July 23, 2024


We Do Fine Home

How to Choose the Perfect Cabinet Handles and Hardware (and a Giveaway!)

How to Choose the Perfect Cabinet Handles and Hardware (and a Giveaway!)

This post was sponsored by Manovella. Thanks for supporting my blog’s wonderful sponsors.

There are so many decisions to be made when you are renovating an older home or building a new house – if you’ve ever felt a little conflicted or stuck, you won’t be alone!

Choosing colours, materials and things for your home can have even the most design-loving of us reaching for the wine sometimes. Especially when you’re factoring in things like:

– Picking things that tie in nicely with the rest of your home and that won’t quickly date.
– Getting on the same page as your partner (or compromising).
-Your renovation budget.
– Choosing materials that you hope YOU will still love two, three or even ten years down the line.
– Thinking about what OTHER people will love, if you have in mind resale and want to sell your home eventually.

Cabinet handles and knobs are one thing most people will have to pick out for their homes when building or renovating. Years ago, when we did our laundry makeover, family bathroom and ensuite renovations, it was an easy decision for us – simple because there wasn’t that much choice readily available in Perth at the time! Even when we got cabinet units custom made, for our laundry and bathroom renovations, there were only a handful of handle options available to choose from.

Our bathroom today with brushed brass knobs from Manovella.

I think when most people (working on an average budget) did a laundry or bathroom renovation, it was pretty standard to just choose one of the builder-grade choices (which were perfectly fine – just nothing special).

Years ago, when I used to visit homes for the newspaper, it seemed like there were maybe four or five different types of handles in Perth kitchens and bathrooms (predominantly brushed chrome) and that was it. I would rarely walk into a kitchen and notice the handles, in a way you’d walk into a space and think, “Oooh, I really like those” or “Oh – those are nice!”

Perfectly acceptable – but bog-standard – cabinet handles in our laundry renovation. I actually ended up spray painting these black. Photo Heather Robbins.

We’ve come far.

Now cabinet handles, pulls and knobs can be real statement pieces in all kinds of spaces – practical AND special design elements.

Manovella Olivia knobs in brushed brass – nice to look at AND touch!

Today’s hardware is not only easily accessible to all with online shops and shipping, it can be a real way to add something special and individual into your home when it comes to handles and knobs for our kitchens, bathrooms and laundries.

While being spoilt for choice is a lovely thing, it can also make things trickier when you’re choosing from more than four or five different types of handles on offer!

Today I’m talking to the team at Manovella for their tips on choosing cabinet handles and pulls. When they reached out to see if they could sponsor a blog post, I was thrilled – they are just the kind of Australian brand I most love to work with.

A Melbourne-based small business that ship all over Australia with their online store, Manovella specialise in a range of BEAUTIFUL, top-quality brushed brass and matt black hardware and door handles. The kind of thing for the home that has a way of making you feel just a little special and grown up every time you use it. (You may be in your 30s like me, but I know you know what I’m talking about). They also sell high-end door handles and hardware.

I switched up the knobs on our bathroom cabinetry and refreshed existing pieces of furniture we already owned with new knobs to give them an easy update – like this thrifted bedside in our room.

The quality of their handles is great – they are so solid and well-made and just feel good. These are not cheapie pieces. You all know I love my vergeside finds and flea market scores when it comes to decorating and renovating, but I have always believed in investing in things that you really love or that are really worth it, whatever it is to you – a special art work, a soft as butter leather chair, a particular type of timber for your decking, beautiful pulls, or a handmade encaustic tile. I think that’s why I love the roadside rescues and thrifts so much – it makes the spends on quality pieces feel even more deserved.

The Manovella Design team (who by the way, really nice and very helpful) have been working in the building and hardware industry for more than 25 years and this week they happily let me pick their brains. Here is their advice on choosing hardware for your home that you’ll really love. (And head to the end to enter my giveaway with them to win a $250 Manovella voucher!)


A mix of traditional brass pulls and painted knobs in a custom green paint colour are a perfect fit in this timeless kitchen renovation. Interior design and styling: Rachael Pearse of Staple Design. Photography: Meghan Plowman.

Do you have any tips to make choosing cabinet handles a bit easier?

One of the biggest tools you can use early on is a vision or mood board. Seen all over Instagram and Pinterest, these are a great tool to work out what colours and styles complement each other, and will allow you to try bring in different elements on a small scale before committing to the bigger picture.

While putting a mood board together yourself will give you the best range of options, there’s nothing wrong with looking at social media accounts whose job it is to create beautiful and welcoming spaces and have already done the hard yards of tying it all together.

By doing these things it really does take all the heavy lifting out of making the decisions, as you’ll start to see what combinations and colours work well together and compare that to those of the professionals, which reaffirms you’re on the right track.

(Try Style Source Book to create a moodboard – it’s free. If creating a mood board sounds too tricky, a Pinterest board will help (you can make them secret if you like). I often use Pinterest to put together products and images I like on one board, and then see what works together and what doesn’t – and it’s great if you want to show an interior designer what you have in mind. Even a basic moodboard of images in a folder on your computer will help.)


Even compiling images together in a folder on your computer will help you work out what works together and what doesn’t.

What are your takes on current trends for cabinet handles and hardware? Are there some styles that are on-trend but you think are also here to stay a while?

We have been in the industry for many years and seen designs/finishes come and go (and then come back again in some cases!)

We noticed a demand for matt black hardware started to arise around 2010/2011 and has grown substantially. With so many homes using black to either blend or contrast their cabinetry it really is proving to be a timeless finish.

