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Choosing the Perfect Kitchen Handle

Choosing a kitchen handle for your fitted kitchen, fitted wardrobes, vanity unit or utility room can sometimes feel well & truly overwhelming. If you have made decisions about layout, door material, colour, worktops…choosing a handle can feel like just too much! Combine that with being bombarded with ideas online and it’s enough to turn your brain to jelly.

One of our jobs is to get to know you and your project well enough that we can curate all those options for you, to offer up a selection that will really work for you and reduce the feeling of overwhelm.

There are a few things you can start with:

Is your cabinetry contemporary, traditional or somewhere in between?

If your cabinetry has a clear design style, choose a handle from a complementary range. If you’re not sure and your design is somewhere in between, think about how you want the design to lean, as handles can have a big impact on a space and the overall feel.

What materials feature in the space?

Materials used in flooring, radiators, worktops, tap and appliances will all have an impact on the cabinet handles you choose. Rules about not mixing materials are old hat in our opinion, but you may choose to use cool metals like brushed steel or chrome to complement other chrome, black or cooler colour tones. Alternatively, if you prefer to use warmer tones, you could go with brass, gold, copper or even polished nickel which can bridge cool and warmer tones.

Does anyone who will be using the space have specific needs?

Some handles are designed specifically for those who might struggle with grip. Think about dishwasher and fridge doors, which can require a stronger tug to open and a handle that isn’t easily gripped can be frustrating.

Another option is to go completely handleless, particularly if you want a very streamlined look.

Contemporary, Traditional or Somewhere in Between?

Once you’ve answered the above questions, you can consider different handle styles:

Beautifully traditional, cup handles are the perfect choice for lovers of classic design. Originally designed in the mid 1800’s, cup handles were the perfect sturdy, hard-wearing handle that did the job well and were easy to clean and maintain. Choosing a cup handle can add a sense of authenticity to cabinetry, while working perfectly for drawers, pullout bins and dishwashers.

Cup handles can come in any number of finishes and there are also more modern versions of cup handles which can help to straddle contemporary and more traditional design.

Knob handles

A knob handle is the simplest of handle styles and is utterly versatile. It will work with a wide range of cabinet styles and complements a cup handle perfectly, for hinged doors that may not work with a cup handle. If you want a cup handle, think about which knob you will mix it with!

Knobs come in all sorts of materials, with or without backplates, with minimal detail for a subtle finish or something more ornate. Wooden knobs offer a more rustic feel, perfect for a country or farmhouse design. Chrome, nickel and brass are more traditional and very classy for some everyday luxury.

Bar or D Handles

Probably the most universal handle design, bar handles work with every kitchen style. These often come in a range of lengths and can eliminate the need for multiple handles on longer drawers. Good news for a more minimal design.

Bar handles are often the most comfortable option and work well for anyone with mobility or strength issues.

We order handles from a wide range of suppliers, so there are endless options. We suggest starting with material choice and narrowing it down from there.

These are just a small selection of the huge range of handles available. Ask us for our advice, we know what works well and love bringing together a complete material palette.

Have a look at our shaker kitchens, inframe kitchens and contemporary kitchens for more ideas.