Interior design goes through phases and trends, and one of the newest, and in our opinion, most interesting, is the handleless kitchen. More and more kitchen renovators are asking about the option to get the clean, sleek lines that come from not having visible handles on kitchen cabinets and drawers.
As with most things, trends repeat themselves, and it turns out that a quick browse through design magazines from the 1970s show that handleless kitchens were also in vogue back then. Of course, there are other differences, such as the lack of bright primary colour pairings and floral accents in the kitchens of the 2020s!
Two Types of Handleless Cabinetry
The original handleless kitchen cabinets had a “handle” concealed either at the top or side of the door or drawer front. This was created by routing an area to allow fingers fit in to open it as normal – like a ‘concealed handle’.
The other, and more often-used option these days has special hardware installed inside the cabinet, so that when you tap the drawer or door, it will gently spring open a little – enough for you to easily open it.
Be aware that this push-to-open hardware needs to work in with door hinges and drawer runners. You can save money in many ways when designing your kitchen, but by selecting high quality hardware your option to go handleless will reward you for the life of your new kitchen.
Handleless kitchens look great, but you need to also consider the practical aspects of the kitchen. For example, small hands love handles, so if you want your kids to be able to use the kitchen, then handleless doors aren’t ideal. However, if there are toddlers in the house who love grabbing and pulling at things, then handleless is a strong option to reduce the risk of injury from a drawer opening onto a small child as they pull themselves up by the handle.
In addition, the needs of older kitchen users are also important to factor in, as those with arthritis or limited motor function will probably appreciate a handle to grab on to, rather than the more subtle grooves or the need to tap with a handleless option.
Advantages of Going Handleless
Of course, you also want to think about the advantages of going without handles. The first is undoubtedly the timeless elegance and style that comes from the look. The lack of prominent handles gives an uninterrupted visual effect, which is very aesthetically attractive.
The second advantage of handless kitchens is that they appear cleaner. The lack of handles means dust and crumbs won’t settle on the handle.
In addition, it’s unobtrusive, which lets you choose other accessories for the space, like art or appliances, to be the feature of the room. It also lines up well with the design trends of the moment, with minimalist kitchens and Scandinavian inspired spaces.
Disadvantages of Handleless Kitchens
Hard to clean groove nooks can be a disadvantage of some handleless styles. However, a microfibre cloth is a simple, cost-effective solution that moulds to harder to reach spaces and ‘attracts’ dust and stray crumbs.
Cost can also be a disadvantage, though because here at Kitchen Shack we offer budget fully-assembled, ready-to-install kitchen solutions – our specialty. We can point you in the right direction to save money, or help you find savings in other kitchen renovation decisions so you can get the upgraded options that you want.
If you are thinking about going with a handleless kitchen but aren’t sure, or have questions you’d like answered, then Kitchen Shack should be your first port of call. Feel free to swing by any one of our three showrooms in Preston, Maribyrnong, and Kilsyth. Our staff are friendly and experienced and can help you make the right choices for you.