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Welcome to The Deep Dive, in which we search high and low for the best of the best products for every corner of your home, from modern chandeliers to vintage rugs. Next up: kitchen cabinet hardware.

In many ways, renting an apartment is convenient. If a pipe bursts or a drain clogs, the super is just one phone call away, and you never have to worry about mortgage rates or a softening real-estate market. But when it comes to customizing your space, the restrictions of a temporary lease can be downright frustrating. Ripping out your scratched countertops is probably not an option, and you’ll have to stare at your unsightly backsplash forever (or until you move out). But here’s one upgrade that doesn’t generally require your landlord’s approval: updating your cabinet knobs and pulls. And that little change can make your space look a whole lot better.

The first step in upgrading your cabinets is to choose between the five popular materials available. Do you prefer the smoothness of leather or the shininess of brass? Then comes the decision of picking your hardware: Knobs are traditionally used on doors, while pulls are more often found on drawers and large vertical pantries, but there is no hard rule. You’re entirely free to stick to one or the other (or choose somewhere in the middle). If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few options to kick you off.


This is the jewelry of a room in the truest sense: Add a little patinated brass to your cabinets and they’ll be the star.


Not a fan of metallics? Why not try a stone, like green marble or even amethyst. These crystals will give your room good vibes only.


At their most minimal, pulls can simply consist of slim tabs or handles, but they can be a lot more fun if you add powder pink or blue leather. These minimalist picks will lend texture and color in the best way.

Powder Coated

Looking to add a little color to your hardware? Powder-coated pieces are what you need. Give your kitchen a pop of red or hint of mint green without having to paint it from top to bottom.


From chrome buttons to steel butterflies, there are no bounds to how creative you can get with simple silver knobs. Just remember you’ll have to handle them frequently, so choose a shape that’s soft to the touch.

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