Get a grip...

At Roundhouse, we believe every element of a bespoke kitchen should be beautifully designed, well-made, and fit for purpose, right down to the knobs and handles. Think of handles like jewellery for your kitchen, with the potential to elevate the design and add another alluring detail to admire. By contrast, poor hardware choices can seriously disrupt the overall aesthetic, and cause daily annoyance. Read on to discover how to take the hard work out of handle selection and bring your kitchen design effortlessly together.

Establish your style

With the potential to make or break the entire luxury kitchen design, choosing the right cabinet hardware for your bespoke kitchen is pivotal. It may be the last thing to go on your bespoke cabinet doors, but don’t leave selection to the last minute. Our kitchen designers always consider handle options in tandem with the door design, as the style of door can help steer handle discussions (and vice versa).

Hardware manufacturers often split their collections into modern and traditional categories, but you can also find plenty of transitional styles designed to suit both. We like to work with artisan makers, like Armac Martin and Turnstyle Designs, that produce beautifully crafted hardware of exceptional quality. Many of our bespoke kitchens also feature custom hardware, designed and made in-house.

Unobtrusive or obvious

Begin by considering if you want the handles to sit quietly on the door or are looking for hardware that makes a stronger design statement. For luxury modern kitchen designs, we often recommend an inset handle, like the one above, that’s recessed within the door for a sleek, streamlined profile. A classical door design, such as Shaker-style, can feel more authentic when paired with more traditional knobs and pulls. You can also use the style of handle to alter the design direction of the cabinet door – for example, a handle hidden in the shadowline of a Shaker door, so that it appears handle-less, can add a modern twist!

Prioritise comfort

Beyond looks, the style of handle you choose focus on functionality. Favouring form over function is a mistake you’ll almost certainly live to regret. Take time to test out different handles in one of our showroom kitchens gallery, thinking about ease of grip and overall comfort. Try to consider the needs of everyone who will be using the kitchen. Those who love long fingernails should test the depth of a recessed handle – too shallow and you’ll risk breaking a nail. And anyone with limited dexterity or issues like RSI might struggle with a small round knob that requires strong grip.

Speaking of grip, it’s best to fit a handle with really decent grip on the doors of heavy integrated appliances, such as larder fridges and dishwashers. Think long handles, similar to contemporary wardrobe handles. The extra weight on the door means you’ll want to be able to get a firm grasp on the handle – a solid D-bar style handle with a knurled finish, as pictured, is a smart choice.

Find your finish

With so many gorgeous finishes available, including unusual options like hand-stitched leather, precious stones and Verdigris, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Most high-end hardware manufacturers offer samples of each finish, so that you can check how they look against your chosen door colour/material. Don’t feel pressured to precisely match the finish on your hardware with every other metal component in your kitchen! While they should certainly complement each other, a less ‘matchy-matchy’ approach will appear uncontrived, and more relaxed.

We love unlacquered hardware in warm metallics like bronze and brass that will gain a rich patina over time; opt for a sealed finish if you prefer a more pristine look that’s easy to clean. Gunmetal, matt black and smoked bronze kitchen handles are bolder options with industrial vibes that will sit discreetly against dramatic dark coloured kitchen cupboard storage, or strong and punchy against pale cabinetry. Chrome hardware is less popular now, but if you want a ‘cold’ metallic that complements steel appliances, elegant polished nickel is a softer alterative with a premium look, while solid stainless steel has echoes of the professional chef’s kitchen

Our expert kitchen designers can help you make the best choices for your Roundhouse bespoke kitchen, furniture or wardrobes. Visit any of our seven Roundhouse showroomsWigmore St, ClaphamFulhamRichmondCambridgeGuildford Cheltenham and get planning!