When it comes to kitchen design, every detail matters. From the choice of doors, cabinetry, and worksurfaces through to the appliances, brassware and colour scheme, each element contributes to the overall ambiance of the space. One often overlooked but incredibly transformative aspect is the type of handles used for cabinets and drawers. Handles not only serve a functional purpose but also play a significant role in determining the kitchen’s style, whether it’s contemporary or traditional.

At Symphony, we have a wide range of handles and finishes to choose from.  In this blog post, let’s explore the different styles and how they can evoke either a contemporary or traditional vibe.


Contemporary Handles: Sleek, Minimalist, and Functional

Contemporary kitchens are known for their clean lines, sleek surfaces, and minimalistic aesthetics. When it comes to handles, the focus is on functionality and seamless integration into the overall design. Here are some popular contemporary handle options and their effects on the kitchen’s look:

Handleless Design (Recessed Grips): The epitome of modernity, handleless cabinets offer a clean and uncluttered appearance. Recessed grips or finger pulls are integrated into the cabinet doors and drawers, creating a smooth, streamlined look. This design choice emphasises a minimalist and modern style.

Bar Handles: Also known as cabinet pulls, bar handles are long, straight, and often horizontally mounted. They bring a sense of simplicity and elegance to the kitchen, making it appear spacious and uncluttered. Bar handles work exceptionally well with flat-panel or slab-style cabinet doors, contributing to a contemporary feel.

Integrated Handles: These handles are seamlessly built into the cabinet doors or drawers, creating a cohesive and uninterrupted appearance. Integrated handles can be designed as grooves or cut-outs, adding a touch of sophistication to the overall kitchen design.



Traditional Handles: Nostalgic, Ornate, and Timeless

For those who appreciate classic charm and nostalgia, traditional kitchen designs exude warmth and elegance. Traditional handles often feature more ornate details and fine craftsmanship. Let’s explore some popular traditional handle options and their impact on the kitchen’s aesthetics:

Knobs: Round or oval-shaped knobs are a staple in traditional kitchen designs. They are available in various materials like wood, brass, chrome, copper or porcelain and can be adorned with a pattern. Knobs add a sense of vintage elegance to cabinets, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Cup Handles: Also known as shells or half-moon pulls, cup handles have a unique shape that resembles a cup or half-circle. They are commonly seen in classic farmhouse-style kitchens, adding a rustic touch and evoking a sense of nostalgia.



Finding Balance: Transitional Kitchen Design

While contemporary and traditional designs have their distinct appeal, some homeowners prefer a middle ground. Transitional kitchen design seeks to blend modern and classic elements, creating a harmonious balance that suits various tastes. In transitional kitchens, designers often opt for simple yet elegant handles that are not overly ornate but still offer a touch of sophistication.  This may also be achieved by using a traditionally shaped handle e.g. knob and cup in a modern, more unusual colour e.g. matt black

The choice of kitchen handles can significantly impact the overall design and style of your new kitchen design. Contemporary handles such as handleless designs and bar handles emphasise minimalism and sleekness, ideal for those seeking a modern look.  On the other hand, traditional handles like knobs and cup handles evoke a sense of nostalgia and charm, perfect for those who prefer a more classic aesthetic.

Remember that the transformative effect of kitchen handles is not limited to their appearance alone. Ergonomics, comfort, and ease of use are equally important considerations. When selecting kitchen handles, think about the overall theme and design of your kitchen, and choose handles that not only complement the style but also enhance your daily cooking experience.  Your Symphony kitchen designer can help you choose the perfect handle and finish to help you achieve your dream kitchen look.