. Function is the priority in selection of cabinet hardware.Grasping and pulling cabinet hardware can be difficult for people with congenital anomalies and traumatic injuries to the hands, arms, shoulders and spinal cord. Disabilities that impact the use of cabinet hardware are associated with a variety of diseases, including multiple sclerosis,spina bifida, muscular dystrophy,arthritis, amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson's Disease.
U shaped pulls with openings are usually preferable to standard knobs when disabilities impair the use of hands.Hardware for cabinets is found in a variety of materials, including brass, bronze, nickel, chrome, wood, pewter, marble, ceramic and glass. Shapes range from standard ovals, circles and rectangles to ornate Victorian carvings and whimsical figures such as flowers. Finishes for metal hardware can shine brightly or have deeper, satin finishes. Some metals are oil-rubbed and darkened, others appear to be black in color.
All cabinet hardware serves the basic function of opening drawers, but hardware can also offer a distinctive visual element to a cabinet. Back plates, for example, cover holes that remain in cabinets when the original hardware is removed. Back plates have a clearly practical purpose, but this hardware can also be decorative.Back plates enhance the appearance of knobs and pulls.
When selecting hardware for your cabinet, consider the hardware within the context of the cabinet and the room's period fixtures and furniture. The choice of a cabinet's knobs and pulls can transform the cabinet's appearance. For example, the Mission period is suggested by cabinets that have pewter and black metal pulls with a rectangular shape and a flared pyramid base.When Early American hardware is replaced by simple wooden knobs, cabinets are often associated with the 18th century Shaker movement that began in England.When selecting hardware, cabinet design should be consistent with its hardware. Plain wooden knobs can evoke the Shaker influence on a simple cabinet, nothing other than confusion will be evoked when plain wooden knobs are chosen as hardware for an ornately carved cabinet.
People with disabilities can find cabinet hardware that is both attractive and easy to use.
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