Design Inspo

DIY Cabinet Hardware Upgrade: Quick & Budget-Friendly

Looking for an easy way to upgrade your home? Swapping your cabinet hardware might be the simple, budget-friendly solution you’ve been waiting for!

designed with spoak - watermark

If there’s one thing that renters and homeowners have in common, it’s that both types of dwellers want to create a home that feels beautiful and personal to them. While renters often run into many more limitations than homeowners, there are still ways to decorate a space and make it feel more you. Changing your cabinet hardware is a renter-friendly and simple solution that will bring that extra sparkle to your space. 

With our helpful tips on upgrading your cabinet hardware, you’ll be ready to give your space the refresh it deserves in no time.

A before and after of Chloe swapping stainless steel pulls for brass knobs is shown above, creating a more sophisticated look for her lovely kitchen, Photo by Chloe Rey.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

What to know before you get started

Generally speaking, a simple rule of thumb is to attach knobs to cabinet doors and pulls on drawers. Knobs are small and typically round, while pulls are often longer and thinner handles that provide more surface area for an easy grab. Remember that rules are sometimes meant to be broken, so if attaching knobs to cabinets or pulls on drawers doesn’t feel right in your space, switch things up!

You’ll want to consider what finish/color hardware will look best with the room. For a contemporary space, go with stainless steel handles in a polished or brushed finish look. For a space that leans traditional, try pewter or brass. Bronze will wear over time, pairing perfectly with a rustic-style kitchen. For a dramatic look, pair black finish hardware with light-colored cabinetry. Make sure you choose a finish that will complement your overall decor, not just what you think is most beautiful. When in doubt, you can always mix and match finishes.

While adding cabinet hardware is usually one of the final touches in a space, it’s still important to factor them into your budget. Using a project planner to keep you on track with your spending can help. Cabinet hardware costs range from under $100 and can go up in the thousands, but most cabinet hardware projects fall under $1,000 in total.

How to install your cabinet hardware

Installing cabinet hardware is generally a painless and straightforward process. If you are replacing your hardware in the same existing placement, make sure you have a screwdriver and follow these steps:

  1. Measure your existing pulls or knobs and purchase new hardware of the same size. Pro-tip: You can bring your pre-existing hardware to a store to match the sizes or compare measurements online.
  2. Once you've purchased your new hardware, you'll need to place them into the pre-existing holes.
  3. Line up your new hardware in the pre-existing hole and begin screwing it through.
  4. Tighten the hardware until it feels secure and doesn’t move around.

Voila! New hardware with very minimal effort.

If you're installing cabinet hardware in a different size or shape than your existing hardware, that's no problem! Grab some wood putty, a knife, and a drill at your local hardware store. Then, do the following:

  1. Remove your old hardware, filling any unwanted holes with putty of a similar color as your cabinet.
  1. Use your putty knife to smooth over the holes, leaving a clean finish.
  1. Mark and measure where you'll need your new holes and drill accordingly.
  1. Place your new hardware in the holes and screw in tightly.

Cabinet hardware placement tips + tricks

Supplies for your DIY

Save yourself time and money, and don't buy the plastic or metal hardware jigs that cabinet companies try to sell you. Here are the tools you’ll need: 

  1. Speed square
  2. Tape measure
  3. Ruler
  4. Pencil 

Hardware placement guide

The last thing anyone wants to do is spend hours mounting hardware just for it to feel like something is off. Regarding hardware placement, it really boils down to what your home style aligns best with: traditional, classic, or modern. 

For traditional cabinet knob placement, center your knob in the corner of your cabinet's face frame.

For classic placement, center the middle of your knob to the edge of the face frame.

Place your hardware flush with the face frame and centered between the frame and cabinet edge for modern placement.

One of my favorite ways to install hardware is to align the bottom of a side drawer to meet the cabinet knob. This placement trick guarantees a balance between the hardware. Plus, it's easy to measure, and it looks great!

A dramatic kitchen with brass hardware; Devol Kitchens.

The best cabinet hardware to shop

Now that you know how to install cabinet hardware at home, it’s time to start shopping for your hardware! Below are some cabinet hardware types that make me want to hit “add to cart.”

