Having a handle on your kitchen

Handles are the final touch to kitchen cabinets, whether they are traditional, contemporary, or a blend of the two. Available in a wide range of shapes and finishes, they can make a real difference to the look and feel of your kitchen.

So, where do you start in choosing handles that compliment your chosen cabinets? Do you go for something modern? Or perhaps you are looking for a style that’s reminiscent of times gone by.

Handles have their own language

If you think about it, when you buy a brand new car from a showroom, all the little details, from the paint colour to the wheels, are a matter of personal choice. The same is true of handles on a kitchen – they are essential design accents and carry more weight than you may think when it comes to the overall look and feel of your kitchen.

Carefully consider style

Many people have strong ideas on the design of their kitchen cabinetry but can feel a bit lost when it comes to choosing handles. That’s understandable as there’s a wide range to choose from.

Our best advice is to think about the overall finish you want to achieve.

For instance, cup handles look great with contemporary kitchens, as do hand-forged D handles that give a clean, modern finish.

Handmade kitchen with blue island and pendant lights

Brushed chrome cup handles work will with this contemporary kitchen in Holbrook, Suffolk.

Likewise, handles and knobs can cleverly bring together the various elements within a kitchen. The black waxed effect handles pictured below beautifully complement the maple cabinetry and black Zimbabwe granite worktop at Wood Farm Cottage.

Solid Maple Kitchen with black worktops

Choosing the right handles is important if you’re keen to have a kitchen in keeping with its heritage and surroundings. For example, the pewter handles and knobs were chosen by the owners of Abbey Cottage to complete a timeless farmhouse style.

Handmade kitchen painted pale green with black handles

There’s quite a wide range to choose from, including facetted round forged knobs, swan neck brass drop-handles, and knobs in brass, copper, chrome, nickel, satin nickel, antique and black waxed effect.

You can be as bold and inventive as you like, provided the handles match your design intentions. For example, one of our customers decided on pebble cupboard handles for their coach house to match a cherished painting of their home.

Handmade kitchen with rounded island

Decide whether you want knobs or pull handles

There are no hard and fast rules for deciding whether you want knobs, pull handles, or a combination of the two.

Many of our clients choose to use both, and one preference is to use knobs for cabinet doors and pulls for draws.

Handmade kitchen with large central island and falcon range cooker

There’s a practical reason for this as it is more comfortable to open a drawer using a pull. You can, of course, keep to just knobs, which is more in keeping with traditional farmhouse kitchens before there was such a wide range of cookware to choose from.

Try before you buy

Our best piece of advice is to test out your chosen handles before you make your final decision. At Vale Designs, we encourage our customers to come and visit us at our Suffolk workshop to see and feel the different handles and hold them against their chosen kitchen cabinet style. Only then can you grasp how they will look and work in your space.

We’d love to welcome you to our workshop. To make an appointment, simply call us on 01728 830581, and we’ll make sure we put the kettle on!