Easy Kitchen Updates: Knobs & Pulls

Easy Kitchen Updates: Knobs & Pulls

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If you are updating your kitchen, be sure to add a little pizazz! One of the easiest and most cost effective ways to update a kitchen is to change the hardware! New hardware is a great way to make a new or first home your own.

Easy Kitchen Updates: Knobs & Pulls

The Painted Hive: Mod Podge Cabinet Pull

& Downloadable Compass Template

When my husband and I bought our first house, we couldn’t wait to make it feel like our home! We couldn’t afford to do much of anything after buying our first home, but changing the knobs on our cabinets was so easy and affordable it was a priority for us.

Do you want to see a before & after of my FIRST kitchen, just for laughs? I just happened to find some pictures we took before we bought the house, and our “after shot.” Basically, all we did is change the hardware from red to white and paint the pot rack (which was made out of a wagon wheel!!). But, it is a blast from the past!

Easy Kitchen Updates: Knobs & Pulls

Easy Kitchen Updates: Knobs & Pulls

OK. So I know some of you are perhaps laughing at my goose with the bow on its neck, so I’ll pause for the chuckling to subside. Mock me if you must but this was in the 1900’s, people. 20 years ago! Have mercy. You can see what a trend setter I am, though,  see the animal head on the wall? Yes, never mind that it is a cow, don’t judge — who is to say cows were not as awesome as the Ram’s Heads people put on their walls today?

Well, that kitchen was QUITE a few houses ago. But I’ve changed hardware in every kitchen since, and in this house, it is on my “I can’t wait to update” list!

Want some more inspiration to update your own kitchen hardware?

Here are four bloggers’ inspiring hardware ideas to bring personality and pizazz to your kitchen!

1. Paint knobs.

Easy Kitchen Updates: Knobs & Pulls

Beauty and Bedlam: Before & After, Transform Kitchen Knobs with Spray Paint

DIY Hardware Painting Tip: If you stick the knobs screw end down into Styrofoam, you can paint without touching the knobs with your fingers!

2. Think creatively.

Easy Kitchen Updates: Knobs & Pulls

Kojo Designs: Nautical Rope Pulls

Inspiring Idea: Think completely outside the traditional kitchen knob! For instance, how about a rope knot instead? Benefits? Easy to install in existing holes, easy to replace if they get dirty or worn, and they add a fun “twist” to your space!

3. Modernize!

Easy Kitchen Updates: Knobs & PullsAshley Plus Three: Before & After Sleek Modern Cabinet Pulls

From Drab to Fab Tip: Plain front cabinets can be the perfect blank slate for a sleek modern pull, transforming the look of your entire kitchen!

4. Mix and Match Finishes.

Easy Kitchen Updates: Knobs & Pulls

For the Love of a House mixed quite a few different styles and finishes of cabinet hardware in her kitchen, and it looks terrific!

Mixing & Matching Hardware Tip: If you feel unsure about mixing finishes on your kitchen cabinet hardware, you still get an interesting and eclectic look by using various shapes and textures of mostly one finish (I did that in my old kitchen).

Have you updated the kitchen knobs & pulls at your house? {I’d love to see a link to your kitchen photos!}

What are your best tips for new or first time homeowners updating their kitchens?

Related Posts:

My Kitchen Remodel (Seen below, my kitchen from 2013-present!)

My Kitchen Sources and Details

Easy Kitchen Updates: Knobs & Pulls



  1. Wow, great photos, tips and ideas! I love mixing cabinet hardware! Changing hardware really does change how a kitchen feels! Awesome post!

  2. I desperately need to update my kitchen. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Knobs are always a great choice! You can often find a lot of vintage ones at your local Restore – I was drooling over some this weekend and I might have to just go back and pick them up! Great post!

  4. Hey, give yourself some credit on the super-old house – you also changed the curtains and cleaned up the clutter! (And I think the goose is cute – but I guess I’m not up to date!) :-)

  5. My grandma, who lived on a farm, had that exact cow head thing on her wall. She used it as a towel holder. Good memories. And yes, those goose or duck things were in style!

    Love the Antropologie knobs!

  6. When we first bought our house our kitchen cabinets did not have any hardware and since they were (and still are) a lighter oak which is really not my style, they needed something. I added some rustic antique bronze hardware and it made a big difference….though I still want to paint the cupboards for maximum change.

    • Hardware is a great way to start to make things feel like home, and way more simple than painting! Painting can always happen later! :-)

  7. Melissa,

    I remember the 1990s and the country duck and cow rage! I think the best advice for new home owners is not to fall into the trap of thinking you need to do it all (once you have the money) because odds are some other emergency will pop up and you will never have the money to “do it all”. Even the smallest changes – like knobs – can have a big impact! Also, you don’t need to replace kitchen cabinets. Paint (done the right way) works wonders!

    Your Friend,

    • That is awesome advice. I used to do way more than I could afford, or I would think I could do something, but then life always “got in the way.” I still have that happen, actually, “life” always has its expensive unplanned surprises like car repairs or appliance breakdowns!

  8. I adore glass knobs, but wonder if I went overboard in our home. We have them on our Kitchen cabinet doors, some room/closets doors, basement door, entry way door, and baby’s armoire doors. At least they are not all clear :-)

  9. Drawer pulls and knobs can make such a huge difference! We updated a fairly new kitchen with half-cup pulls on the drawers in a finish to match the cupboard knobs. Weird that something so small can make such a difference!

