Need an instant upgrade for a dull, dated kitchen? Try installing metal linear pulls.

"They give the kitchen a more modern look, with cleaner lines," said Erin Hoopes, a kitchen and bath designer for Moss Building & Design.

Available in tubular, flat or slightly arched hardware, linear pulls have gained popularity in the last five years with the advent of more drawers in kitchen design.

Sleek with long, clean lines, they come in polished chrome, brushed or polished nickel, pewter and stainless steel.

In the 1990s, when Old World and French Country kitchens with darker or more traditional cabinetry were in style, the hardware reflected those times.

"You saw a lot of oiled bronze, brass and polished bronze everywhere. You saw it in light fixtures and faucets," said Hoopes.

Hoopes' favorite source is Top Knobs (, which also carries appliance pulls. Matching appliance door pulls with cabinetry pulls further unifies the kitchen.

She suggests avoiding flimsy pulls and opting for hardware with "more weight." "Kitchen cabinet hardware gets the most use, outside of countertops," said Hoopes. "You want something that can withstand that."