Simple Updates for Old Furnishings
If Your Style Is Vintage
Nothing amps up a plain veneered dresser like a set of vintage hardware. Elaborate designs can add punch to an unadorned piece, play off the newness of a recent purchase, and give a room personality. The teardrop pulls shown here accomplish all three. And with the additional appeal of a comfortable, solid grip, they offer function as well as beauty. "Vintage-style knobs will reinforce the period details of a room and make a simple piece look as if it has a past," says Nancy E. Berry, author of Architectural Hardware: Ideas, Inspiration, and Practical Advice for Adding Handles, Hinges, Knobs, and Pulls to Your Home.
To buy: Wood-and-brass teardrop pulls in Antique by Hand finish, $13.50 each (1 1/8 inches in diameter), houseofantiquehardware.com.
Vintage Floral Knobs
Ceramic Rosy knobs, in linen, also come in five other colors.
To buy: $6 each (2¼ inches in diameter), anthropologie.com.
Vintage Bakelite Knobs
Vintage Bakelite knobs can be found on eBay or at flea markets or thrift stores; sizes and prices vary.
If Your Style Is Contemporary
Modern knobs and pulls can be as curvy as amoebas or as rigid as bars. A delicate blossom design can look utterly contemporary when wrought in aluminum or glass. Other modern materials include nickel, chrome, Corian, and even rubber. The coral-motif pulls shown here are slightly oversize, bumping up their profile and injecting the room with a fresh sensibility.
Contemporary Colorful Knobs
Yellow pushpin knobs or pegs turn a plain bureau into a playful work of art.
To buy: $1.50 each (1 1/8 inches in diameter), coolknobsandpulls.com.
Contemporary Crystal Knobs
Baldwin frosted crystal-ball knobs with satin nickel finish; also available in polished chrome.
To buy: $11 each (1 3/8 diameter), simonsny.com.
Contemporary Metal Knobs
Amerock stainless-steel T-knobs are super-sleek.
To buy: $3.50 each (2 inches wide), amazon.com.
If Your Style Is Traditional
For a look that will stand the test of time, try knobs that already have. If these shapes weren't attractive and pull-friendly, they wouldn't still be around. Traditional styles work with nearly any decor or furniture design, whether they're bringing consistency to a piece from a similar era or adding a classic spark to clean, modern lines. And they come in a variety of materials, such as ceramic, wood, glass, copper, and pewter. Ornate knobs can evoke a gilded age, while the pared-down ceramic ones here have a homespun appeal that warms up stark furniture.
To buy: Ceramic knobs with copper hardware, from $14 (1½ inches in diameter), te-ma.com.
Traditional Wooden Knobs
Classic knobs are available in oak, cherry, and maple.
To buy: from $8 a pair (1 5/8 inches in diameter), rockler.com.
Traditional Glass Knobs
- Clear glass knobs with polished nickel finish are also available in three other finishes.
- To buy: $13 to $15 each, come in 1-inch and 1¼-inch sizes, restorationhardware.com.