When you’re designing your kitchen, picking the perfect hardware for your cupboards might be one of those ‘save it until last’ details. Yet it pays to think ahead, as what you choose – or whether you decide, instead, to go for a handleless kitchen – will have a huge effect on the finished look. So get it right and factor in your choice from the start.


This post was originally posted by Houzz and you can find it here



Try traditional

The painted, solid timber, Shaker-style kitchen is a trend that’s showing no signs of going anywhere. It’s a classic, after all. For that reason, choosing the right hardware for your traditional kitchen can be a no-brainer; for drawers, brass-cup handles, like these, will lend an authentic feel.





For practical reasons, cup handles are mostly just for drawers. But for cupboards? As you can see in this kitchen, the doors are finished with small round or oval metal knobs. As with drawer-cup handles, this is the convention. Consider what you’ll pick for pull-down doors (used, for example, on integrated dishwashers), as Shaker cabinetry would happily sit with either a knob or a cup-style handle.





Ask your kitchen designer for advice on small details like this in case there are practical considerations they can share to help you make your decision. For less frequently used cupboards – a glass display cabinet, for example – a small, turn-latch handle is a nice addition. These are a bit fiddlier to open, so don’t have one on the doors of your other cabinetry or bins!



Introduce the unexpected

Having said that, rules are for breaking, right? In this stylistically interesting kitchen, the Shaker aesthetic has been given a few characterful touches. The chunky brass benchtop on that very modern island and the geometric pendant may be the first things you take in, but what about the handles on those drawers? The ornate brass bail pulls (as these handles are known) are the sort you might see on something like a Victorian mahogany writing desk. As such, they provide a playful contrast to the otherwise clean, boxy profile of the unit.





Update the cup handle

Brass cup handles are a very popular choice for Shaker-style kitchens and look lovely against dark painted units like these. However, if you love brass but want something that feels more modern with all the solid gravitas of tradition, you could try a design like this. These diamond-cut brass bar handles appear to take inspiration from engineers’ files; nice, sturdy objects that have been in many generations of toolboxes and so feel suitably ‘proper’.





Keep it contemporary

Want to ensure a sleek, modern finish? You can’t go wrong with practical oversized bar handles, partly because they’re the opposite of traditional. Opt for an easy-to-clean finish, such as brushed steel, and enjoy the multi-functional nature of your hardware (you can hang tea towels from them, too). Here, paired with an all-white bank of units, plus a pale timber floor to soften the overall effect, the handles tie in with other fittings – ovens, lighting and tap – so the kitchen feels pulled together, as well as fresh and contemporary.





Complete the circle

These round, inset handles were made to order by the designer (click on the image for more details). Circular shapes have been routed into each door and the handles – timber like the units – were then glued into place. For something unique like this, choose a kitchen designer who’s happy to go bespoke, or find a good joiner or cabinet maker to make your doors and handles.





Ditch handles entirely

Handleless units are the ultimate in streamlined styling. While they’re a good option for minimalists, they’re also a surprisingly helpful choice if you love layering textures and accessories in your kitchen. When you have enough decorative detail elsewhere – the flooring and bare bricks are very prominent here – handles could wind up looking fussy in the whole scheme of things. The designer of this texture-heavy kitchen has also made the most of the interesting surfaces by keeping them free of knobs and pulls.





Choose colour continuity

Painted timber knobs aren’t the only way to go with a colour-matched door/hardware combination. Here, fixed to the edge of each door, vertically positioned long handles blend in, making them almost invisible. If you’re undecided about handleless, this could be a slick compromise.