I have agonized about the pulls for my kitchen. I find this odd because I have done several "pull plans" for myself and others, and felt very confident in my recommendations. For some reason, in this new kitchen, I get all tied up in knots thinking about the best options.
Our new kitchen has the primary kitchen area in stained alder, a matching butler's pantry in stained alder, and a dish hutch in red paint. My original plan is to use the same exact hardware finish for the two stained alder areas, and then a different choice for the red hutch. In the two alder areas, however, I planned to use different pull shapes. In the butler's pantry, I planned a mix of cup pulls, drop ring pulls (my GC calls them "the mini door knocker"), and a couple knobs. In the main kitchen area, which has a lot going on in a medium-sized space, my thought was to go simple with only one style: a 4" long hefty pull, on all doors and drawers. In my last personal kitchen, I used all pulls and really liked that. Very simple, required no overthought decisions (my downfall), had a clean look, and was surprisingly quite ergonomic (for me).
Well now my cabinets have arrived and many are installed. I'm looking at them in person and feeling that I need to rethink my stained alder plan. It's not too late to change it (of course), and my gut is telling me to change. I already ordered my pulls with the approach described above (i.e. butler's pantry with an eclectic mix of styles; main kitchen area with the same pull on all faces). I could alter my plan pretty easily by ordering extra cup pulls for Plan A. Plan A is about $200 more than Plan B.
Please do your best to ignore the blue tape as you view these options. Also, clicking on the photo will significantly enlarge it and give you a much better idea of the contrasting choices. Left picture is the south side of my island; right picture is under my walnut prep surface.
Cup pulls on all slab drawers;
Standard pulls on all other fronts
Standard pulls on all fronts
I should note here that I am a little germophobic about cup pulls. I am not germophobic in many areas, but cup pulls make me squirm a bit. I hate to think of using "wet chicken hands" to open a drawer with a cup pull. Despite being selectively germophobic, I'm not a meticulous cleaner. I have good intentions to clean the right areas with the right products and the right frequency but I often find myself slacking on the cleaning job. But I do love the look of cup pulls! I had compromised by putting them only in my butler's pantry area (Plan B). Now, in Plan A, I am considering putting cup pulls on what I expect will be my most frequently used drawers in the kitchen! Spices, compost tray, measuring spoons, peeler, etc will all go in the two slab drawers beneath my chopping block. (Side note: yes I know it's odd to have two slab drawers in a stack. It's dictated by the specific drawer depths that I wanted for functional purposes.)
Basically, I'm just looking at the slab drawers and thinking they shout "CUP PULL! CUP PULL!"
As a supporting note, the cup pulls have a 7/8" projection and the standard pulls have a 1 1/4" projection. I plan to use two pulls on drawers that are 27" and wider.
Also, the asymmetrical rails on some drawers are the result of a design decision to create a "fake seven-piece" front, specifically because there are some drawers where I wanted a 5-piece look and corresponding pull, but my 4" wide rails and stiles did not allow a 5-piece front. So we created a 7-piece front to cover two drawers and then split the middle rail. It looks odd when you see only one drawer but when you see both together, it blends in much better.