The demand for satin/brushed brass is a lot more recent, but we see going down the same path, as it’s essentially a modern twist on the classic polished brass look.

With growth in both these finishes we’ve decided to focus on them and provide hardware that may otherwise be hard to find, as well as create a brand that brings true quality to the market.

The most important thing about trending and popular finishes is knowing which ones will stand the test of time and aren’t just a passing fad.

Once we’ve established which ones are here to stay, it is then our job to help bring that look to the market and create pieces that offer a premium look, feel and overall – quality.

Classic-styled matt black kitchen hardware suits this Art Deco home in this kitchen renovation by Hayley Gardener. Photo Heather Robbins.

Can you mix hardware finishes or styles in a bathroom or kitchen? Are there any rules to mixing metals (or mixing finishes, like brass and matt black) successfully?

Absolutely! There are no limits on what you can or cannot do when mixing/matching.

At the end of the day it comes down to what you think will work well and what suits the spaces you’ve created.

Always work these elements into your initial design as opposed to having them as an afterthought. This ensures everything will work together and you’re not scrambling at the end because nothing you look at suits the room!

At present we specialise in the niche finishes of matt black and satin/brushed brass, we’ve had customers purchase cabinet hardware of the same design but both finishes for different rooms.

By keeping a nice knurled design throughout and changing some of the finishes, they were able to create really well-contrasted spaces.

This stunning kitchen by Amber Interiors seamlessly utilises a mix of different pulls, handles and knobs throughout, as well as different finishes and colours to the cabinet hardware, tapware and windows. Photo Tessa Neustadt.

So, you think you have decided on a style or colour of cabinet handle that you like – what is the next step? How do you advise people mix pulls with handles, or use what where?

With no ‘one size fits all’ solution, the main advice we give customers for mixing and matching hardware is “samples, samples, samples”.

Not sure if this cabinet handle will suit? Buy a sample. Unsure if this cabinet knob suits the tap below it? Buy a sample.

We personally offer free shipping for an item to be used as a sample, and if it’s not suitable, the customer can return it for a refund.

Most places will offer similar deals to this, so it never hurts to ask the question.

I tried refreshing this Early Settler sideboard with knurled Helena knobs for a lighter, fresh look and loved the change.

When people ask me about what to save on for the home and what to spend, I normally tell them to put their money into buying the best quality they can afford for things that are going to get touched and handled ALL the time – hardware, door handles, knobs, mixers, tapware. (The one time I scrimped and bought cheap knobs for our doors, I regretted it down the track and even during install!) Why is it usually worth investing in/spending a little extra money on things like cabinet and door hardware?

Knowledge is knowing that sticking to your budget is a MASSIVE part of building and renovating – but wisdom is knowing where to save money and where to spend money.

Cabinet hardware and pulls are something that people will use almost every day without thinking about it – opening a pantry door for a snack, the bathroom cabinet for your toothbrush, or perhaps the linen cupboard for some fresh sheets – every day you will see, touch and feel the decisions you’ve made.

So our advice is to make those decisions wise ones and find the hardware you really want and will last the distance.

With so much cheap hardware on the market it’s easy to buy ‘similar’ products to what you really want at a cheaper rate, but nobody talks about how often these cheap comparisons break, tarnish or just simply don’t look quite right in the home. If you cut corners on something you use every day, be prepared to pay for it with time, money and annoyance down the track.

Photo Dane Deaner via Unsplash.

Are there any basic rules for getting the sizing of cabinet knobs and handles right?

For cabinetry, the heavier the drawer/cupboard the bigger the pull.

If you fit a small, single pull to a large drawer you’re going to store heavy pots and pans in, you’re going to struggle. Think about how much purchase you’ll need on the cabinet in order to open it.

Solid brass handles are a perfect choice for deep drawers in this amazing kitchen by Amber Interiors. Photo Tessa Neustadt.

Working with brand new cabinets, size is more of a personal choice.

If you’re wanting a minimalist look you may wish to have single pulls throughout, or if you’re trying to make a statement you may opt for longer pulls with sleek lines to complement the cabinetry.

If you’re simply giving an existing kitchen, bathroom or bedroom a facelift, sometimes you have to work with the holes that are already drilled into the cabinets.

The only provision for these is if there are two fixing points you measure the distance from one to the other (centre to centre point or C2C). With this information you can then check it against what you want to make sure you get the right size.

Lovely knurled Charmian pulls and knurled Helena cabinet knobs. The knurled texture adds an interesting element to a classic yet contemporary design.

Are there any dos (or don’ts!) when it comes to picking cabinet handles?

Touching on a previous answer, we recommend not cutting corners on the quality of the hardware. Materials such as solid brass are ideal for cabinetry as they will both look great and last the distance.

To add to this, have a look at the warranty information on the hardware you’re buying as this can be a big indicator of how much a company backs their product. Hopefully you never have to address this, but it’s always good to be properly informed on what you’re buying.



Manovella are kindly giving one lucky House Nerd a gift voucher for their beautiful range of brushed bass and matt black knobs and handles. To enter, check out my latest post on Instagram. (Don’t have an Instagram account? You can still go into the draw below by leaving your name and a comment below telling me your favourite kind of handle from their website. Please include your email – don’t worry, this stays anonymous).

Winner will be contacted by direct message or email. Competition closes 8pm 23/07/21. Shipping to Australian addresses only. Promo not endorsed, sponsored, administered by or associated with Instagram. There is a complete release of Instagram by each entrant.

Thank you so much to Manovella Design for sponsoring this post! You can check out their online store here or follow them on Instagram @manovelladesign or Facebook here. Maya x