  1. 3'' Kela Unlacquered Brass Handle by CB2, $11.95 — Starting simple but strong, these brass handles from CB2 are universally loved and timeless. These would look perfect on green kitchen cabinets.
  2. Lil' Squares 3" Center to Center Bar Pull by Aquila Art Glass, $23 — If you like a little pizzazz but want to keep your space on the neutral side, these checkerboard cabinet pulls are the perfect unexpected pop of fun!
  3. Karu Pull Brass Handles by Lo & Co, Inquire for price — These brass pulls are ideal for someone who loves all things gold and wants to add a little extra waviness to their home. These would pair well with any cabinet color imaginable!
  4. Concrete Organic Shaped Knobs by SimplyDecor7 on Etsy, $10.24 — Organic curves and bold colors were on Spoak’s list of 2023 home trends, and these concrete knobs fit the bill perfectly. These would be great for a craft room or somewhere that exudes creativity.
  5. Nena Flower Knobs by Anthropologie, $22 — My heart skipped a beat when I came across these flower knobs! They are simple, feminine, and dainty, perfect for a bedroom dresser. I can picture these in a chic wealthy grandmother’s house, but for just $22, you can also enjoy the floral goodness.
  6. Boudins Handles by Sabourin Costes, Inquire for price — These Boudins handles air on the more playful side, so they’d be a great match for someone who loves pastels and curvy home decor. Imagine them sitting in style on your kitchen cabinets. Instant serotonin boost!
  7. Natural Woodcraft Drawer Pull by Hickory Hardware, $3.83 — This handle might seem practical, but it’s much more elevated than the hardware found in most rental apartments. A sleek unfinished wooden pull would be an excellent upgrade for those who love a neutral palette.
  8. Colorful Furniture Handle by Westwoodbricks on Etsy, $16.96 — Are legos having a resurgence? These colorful handles are made from real lego blocks! Whether you use these in a kid’s room or your own technicolored space, these handles are the perfect color to complete your cabinetry.

To visualize new cabinet hardware possibilities in your space, join Spoak.

Date Posted
February 3, 2023



No items found.

[{"@type":"Thing","name":"Screwdriver","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Screwdriver","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Screwdriver","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Kitchen cabinet","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Kitchen cabinet","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Kitchen cabinet","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Cabinetry","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Cabinetry","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Cabinetry","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Drill","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Drill","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Drill","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Interior design","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Interior design","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Interior design","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Kitchen","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Kitchen","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Kitchen","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Screw","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Screw","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Screw","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Hardware store","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Hardware store","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Hardware store","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Tool","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Tool","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Tool","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Chest of drawers","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Chest of drawers","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Chest of drawers","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Drawer","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Drawer","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Drawer","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Knife","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Knife","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Knife","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Do it yourself","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Do it yourself","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Do it yourself","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Bedroom","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Bedroom","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Bedroom","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Jig (tool)","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Jig (tool)","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Jig (tool)","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Money","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Money","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Money","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Furniture","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Furniture","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Furniture","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Etsy","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Etsy","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Etsy","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Stainless steel","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Stainless steel","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Stainless steel","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Apartment","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Apartment","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Apartment","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Concrete","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Concrete","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Concrete","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Pop music","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Pop music","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Pop music","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Steel","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Steel","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Steel","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Lego","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Lego","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Lego","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Studio","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Studio","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Studio","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Glass","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Glass","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Glass","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Expert","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Expert","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Expert","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"National Park Service rustic","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"National Park Service rustic","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"National Park Service rustic","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Brass","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Brass","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Brass","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Bronze","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Bronze","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Bronze","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Space","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Space","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Space","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Wood","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Wood","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Wood","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Metal","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Metal","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Metal","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Tape measure","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Tape measure","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Tape measure","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Creativity","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Creativity","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Creativity","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Design","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Design","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Design","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Flower","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Flower","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Flower","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Drawer pull","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Drawer pull","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Drawer pull","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Pastel","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Pastel","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Pastel","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Plastic","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Plastic","sameAs":""},{"@type":"Thing","name":"Plastic","sameAs":""}]

Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽
Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽
Join Spoak

Take your love of interior design to the next level with Spoak.

We are an online interior design studio for enthusiasts and professionals. Get a real-world design education, easy-to-use tools, job opportunities, and a tight-knit community. All levels welcome.

Join now