  10. I guess most of us would be shocked to look at 20 year old pictures of our own houses (or ourselves, for that matter). Fashions change as we do. It’s always easier to try to stay classic with just a few touches of the latest trends.

  11. It’s so fun to see old kitchen photos – I love to see how trends change over the years! I recently updated my whole kitchen, and painted my dated honey-oak kitchen cabinets and changed all of the knobs. I’m so happy with the results!



  12. So neat seeing your first before/after. Funny how our tastes grow and change.

    Love the pulls. I would love to use more eclectic pulls but my husband pushes for the simple and plain, oh and less expensive. LOL

  13. Great tips, Melissa! I just bought some new pulls for our bathroom at Anthropologie last week and I’m kind of in love with them. ♥ For our bedroom dresser, I use ribbon. Now, you are making me want to change out the kitchen!

  14. Oh my gosh!!! My mom had that same cow head!!!! I remember it growing up and never liked it’s black eyes. Luckily, it mysteriously broke (my step-dad hated it too) and we never new who really broke it. Now for a real question: We are going to be painting our cabinets this summer and I want to paint the knobs we have. What products do you suggest would work? What primer? Do you put a sealant on them to keep them from chipping? Any advice would be great! Thanks!

    • I would fully clean old knobs from all oils and kitchen grime (so the paint will adhere properly), sand the knobs a little bit to rough them up, dust them with a rag to get all the dust off, and then spray paint them with either a metal finish (like ORB) or spray paint finish (you can use a glossier finish). Then you can spray them with a clear sealer to protect them from chipping!

    • Oh, and that cow head was my moms….she was always passing on things like geese and animal heads :-)

  15. Fabulous tips Melissa! It’s amazing how you can change the entire look of a kitchen or piece of furniture by just changing out the hardware. :) Love this post!!

  16. Oh this post really made me smile!

  17. It’s amazing how knobs can transform a kitchen! I love Lowe’s selection too.

  18. totally loving all of the knobs and pulls!!! I am particularly in love with “ashley plus three’s” pulls! Can’t wait to add some of these bad boys to my kitchen!!! Thanks for sharing the inspirations.

  19. …melissa…never ever laugh at who you once were…you are who you are today…because of who you were then (pretty terrific i think)…and just to make you feel better…about that animal head on the wall of your first kitchen…the southern living design house down the road from me in senoia ga…had a HUGE animal head on the wall of that gorgeous kitchen…so…you were jut way ahead of everyone else…

  20. I had the exact same cow & goose! In fact- I wouldn’t be surprised if the cow isn’t in one of the million boxes in my basement. So although I can’t help you with the goose, if you miss the cow too…..

    • I think we should just bring the cows and geese back, seriously if it is OK to put a ram’s head on our wall I don’t see what the big deal is with putting a few other barn kind of animals here and there too. You know, who is to say that is not cool?

  21. I love pretty cabinet hardware, but it’s so expensive here! We have no Hobby Lobby in Canada ;-) It’s one thing we are not updating in this house…cabinets and lighting (although I’m tempted to change the kitchen flying saucer for one of those new white lanterns at Ikea). Everything else is fair game.

  22. I did a knob makeover in my kitchen with paint a few months ago! It was miraculous! Highly recommended for those of us who want instant gratification.! http://graceandflavor.blogspot.com/2011/02/frugl-february-repainting-your-kitchen.html

  23. Hey now, cow heads are freaking fabulous and I even blogged about my cow and pig head on my wall in my kitchen. Check out my animal heads here: http://www.houseofhepworths.com/2011/02/22/the-cow-and-the-pig-in-the-kitchen/

    You are just ahead of your time. You started the trend 20 years ago. lol

    Allison @ House of Hepworths

    • Ha, OK then! You are bringing them back! Seriously people have brought owls back from the 1970s decor, eek, so if you can have an owl, I really see nothing wrong with having a cow. It is funny that now that I think back, I wasn’t really in love with that cow or the goose, but I just happened to get them from my mom so I used them. But, if you love barn animals, rams, geese, antlers, moose heads, whatever, trendy or not, that is what matters! Go for the gusto! I won’t be bashing ya!

  24. This is good to know, Melissa. I always think of Anthropolgie when I think knobs . . . and I bet Lowe’s is much less expensive.

    I had a Tigger cookie jar. Imagine it.


  25. These ideas are all so inspiring Melissa. Lovely!

  26. Denise Dynes says

    I just bought the cutest knobs for super-cheap on Etsy! There were so many shops with great ones, but I chose these painted iron birds (one highly distressed grey and one glossy yellow for an end table): http://www.etsy.com/listing/52831809/last-set-of-2-cast-iron-birds-knobs-for. I’ll never drool needlessly over expensive Anthropologie knobs again!

  27. I desperately need new hardware. Love all the ones you showed at the top of your post :)

  28. I’m in love with glass knobs. I painted most of my cabinets a pale grey, but painted the cabinet below the sink black and added glass door knobs. It looks great and keeps the kitcheb from having the overly matchy poo look I hate.

  29. I am grabbing some rope and trying the nautical knot pull on my son’s dresser.

    Poor child is only 5 and two of his drawers only have a handle on one side~makes it nearly impossible to open. (Not near as impossible as finding matching drawer pulls in 2 different off sizes!)

  30. That compass pull is the cutest thing. Amazing how pulls can change the look of a cabinet in such a big way.

  31. I wouldn’t have thought that the hardware would make that much of an impact. But your photos certainly show a that it can make a huge difference. So now to make some Rooster handles!

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