-look laminate of some sort – you'll probably get the best appearance with wood, metal, or ceramic knobs.

Glass or mirrored cabinet doors often look good with glass knobs, although I've seen some pretty good results with shiny plastic handles.

Most room door knobs and handles are made of some type of metal, though sometimes you'll find them in plastic. I would always recommend metal because of the wear and tear common with room doors.

Some combination materials exist – like wood + metal + ceramic. We have some “fancy” light maple cabinets with this type of handle.


A “rustic” finish generally means rough and/or “raw”. Stained wood handles and knobs would fall into this category, as would bone or antler handles. Rustic handles look great with rustic door materials like pine, dark maple, hickory, rough oak, and the like.

Smooth handles would generally be considered the opposite of rustic. Most metal, glass, and ceramic handles would fit into this category. These look great with more less “grainey” cabinet materials like clear or light maple, light oak, and painted wood.

Most metal knobs and door handles – if they are rustic – have a shiny appearance. This can sometimes be because of the material itself, and sometimes because of a clear coating.


Many rustic-style handles come in black, gray, or different earth-tone shades. Bone and antler knobs are generally greyish-white, although I've seen some in darker tones.

Unfinished metallic knobs and handles can be silver (nickel or aluminum), bronze, copper, and sometimes gray-black.

Glass knobs are generally clear to opaque (milky?). Some glass knobs have a very mottled or variegated appearance which makes them very gem-like.

Plastic knobs and handles can be found in nearly every color under the sun. These usually look pretty good with white laminated cabinet and doors, such as those found in a nursery or playroom.


Overhead cabinets usually have some sort of “pull” knob, or u-shapes (or d-shaped?) handles installed. Sometimes you'll find a lever-action cabinet pull, but these are not common. I suppose if you have an overhead cabinet the needs to be locked or latched, lever style door handles might worth considering.

Drawers follow most of the same guidelines as overhead cabinets, although the u-shape is the most common. Another option here is the clamshell style drawer pull.

Room doors commonly have either knob or lever-style handles installed. Although this decision is largely a matter of , I must say I prefer the ease of opening a door when your hands are full afforded by lever-style door handles.

Putting it all together

To make such decorating decisions easier, oftentimes it helps to see examples of the different knob and handle styles, and how they are used.

Many of the decorating magazines (Sunset, Better Homes and Gardens, etc.) include photos of different rooms with cabinet and door hardware clearly visible.

Pinterest is another great place to find wonderful door knob and handle decorating ideas. A couple interesting boards to check out for inspiration:,

Hiatt Hardware has one of the largest selections of door handles and cabinet hardware I have ever seen. I'm sure you'll be able to find tons of ideas on their extensive website.

Thanks for reading! Until next time….

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