Oct 8, 2020
In this episode of the Kitchen Design Essentials Season, Frances
discusses handles, and the options available (including having no
handles), along with cabinetry hardware and internals, and what
options are available to improve design and functionality in your
Handles and hardware add the perfect finishing touch to your
kitchen. They can absolutely make your kitchen, or they can let it
down. Good news is, they are easy to replace to create a whole new
- They add to overall finish of kitchen and to the overall
- They complete the aesthetic on the style of your kitchen
- Hamptons or shaker style kitchens needs handles to complete the
- Contemporary style may mean handles intrude on aesthetic
- They add personality to an ordinary kitchen.
- A quick fix for make overs too – replacing handles can really
update a kitchen.
- Functionality- allow for easy opening of cupboards and
- Personal preference – some prefer to have handles and some
- Fingerpull – A simple solution for opening your cupboards or
drawers. It has a rebate that is either built into the top of
drawer or underneath overhead cupboards that allows your fingers to
- Streamlined and clean finish
- Can affect depth of drawer (storage) depending on finger pull
type being used.
- Push to close – We don’t normally suggest this type of
mechanism to clients.
- As you work at the bench, legs can push open cupboards/drawers
- If opting for handle-less finish – prefer finger pull
- Generally easier to use across the board especially for kids
and elderly. Handles are much easier to use than a knob for opening
- They can be placed vertically or horizontally on overhead
- For pull-out pantries or fridge doors, a vertical handle is
- Drawers commonly use horizontal handles
- Better to have one longer handle than two smaller for ease of
- Ensure the handle is long enough for the drawer
- Be mindful of T-bar handles because it can get caught on
- Make sure that the style of your handle is in line with the
complete aesthetic of your kitchen. Not something that conflicts or
clashes with overall look. Needs to complement.
- It is better for overhead cabinetry than under bench
- Knobs overhead handle underneath
- Can be a lot smaller compared to handles so can be more
- Can be difficult to open drawers and heavier cabinetry such as
- Need to coordinate with handles
Finishes – There’s an incredible selection of knobs and handles.
Anything that you can think of.
- Metal- a very popular choice
- Living Metals- naturally tarnish over time - organic feel
- Burnished- It is not shiny and has more organic feel to it as
- Satin finishes
- Solid Metal- i.e stainless steel, chrome or solid brass
- Timber: knobs and handles
- Different profiles- Round, concave, semi-circle
- Can soften the look.
- Leather –handles, straps, knobs
- Can also patina over time, with the oils from your finger.
- Combination of materials eg. Timber and metal, leather and
Colours – Your handles do not have to match your tap. However,
be mindful of the continuity that is going through the rest of the
space/ home. Eg, light fittings, other door hardware.
Size or the Proportion of the handle
- Position on doors, centred or left/right aligned
If you can, visit showroom with handles to test for the feel and
grip, and if you like it.
Hardware & Internal
- Hardware improve the functionality of the internals of your
- It improves the design, and worsk particularly well in smaller
kitchens where space is tight and sophisticated design
- Cheap runners and cheap hinges are not going to last, so invest
in a good quality ones.
Types of hardware & internals
- Lift up cupboard fronts
- Oopens upwards so you have got a complete visibility of
- Not restricted leaving cupboards open and seeing contents –
won’t knock your head.
- Manual or electronic (push button)– Electronic comes at a
- Pull out shelves
- Have a shelf with appliances that allows you to pull it
- Ideal for tight kitchen
- It can be useful if you have an appliance cupboard.
- It opens like a hinge door, but it retracts back into the
- Space saving
- However, a space for cavity should be consider when getting a
- For cabinetry fronts to auto close. Excellent for fridges &
- Old Pantry pull out Systems- You can’t see all the items, and
things fall over.
- New Pantry System- Items are completely visible and you can
customise how things stand up in each of the drawers.
- Ideal for small kitchen because of the storage it provides
- Oil and spice drawers
- Bins – bin drawers 1, 2, 3, 4 types of bins – think recycling,
compost, soft plastics and waste
- Dedicated pull out drawers with full bins or double bins in
each drawer, normally about 15 litresfor smaller bins.
- Under sink – custom made or system from eg. Blum – good for
- Size depends on space available
- Drawer runners and hinges
- Hettich & Blum – lifetime guarantee. Have their own
individual hardware systems and offer excellent hinge and drawer
- Cheaper versions it wears out easily, drag, or don’t slide
- Every drawer in your kitchen should be fully extendable and
- Touch to close/soft close overhead
Visit showrooms to see the different types of mechanism that are
available and to see the difference between cutlery drawers set up
or drawers heights.
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