What is Bail?

Bail refers to a type of handle or pull on drawers, cabinets, or furniture.


In the context of interior design, a bail is an essential hardware element that combines both functionality and style. It consists of a handle attached to two mounting points, allowing it to freely swing or dangle. Bails are usually made from metals such as brass, bronze, or iron, which gives them not only durability but also the flexibility to be crafted into various designs and finishes. This versatility makes bails a popular choice for historical or traditional furniture pieces where detailing plays a key role in the design.

Bails, with their distinctive hanging design, provide a touch of elegance and historical authenticity to furniture pieces. They are especially common in designs that aim to replicate or draw inspiration from particular historical periods, such as the Georgian, Victorian, or Colonial eras. In addition to their aesthetic appeal, bails offer a practical advantage; the swinging mechanism of the handle makes it easy to grasp and pull, enhancing the user experience.

Contemporary interior designers also experiment with modern versions of bails, incorporating minimalist designs or innovative materials to match modern or transitional furniture styles. This demonstrates the versatility of bails in contributing to both the functionality and aesthetic of furniture design across various design styles.


Bails are commonly seen in pieces like dressers, writing desks, and armoires, where their traditional appearance can add character and a sense of history. For example, a Georgian-style dresser may feature brass bails with intricate designs to complement its detailed craftsmanship. In a contemporary setting, sleek, minimalist bails made of stainless steel or brushed nickel can add a modern touch to a simple cabinet design.


  • Can bails be used on all types of furniture?

    Bails are most suitable for pieces with drawers or cabinets, such as dressers, desks, and sideboards. They might not be suitable for all types of furniture, especially those with a very modern or minimalist aesthetic that favors concealed or integrated handles.

  • How do I choose the right bail for my furniture?

    Consider the style and period of your furniture, as well as the overall room decor. Look for a bail that complements these elements, whether you're aiming for historical accuracy or a modern twist. Pay attention to the finish and material of the bail to ensure it enhances the piece's aesthetic.

  • Are there different types of bails available?

    Yes, bails come in a variety of styles, materials, and finishes. From traditional designs with ornate detailing to simple, contemporary shapes. The choice depends on the aesthetic and functional requirements of the furniture piece.

Practical Application

To incorporate bails into your interior design, start by evaluating the furniture pieces that could benefit from this hardware. Consider replacing existing handles with bails for a touch of elegance or historical flair. When selecting bails, ensure their design and finish align with the overall style of the furniture and room. Installation is typically straightforward, involving securing the bail to the furniture using screws at the two mounting points. However, it's important to choose the correct size and style to complement the furniture piece and not overwhelm it.