04 July 2011

Guest post by Arne Salvesen: Three favorite cabinet hardware pieces

Gold Notes is celebrating its third anniversary this month and I'm excited to bring you three posts a week throughout July. That's three times the fun as any other time of year. To help me celebrate will be lots of great guest post-ers from across the design world helping me bring you info from near and far!

This post is by a designer/blogger/friend who I met first on Twitter, then in person at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show. We clicked online, then IRL -- i-speak for in real life. Arne Salvesen is a CKD (Certified Kitchen Designer) from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He writes the terrific blog Useful Spaces that focuses on kitchen and bathroom design, and from time to time good things to eat and drink. (It's especially fun when he combines the two, as he did in a recent post about his time at the GE Monogram Experience.) You can follow Arne on Twitter [@arnesalvesen].

Since the theme of this third anniversary month is "threesomes," I asked Arne to share his three favorite hardware sources. Here are his thoughts on that...

When it comes to selecting surface hardware for cabinetry, I’m a practical guy. I believe surface hardware is designed to provide a means by which one can open the doors and drawers in our cabinets. But the fact is, as practical as I am, the “bling” factor surface hardware brings to the equation cannot be ignored. So the challenge for me is to find a piece of hardware that works well, and looks good doing so. These are some of my current “go-to” hardware choices:

I’ve used these Modern Pulls from Richelieu on my last three kitchen projects. Hopefully these clients never meet and realize their kitchens are all sporting identical handles! But the fact is, these handles are as close to perfect for a modern kitchen as I’ve found. I know the standard 14mm stainless steel appliance-style pull is the darling of the design world, but it’s boring. The current handle-du-jour is “blockier.” I love the look, but it’s not very comfortable. This selection takes that squared off look, and rounds off the underside for comfort.

Also from Richelieu, these Recessed Pulls remind me a lot of the Danish stereo cabinets my parents had in the 1970s. Very retro! There are a couple of design considerations with these handles. First, the handles need to have a recess routered into the doors before they can be installed. Be sure your cabinet maker or installer can do this work, and that you’re 100% happy with the location. Second, if you keep a messy kitchen the recesses in the handle can get filled up with bits of food. Great for your kitchen mice, not so good for you. Still, they're beautiful and comfortable to use.

This is a more traditional looking knob & pull combination from Century Hardware. What I like about the Glacier series is how it takes an “Iron Age” twist on a very traditional piece of hardware. Instead of ornamentation, the angles and gentle curves become the feature. I’ve used this pairing on classic Shaker style doors, as well as a recessed panel door with more traditional ornamentation. It’s that versatile.

The common theme amongst these three sets of surface hardware is how they feel when you use them. They’re comfortable, and in a pinch each can be opened with a single finger; important when your hands are covered in something you’d rather not get on your cabinet doors! When selecting handles, the looks certainly come into play, but for me, if it doesn’t feel comfortable I’m looking for something else.

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