One of the best, and most liberating, things about refitting your kitchen is that you start with a completely clean slate. Everything that you have taken for granted about this room is up for a rethink. This includes cabinet handles. Not just handle style, but whether you want to have handles at all!
You may know from the outset whether you plan to ditch unit handles in your new kitchen, or you may be unsure. Much of the decision really comes down to the style of kitchen that you want. If you’re going down the traditional country kitchen or shaker styles then you’ll likely have cabinet handles. The look pretty much depends on an attractive handle to complete the design. However, if you’re erring towards the modern or minimalist, handleless designs have probably crossed your mind.
So, what are the reasons that customers and designers are inclined towards the handleless kitchen?
Without handles to interrupt the line of a wall of units, the scope for colour and contrast is widened. Modern kitchens which seek to include a splash of colour work fantastically as part of a handleless design. Similarly, minimalist monochrome that is implemented without handles can create fabulous lines that are clean and uncluttered.
Doing away with handles often goes hand in hand with open plan living. This is because the flow of a kitchen/dining space is complemented by smooth cabinet fronts. So for small and large spaces alike, handleless doors maximise light and space.
The great thing about flat fronted units when it comes to cleaning is that the surface is quicker and easier to clean as there’s no handle to get in the way. However, a handleless door can attract detritus in the groove. This really depends on the depth of the groove: so a moulded channel will tend to gather more dirt than true handleless designs. Of course, handles also collect dirt, so neither option is magically toil-free!
Going handleless means fewer knocks. This is true both for the kitchen user (knocking knuckles or elbows as you move around the space) and for any children in the house (who seem to make a beeline for lower level cabinet handles!) A decision to go handleless opens up the scope for your worktop to sit flush with the front of the units. As handled doors require a worktop overhang to allow for wiping down, you can now enjoy a seamless line from worktop to a cabinet.
So once you’ve decided that handleless is the way to go, you need to work out how you will open your cabinets. Which method of non-handle is best? This really depends on your overall design concept and priorities.
A moulded groove in the front of the cabinet door. These doors can be fiddly to handle as the channel is fairly small. It can also make the top of the door itself weaker and more susceptible to stress cracks from frequent use.
A mechanised opening system that allows your design to be completely flush and seamless. Great for some designs, but this can stumble if the mechanism fails.
Reinforced with aluminium, or a contrasting colour for those wanting a ‘wow’ factor, a true handleless design uses a rail concealed in the door to withstand daily use. They’re easier to use, stronger and offer a smooth design, making them the popular option for most designers.
Mix ’n’ Match
Of course, there is no rule to state that you can’t mix handleless with handles. There are plenty of modern handle designs that can be dotted amongst handleless units to great effect. Discuss with your kitchen designer to work out how to create this striking look.
As the handleless revolution continues, it is becoming clearer that this style is here to stay. So when you’re making a long-term decision such as this, it’s vital to choose the best handleless option for your kitchen. Our experienced professionals at Zen Küchen will be on hand every step of the way to make sure that your kitchen looks and works with perfection.