As an interior designer, I know it’s not always practical or in the budget to gut the kitchen and start over, but that shouldn’t stop you from updating the room where you cook and eat. Even little changes can turn “ho-hum” into “wow.” And if you can say, “I did it myself,” even better! The easiest and fastest way to update a kitchen is to change the cabinet doorknobs or pulls. There are literally hundreds of options (and price points) available. But to really personalize your kitchen, make your own. Idea 1: Button Knobs Adding a colorful knob is less expensive than painting walls or cabinets. However, they’re hard to find. Most handles come in neutral or metallic colors: brass, chrome, bronze, black, or white. So, I raided my button box looking for shank style buttons (the kind with a hollow protrusion on the back, as opposed to buttons with holes). I purchased a bronze knob with a flat top, and then chose a button that would fit but still show off the bronze border. In order for the button to lie flat, cut off the shank with a wire cutter. Glue it to the new knob. Be sure to use a heavy-duty glue like Super Glue or Gorilla Glue. Idea 2: Decoupage Knobs Another easy DIY cabinet knob is decoupage. This time, I purchased 2 in. unpainted wood knobs. They come in various sizes, but larger ones are easier to work with. You will also need Mod Podge, a paintbrush and paper. Choose a decorative paper that reflects your personality. Maps are always fun-especially maps of places you’ve been to.
- Cut a paper circle 1 in. larger than the knob.
- Apply a coat of Mod Podge to the knob.
- Lay the paper on top and smooth with a brush.
- Add more Mod Podge to the back of the knob and fold paper in. You will need to cut slits around the circle so it will fit.
- Apply another coat of Mod Podge for a waterproof finish.
Idea 3: Embellish What You’ve Got An even easier update is to add something to an existing knob. There is nothing wrong with this vintage glass knob, but an antique skeleton key gives it a unique update. Of course, my favorite DIY projects involve something totally unexpected. You never know what you will find when you shop in the hardware department. Start looking at everything with a new “eye”. I always ask myself, “What can I do with this?” This rubber and metal hose clamp is a perfect solution for updating cabinetry. It’s unusual, creates a nice contrast with painted cupboards and requires no work. I will guarantee, no one else will have a hose clamp handle in their kitchen! What creative updates have you given your cabinet knobs and pulls? Merri Cvetan is an interior designer who writes about home décor, including kitchen design and kitchen cabinets, for The Home Depot. Home Depot’s selection of kitchen cabinets and hardware can be viewed online here.
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