Small but significant: Handles
Kitchen handles should not be an afterthought. Small they may be and although they are the finishing touch to your kitchen, it’s important you think about them at the very beginning of the design process to make sure you create the mood and style you’re aiming for. Available in a an enormous variety of shapes and sizes, styles and materials, its not just the look that’s important, you also need think about how the handles work for you. Remember, you’re opening and closing doors all the time, so make sure they are functional and practical for everyday use as well as being the final aesthetic flourish.
With plenty to choose from, Adrian Stoneham offers an overview on what to consider:
What type kitchen are you considering? Contemporary, traditional? Make sure you pick the right handle style to match your kitchen cabinets otherwise you will end up with a confusing design. Complement delicate features with textured and shaped decorative knobs or accentuate smooth, clean lines with wide and long stainless steel bars for a contemporary finish. Curved bars and shaped, decorative handles can add beautiful detail to an otherwise minimalistic kitchen.
It’s important to choose materials that flatter both the overall style of the kitchen and the other materials used in its construction. If your kitchen is modern, use materials such as stainless steel, chrome or aluminium handles for a sleek design. If you’ve chosen a more traditional kitchen and gone for wooden cabinets such as Natural Walnut or Anthracite Oak, opt for cast iron or pewter handles to enhance the natural grains. Alternatively if you are trying to achieve something timeless and classical, mix and match steel and chrome with timbers or painted door finishes for something truly unique.
The size and shape of your kitchen handles should reflect the overall design of the room but most importantly they will need to be practical for everyday use. It’s important to try before you buy when it comes to handles as something so small will actually make a big impact and cause you difficulties in the long term. Take a look at samples and test them in a kitchen showroom if you can. If you can get a good grip and the handle feels comfortable in your hand then you know you have chosen the right one for you. If not, try more until you are completely satisfied with your choice. Some appliances such as integrated fridge and freezer have highly efficient seals, and with door interior fully laden they may require a firm pull to open. A comfortable handle is important.
For a contemporary, seamless finish, handle-less doors offer a smooth, minimalist look with no clutter. The term ‘handle-less’ is rather a misnomer, as the true interpretation of this look for most clients is a handle that is integral to the door. From concealed hinges, to finger-pulls that are notched out of the door edges, or the latest “push to open” systems to doors and drawers such as Blum Tipon, there’s an array of different options on the market to achieve the handle-less look. However, a recessed handle, gives the understated style and finesse of a handle-less kitchen without losing any of the practicality.
And on a final note if you need to give your kitchen a quick and impactful update, changing handles is quick and easy to do as most handles have a number of designs with identical hole centres.
For more inspiration on handles, click here.