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In this month’s installment of Do as a Designer Does, we tapped Julia Marcum, one-half of the design duo behind Chris Loves Julia, to lend her expertise on all things kitchen hardware. Marcum is a pro at blending design styles and is known for her warm, modern-traditional interiors. 

Hi Julia! 

I’m having trouble choosing hardware for my kitchen. What are your tips for finding the right knobs and pulls?

Appreciate the advice!

Dear Larzie,

Love this question — hardware is one of my favorite ways to elevate a kitchen. You can really save on cabinetry and make them feel so expensive by investing in nice hardware!

Generally speaking, I use knobs on cabinetry and pulls on drawers. But I also love mixing things up a bit. If I’m working with a stack of three to four drawers, for example, I like using knobs on the top drawer and pulls on the rest for a slightly more eclectic look. 

As for materials and finish, I have a few favorites. I love brass and polished nickel hardware because they both have warm undertones — they can really help warm up a utilitarian kitchen, especially if you have a cool color scheme. Plus, they look great together! If you want to mix metals in your kitchen, I recommend keeping the hardware the same and adding a different finish via your lighting or plumbing — brass hardware with a polished nickel faucet would look beautiful! 

Alternatively, I’ve noticed an interesting wood hardware trend lately, sort of like the matching, tonal knobs you’d find in your mom or grandma’s kitchen. I love the idea of using wood knobs that are painted the same color as your cabinets alongside some brassy pulls! If you have light cabinetry like our Cove Semihandmade cabinets, black hardware looks great — it creates such a nice contrast and draws the eye in. 

Style-wise, I love a round, ball-shaped knob and edgy square pulls, like in this kitchen. I’m also a proponent of oversized hardware, particularly on large drawers and pantry cabinets. As a rule of thumb, I typically use two pulls or knobs on any drawer that’s 30 to 36 inches long, and I always go for a long, oversized handle on a pantry — it’s cute and functional! 

Speaking of function, that’s what hardware is all about at the end of the day. You should be able to easily open and close your cabinets without scuffing the wood or scratching the paint. To nail the placement, I recommend picking up a hardware template on Amazon for under $10 — they’re amazing and will help you balance form and function!

Hope this helps!

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Do As A Designer Does

Say hello to “Do As a Designer Does,” our monthly advice column dedicated to answering readers’ burning interior design questions with some of the best brains in the business. Have a question? Shoot us a message on Instagram, or email us at for a chance to be featured!