How to Choose Knobs and Handles for Your Cabinets: Size, Shape and Material


Knobs and handles are often underrated details, but they can truly make or break a room’s design. We talked to hardware experts from Lavavella to find out more about picking the perfect knobs and handles to suit your cabinets—read on for their top tips and tricks below!

How can homeowners pick between knobs and handles?

Lavavella: You need to consider your personal aesthetics, as well as which option would be more suited to the design theme in your home. This leads to considerations such as proportion, comfort, function and practicality.

1. Proportion
While personal style ultimately trumps these considerations, ask yourself if a tiny knob would look good on a massive cabinet front, or whether a long handle would be more suitable. We usually advise clients to cut up strips of paper or use measuring tape against the panels to get a better idea of the final proportions.

2. Comfort
The grip and the height of the knob or handle. Especially in the kitchen, where hands are often wet and slippery and you may be in a hurry prepping for a meal.

3. Function
You should always opt for a handle or knob that ultimately eases your day-to-day life. For instance, if the space is shared with an elderly family member, consider if they would find it easier to grip a knob or a handle. Another thing to consider is whether you want to install a long handle in order to hang a hand towel.

4. Practicality
It may not be practical to open a heavy drawer with just a small knob. You can consider a handle or alternatively two knobs to balance out the weight, but the latter may not be very practical as you’d need two hands to open the drawer each time.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Lava Vella (@lavavella)

What are the best materials to opt for when it comes to cabinet handles and knobs?

An important fact to remember is that finishes and core materials don’t carry the same quality. For example, a brass finish is not as durable as an item that is entirely made of brass. Materials themselves vary, too, of course; stainless steel is not the same as nickel or copper, for instance. But the most durable materials can often be very expensive, so opt for a middle ground that suits your budget.

Are any materials more suited for knobs rather than handles and vice versa?

Delicate materials like ceramic, marble and natural stone are less prone to breakage with knobs than handles. This is because handles have a larger surface area. Of course, this doesn’t mean knobs made from such materials are “break-proof” either.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Lava Vella (@lavavella)

What are some of the most popular finishes for your cabinet handles and knobs?

Our satin brass finish—or what we call matte gold—has been especially popular in recent years, following the previous rose gold trend. Our raw brass finish is another contender as it is very low-maintenance.

How do you recommend choosing the right shape and size for knobs and handles?

Before purchasing, have an idea of what you’re looking for. Pictures from Pinterest, Instagram and interior design magazines will help you narrow down what you really want. It also helps to visualise the size and shape of various knobs and handles in your kitchen by making some sketches.

Here are some examples (not to scale):

squarerooms lavavella kitchen cabinets drawings handles knobs sizes example

Do you have any tips for homeowners with a tight budget?

If your budget is very tight, prioritise the necessities first and don’t worry about squeezing your dream handles and knobs into your renovation. The great thing about these details is that they can always be added on at a later time to give your kitchen a fresh look.

Opening image courtesy of Roam in Color/Unsplash.