For many, the decision to have, or not have handles in their kitchen is very clear-cut. For others, this is one of the defining choices of their entire interior concept and has them asking friends, family, tradies, and seemingly the mailman what they would do. To help you decide if you should add handles, knobs, pulls, or hooks to your cabinetry we have put together a list of advantages and disadvantages so you can make an informed selection.

Let’s start with some love for handles.

  1. Good grip: Handles improve functionality and ergonomics. They make it easier to open and close cabinet doors and drawers. Handles (over knobs) will make griping and opening the cabinet easier. This is particularly important for someone with mobility or dexterity issues.

  2. Improved aesthetics: Handles are an opportunity to add your unique style and to personalise the space. We designers often refer to handles and knobs as the ‘jewellery’ of the room… it’s the accessories we add to finish off your outfit that finish it off completely.

  3. Keeping it clean: Let’s keep those dirty hands off the cabinetry. By having handles, we reduce direct contact with the cabinet surfaces, reducing the transfer of oils, dirt, and moisture from our hands onto the cabinetry.

  4. Cohesive style: Handles are an opportunity to incorporate a styling tool of repeating materials. You may do this by repeating the finishes of your appliances. Maybe you have a feature fixture like a ceramic sink or light pendants that you can use to repeat with your handles.

Or maybe the handle is a no-no for you?

  1. Minimalist design: A streamlined, and modern interior often will find that the addition of handles will interrupt the clean lines of the space and aesthetic.

  2. Easy to clean: Without handles in the way, there is nothing to collect dust and accumulate grime in crevices.

  3. Safety and accessibility worries: If you have ever rushed about in a kitchen, you will have caught a pocket or part of your clothing on a handle. Handles can also be a bump risk to small children. Handle-less cabinets can be more accessible for individuals in wheelchairs, as they eliminate the need to reach for handles.

  4. Cost: Like jewellery, the range of pricing goes from costume to Tiffany and alike. It’s easy to get caught up in the beauty of choice.

  5. Style: Your choice of handles can date your space, which you can update, but that’s a future cost. Handle-less cabinets allow you to focus on other design features in your kitchen such as the splashback or benchtop.

What do you think? Did these lists help or hinder your decision-making? Is there anything listed that you hadn’t considered, or something that we should add to the list? Let us know in the comments.