Handleless kitchens offer understated contemporary style. If you want your kitchen to look minimal, sleek and streamlined, handleless doors are the perfect choice. Reminiscent of 20th century Bauhaus style, it is the purity of design coupled with high functionality that has increased the popularity of the handleless kitchen.
But stunning looks are only part of the story because handleless kitchens have other benefits too. Let’s take a closer look.
The benefits of a handleless kitchen
- The handleless style allows you to maximise the space in your kitchen. With no handles to negotiate, your kitchen becomes a more comfortable and efficient place to prepare and cook food.
- The absence of protruding handles reduces the chances of injuring yourself or a child while you’re cooking, cleaning or feeding the family.
- Handleless doors are more difficult for young children to open, constituting a useful safety feature.
- The worktop can be flush with the front of the units – handled doors require the worktop to overhang the cabinets to allow for wiping down any debris straight into your hand.
- Handleless units can be more hygienic and easier to clean – the handles do not accumulate dust and dirt in hard-to-clean crevices.
- No handles means that other kitchen features get a chance to really stand out without any competition for attention with a ‘wow factor’ splashback or worktop.
- Handleless units keep the walkway around the island clear, making them a good option for large kitchens.
- A handleless kitchen can help to create a more seamless flow between separate rooms in your home.
- This type of kitchen works well in open plan areas as the design is less intrusive than a more traditional style of kitchen.
The 3 different types of handleless kitchen
The continuous rail
This is also known as the grip ledge style and is the true handleless style. It uses an aluminium rail that runs behind the top, bottom or side of a unit. This creates a gap for your fingers between the top or side of the unit, to curl around the back of the door to pull it open.
In a continuous run of units, the recessed rail is inserted into the midline of the carcass to allow full access. The rail is only fitted after the units have been installed to ensure it is continuous. This ensures the look is sleek and streamlined.
The rail has now become a design feature in itself. Aside from brushed aluminium, the colour can be matched to a splashback or wooden veneer.
The J Groove
This is the simplest type of handleless door. A groove is cut into the top or bottom of a door, or drawer, which looks like the letter ‘J’ in profile. The groove allows you to grip the door and pull it open.
This is usually the most cost effective choice of handleless door, although the groove can collect crumbs and dust.
The push-to-open doors
Sometimes known as tip-on doors, these use a mechanism which opens the unit automatically when pushed. These mechanisms can be fitted retrospectively if required. They work well for anyone with reduced mobility or arthritis in their hands.
What colour options are available?
Owing to the popularity of the handleless kitchen, the colour range has been growing and there should be no problem finding one to suit your style.
Having said that, modern white kitchen designs, complemented by bright accent colours, really suit this style. The colour white beautifully emphasises the clean lines which characterise this type of kitchen. It also allows the maximum amount of light to be bounced around the room.
What finish options are available?
When considering whether to have a matt or gloss finish, remember that gloss will create more of a polished, flat and reflective surface. On the other hand, matt will still reflect light around the room but will not reflect any other elements in the kitchen.
An alternative option to matt is the glass suede finish, which is soft and velvety to the touch. This is a bespoke option and so the choice of colour is up to you. It produces a satin like surface which reflects light without creating any reflections, creating an understated look.
Wood options are also available, including the rough-cut look which is becoming increasingly popular.
Integrating appliances within a handleless kitchen
Most appliances can be modern integrated into a handleless kitchen, which helps to maintain the sleek minimalist look.
Ovens, microwaves and hobs, now all offer clean looking options. Features such as hide-and-slide doors, slimmer profiles and fewer controls help maintain the streamlined profile. Even cooker extractors can be hidden within a handleless system.