Selecting handles for your new kitchen or bathroom may seem like a trivial task however, it is an all important element of the design and one that should not be overlooked. The type of handle you select plays a part in the overall style of the design as well as your comfort so do take the time to weigh up your options and select the handle that will best suit you.
The best place to start is to speak with your Designer to arrange samples or visit your local hardware store to both view and test the ranges available.
Our handy guide will make sure you’ve covered all the bases when selecting the handles that are right for you!
1. Design Style
The first thing to consider is the overall style you are trying to achieve in this space: are you going for a traditional, classic design or keeping the space super sleek and modern?
This will determine the styles of handles you should be looking at in order to keep your selected design style uniform and consistent in your new kitchen or bathroom. Determining your style will also help narrow down your choices, making the task seem a little less overwhelming!
2. Types of Handles
Based on your style, select a specific type of handle that will blend in well. For example, a handle-less design will suit a sleek and minimal kitchen very well whereas a more traditional kitchen may call for antique styled handles.
Types of handles include:
- Antique or Vintage Styled Handles: These are usually more ornate and feature patterns, carvings and shapes. There are several different finishes to consider ranging from bright gold, matt black, stainless steel, chrome or brass to name a few.
- Minimalist Handles: Minimalist handles refer to designs that are simple and functional such as stainless steel or chrome bar handles with minimal detailing or pattern.
- Touch Catches: Installing touch catches (such as Blum’s Tip-On) means you do not require handles but rather, you would give your cabinet door or drawer face a slight nudge or poke and the door will open. As you will be touching the surface of your cabinetry, it is important to consider the type of cabinet finish you choose: A high gloss cabinet finish will show up fingerprints whereas a textured surface (such as Laminex’s Impressions Collection) will not.
- Electronic Systems: Electronic opening systems such as Blum’s Servo Drive products, are similar to the touch catches but are powered electronically to automatically open your drawers or cupboards. Once again, you will be touching the surface of your cabinetry so do consider your cabinet finish.
- Other Handle-Less Designs: Other handle-less designs include finger grips or aluminium finger pulls installed onto either the top or bottom of each cabinet face. There are several different styles available; some have the added benefit of being manufactured in a way that will not encroach into your cabinet’s space whereas other styles do take up a lot of valuable storage space within your cabinetry. This type of handle may not be appropriate for those who have difficulties with movement/strength in their hands so it is important to test out all options prior to making a decision.
3. Ease of Use
As noted above, each different handle poses different styles of use. Ensure your handle selection is easy for you to use: it may look amazing but it may just be a little too uncomfortable to get used to! Ensure your handles have enough space for you to grasp onto and comfortably suit your hands. As mentioned previously, it pays to visit your local hardware store or handle shop to actually see and test out your selected handles prior to making a commitment.
An often overlooked factor when selecting handles, it is important to also take the hygiene into consideration during your selection. Handles that feature ornate patterns can get a little grimy; polished chrome handles will show up fingerprints; handle-less designs can lead to fingerprints and marks on your cabinetry. The patterning, colour and finish of your handles will determine just how much effort they will need to clean.
5. Sizes of Handles
Once you’ve settled on your handle, see what sizes they are available in and choose a size that will not only be comfortable for you to use properly but also be in proportion with the size of your cabinetry. For example, you could use the small version of your handle on your smaller cabinets and use the larger size for wider cabinets such as wide pot drawers to keep the style uniform and in proportion.
6. Colours & Finishes
Each handle is usually available in a variety of different colours and finishes such as black, white, polished chrome, brushed chrome, stainless steel, bright gold and even timber. Consider which colour and finish is suitable for your selected style and finalise your selection.
Some great brands of handles we suggest are:
For a handle-less design, also consider Blum’s Tip-on and Servo Drive options.
Share your top tips to choosing handles in the comments below!