Handleless kitchen cabinets are one of the biggest trends for 2021 for more pared-back, streamlined look. It's all about simplicity and a focus on cabinetry details.
This idea has been around for a very long time but it is starting to take on more interest by the North American design community and homeowners alike as people try to incorporate less clutter in the look of their home. Thinking of Kitchen design in terms of Wellness is extremely important and reducing visual clutter is a big aspect to consider. In this post we will talk about the top 3 ways that you can incorporate this look into your new kitchen. We will also go over some of the advantages and disadvantages to consider before choosing this design aesthetic for your home.
what are my handleless options?
TRUE HANDLELESS KITCHEN
This option is also called a German Handleless Kitchen or referred to as the Handleless Rail System. The true handleless kitchen originated in Germany over a century ago and is very popular across Europe. The way they achieve access to the cabinetry is by integrating a continuous rail system (usually metal) on the actual cabinet boxes which runs the full length of the cabinetry. You can then simply pull the doors and drawers open from this rail system. This is a gorgeous look. Also, with our Aluminum cabinetry line we are able to have the rail system powder-coated in the same colour as the doors to keep it a more subtle and cohesive look.
Within this rail system you can also include LED lighting to add more ambiance and interest to your cabinetry. This will also emphasize the beautiful lines in the minimalist design.
As opposed to a handleless Kitchen you may have heard of the term: handleless doors. Essentially, a J-Profile door or handleless door is trying to achieve the look of a true handless kitchen by routing a J-shaped profile into the actual door to leave a groove where you can pull the doors and drawers open from without the use of traditional hardware. In the green kitchen shown here you can see that the silver channel runs the full length of the cabinetry. With a J-Profile door, the channel would be broken up at each door and each drawer making it look a bit more choppy
Another option that can be used on most door styles and cabinet construction is doors that open with a push mechanism. You simply push the door or drawer and it will pop open and then you can pull it open the rest of the way.
UPPER / OVERHEAD CABINETS
Regardless of the option you use to go handleless when it comes to the upper cabinets a great idea is to have the doors designed a bit longer than the actual cabinet box so it hangs down just enough for you to be able to pull the doors open from behind. This is ideal so it's a truly clean and sleek look at eye-level. This design element can also be coordinated with hardware on tall and base cabinets and simply going handleless on your upper cabinetry.
pros vs. cons
As with any choice we make in life, it's a matter of weighing out the pros and cons of each option and choosing the one that works best for you and your home.
draw backs to going handleless
Depending on the finish you use on your cabinets, there may be more visible fingerprints and smudges on the actual doors and drawers that you'll need to clean.
The magnet could lose strength on touch-open mechanisms over time. Also, because you're touching the actual door/drawer more often, it could wear down the finish quicker from the natural oils from your hands than when using traditional hardware. If you choose this option, purchasing high-quality cabinetry should be top on your list to avoid this issue. Our exclusive powder-coated metal cabinetry for instance would be a great choice. (You know, I had to say something!)
Handleless cabinetry involve more work during construction so they cost more than a typical cabinet box with standard hardware. However, I put this as the last disadvantage because I do believe if the look and the rest of the advantages appeal to you, the extra cost won't inhibit your decision.
ADVANTAGES TO GOING HANDLELESS
EASY TO CLEAN
Without having traditional style handles and knobs on the doors and drawers you will have an uninterrupted surface to wipe clean with one swipe rather than working around each handle. Also, it's more hygienic as there aren't the tight areas around the handles to collect dirt, oil and germs.
One of the big advantages to going handleless is not getting your clothes caught and your hips bumped like on traditional handles. It also allows us to lean against the cabinets without getting poked. If you have small children running around, not having the hardware sticking out of the cabinetry is also an advantage.
As we mentioned in the beginning, having the smooth flow of cabinetry without the clutter of hardware breaking it up will induce a sense of calm and increase your well-being in the space. If you have an attached living space in an open concept design, it will also increase the visual flow across both rooms.
At the end of the day, please remember that being knowledgeable about your options and then choosing the one that feels right to you is the best choice, regardless of what your designer, your mother or your best friend says.
Make it a happy and healthy day!