Turn your kitchen cabi­net han­dles into a hot ac­ces­sory

The Palm Beach Post - Residences - - Residences West - Deb­bie Travis

Ques­tion: We are re­plac­ing the cab­i­netry in our kitchen and bath­room and have been search­ing for han­dles and pulls that are dis­tinc­tive but re­ally classy. Do we need to think about what’s in fashion right now? Should they have a matte or a gloss fin­ish? We will be ren­o­vat­ing only once, so we want to get it right.

An­swer: There have been many de­vel­op­ments in door hard­ware dur­ing the past few years, so you have lots of styles and ma­te­ri­als from which to choose. You will find a good se­lec­tion at home and spe­cialty kitchen and bath stores, with a full range of ma­te­ri­als and fin­ishes.

Ar­chi­tec­turally de­signed han­dles, knobs and pulls can be pricey, but their dis­tinc­tive ap­pear­ance is un­beat­able. One of the most pop­u­lar picks to­day is nickel with a satin fin­ish. The color of this­metal is warm and rich, and it com­ple­ments nat­u­ral­wood as well as white cab­i­netry.

Shiny chrome is a re­li­able clas­sic; easy to match to ex­ist­ing hard­ware; and comes in sleek, con­tem­po­rary de­signs. Bronze and brassy tones are more trendy, but worth a look if you en­joy the am­bi­ence they im­part.

Han­dles are avail­able that show com­pos­ites, wood and even real leather com­bined with metal. Turn­style De­signs of­fers a su­perb se­lec­tion of leather han­dles, with vis­i­ble top-stitch­ing, in a range of col­ors from choco­late and tan to red and even li­brary green.

I was struck by the unique ap­pear­ance of the com­pany’s leather strap han­dles, a lux­u­ri­ous ad­di­tion in ei­ther a kitchen or a bath. The leather is pre-waxed; the only main­te­nance re­quired is a pol­ish once a year or so. Leather only be­comes more beau­ti­ful with age and han­dling, for it soft­ens to the touch.

Q: I have a black-and-white kitchen: black ce­ramic floor, black coun­ter­top, black-and-white back­splash, white walls and white ap­pli­ances. My ques­tion is this: What can I do about the tired-look­ing, honey oak cab­i­nets? I’d like to paint them, but won­der which color to use.

A: You have a few op­tions. A light to medium shade of gray will give you a cool, con­tem­po­rary mood. Keep the sheen flat, for a more so­phis­ti­cated ap­pear­ance. If you have a con­trast­ing color in mind, try a “plummy” shade of aubergine or dark green or, for a com­plete change, go lime green.

Ex­per­i­ment with one cabi­net door. You might want to change the wall color to a shade of paint that com­ple­ments your new cabi­net color. Be­cause you are tak­ing the time to paint the cab­i­nets, treat your­self to new han­dles.

Deb­bie Travis is a King Fea­tures colum­nist.

Tired-look­ing kitchen cab­i­nets

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