I am currently adding knobs very similar to the following knobs to my
kitchen cabinets (which were originally the type with no knobs):
In case you are unable to retreive that link, they are a very basic knob:
narrow stem ballooning into a larger ellipsoid, maybe 1 1/4 " wide.
I am positioning them on the doors at 3 1/2 " up the sash (from the bottom
of the door) for the top doors. The bottom doors would then be positioined 3
1/2 " down the sash (from the top of the door).
What I noticed is that because the bottom door knobs are (obviously) lower,
I get a different perspective: because I am able to see the stem, it
actually looks like the knob is positioned 4" or more down the sash. The top
cabinet door knobs have me not see the stem at all: all I see is the larger
round bulb of the knob.
When you install knobs on cabinet doors, do you make sure that the top and
bottom are precisely at the same distance, or do you make sure that they
look the same.
I am considerring installing the rest of the bottom door knobs at 3" down
the sash, and not 3 1/2.
Is this something that is done at all?
I have found that certain things bug me that no one else even sees.
Are you the only one who thinks the bottom ones look too low?
It would be great if you could get an honest person to tell you if they see
anything wrong. Sadly, most people will tell what they think you want to
But to answer your question; no, I've never noticed the phenomena you
You sound like me ... walk into a room and mentally get an accurate count of
ALL the crooked pictures or, when you're sitting on the porch,
subconsciously, and involuntarily, use the top of a railing as a winding
stick to check if the cornice on house across the street is level.
It's a curse.
A different perspective will detract from the design/appearance of a piece
for some of us, so if it bugs you, and looks right with the knobs a bit
higher on the bottom doors, do it.
I see drawer pulls that look outright crooked because of the grain direction
behind them ... I know they're not, because I put them on, but it's still an
irritant until the piece has been around long enough that you no longer
In short, do what makes it work for you.
Why don't you try positioning the lower knobs at 3 1/2 inches up from
the bottom of the lower door, instead of 3 1/2 inches down from the top
of the door. One thing I learned about this sort of symmetry from
mattitng and framing photographs is that one can cut a window in a mat
that is perfectly symmetrical, and the bottom of the mat will look
thin. So, I will cut a mat about 1/8in above center, in order for it
to look right. The same thing might apply to this situation too.
I'm not sure if the sentence above matches the sentence below. But to
answer your question, that would require someone about 18" tall to
comfortably open the bottom door by the knob.
You may be thinking of different types of doors that I have. I'm talking
about your kitchen cabinet doors where they are, say, 2 1/2 ' tall or
*I* have noticed that as well! Odd. It's almost as if the mat requires a
visual "base" upon which to sit.
The problem with the knobs however is simple perspective. When looking down
on the knob, because the stem is thinner it looks lower than the top knobs
look high, because the stem is hidden on the top knob, and the width of the
round part takes up some of the room.
Put it this way:
Draw a horizontal line in the middle of a sheet of paper. Place a quarter
centered at precisely 3" up from the line. Place a dime centered at
precisely 3" down from the line. The dime will "look" farther away.
"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!"
Stand directly in front of the refigerator door and take a good look at
the placement of the handle. Extend your arm at mid-chest height,
keeping your elbow slightly bent, and grasp the handle. Now, pull on
the handle with sufficient force to open the door. Select a beverage of
your choice, pour into a clean glass, and enjoy. Life is too short to
sweat the little stuff.
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