Exploring the Advantages of Handleless Kitchen Cabinets

Handleless kitchens have become an elegant and modern trend among design interiors. Their sophisticated and minimalistic appearance, functionality, and range of options have caught the attention of both homeowners and designers. The handleless kitchen design delivers an exceptionally modern look because of its structure, seamless appearance, and clean lines. It is great for creating simple and uncluttered schemes, allowing the color and finish of the cabinets to take center stage. 

Most of our clients often emphasize that they would like to see their kitchen more symmetrical. This is not a strange wish at all, as evenly placed lines create a harmonious picture. It makes a place where order prevails, which is exactly what you always want to see in a kitchen. Handleless kitchen cabinets are therefore the perfect introduction to the renovation process and an ideal purchase for many years to come.

What is a Handleless kitchen?

The handleless kitchen design dates back to the 1960s when minimalist details in the interior began to gain significant importance. Designers of that time were inspired by the Bauhaus style and modernistic architecture and created a new kitchen style by removing some of the traditional design elements. Ironically, one of such elements was door handles.

Over the years, advances in materials and manufacturing techniques have helped to refine the handleless kitchen design. With the advent of new materials, designers have more options for creating seamless surfaces without visible mechanisms. In addition, the development of specialized mechanisms such as push-open systems has increased the functionality of handleless kitchen cabinets, making them bulkier and easier to use.

How does it work?

Since handleless kitchen cabinets are mostly free of traditional handles, how do you use them? After all, it is unbelievable that aesthetics exceed practicality and usability in an interior. 

The doors of the base and upper cabinets must be easy to open regardless of their location. Handleless kitchens use a mix of design elements and hardware to allow cabinets and drawers to open and close without visible handles or hinges. This can be realized with the help of a profile, milling, and countersunk mechanisms. 

Handleless cabinets are easy to maintain. No knobs will get in the way of wiping the surface or collecting extra dirt stuck somewhere between the fixtures.

Opting for handleless kitchen cabinets opens up a whole world of new design possibilities not available to kitchens with handles, allowing both designers and renovation enthusiasts to express their creativity. You can afford to experiment with forms, shapes, colors, and finishes. The main thing is not to forget about the golden rule that everything in kitchen design should be balanced.

Handles for handleless cabinets

Despite the name of the design, handleless kitchen cabinets will still have certain systems and mechanisms that will be used as handles. Each of these mechanisms has its features, but all of them are suitable for handleless cabinets, so your choice will be based on your wishes and preferences.

Push-to-open

The push-to-open mechanism opens kitchen cabinet fronts and drawers by simply pressing on the front. In other words, a slight pressure on the door will gently open the door and the drawer will slide slightly outwards.

The hand is touching the front of the handleless kitchen cabinet, demonstrating the push-to-open mechanism

The mechanism is ideal for lovers of streamlined design, without unnecessary details. It creates a true handleless kitchen and makes it look clean, smooth, and perfectly level, like a set of geometric shapes. In our Nordic collection, you can see this mechanism in the kitchen design. Push-to-open is also good because it is user-friendly, easy to use, and safe, for example, there is no risk of getting caught or bumped by the handle. In addition, this mechanism does not reduce the internal space of the kitchen cabinets, which allows you to store additional things inside.

There is a myth that to open cabinets with a push-to-open mechanism, you will have to force and push until the cabinet opens. However, you won’t encounter this issue if you purchase a high-quality mechanism. There is the thing is that push-to-open is more likely to leave fingerprints if you constantly have to touch the surface. This is something to keep in mind if you choose a glossy finish or not fingerprint-proof material, even then it’s not a problem if you take good care of the kitchen cabinet. They are more affordable than other hinges, so if your budget allows it, you will get the true handleless kitchen.

Profile handles: Gola & J-pull

Profile handles seem to be modern refinements of traditional ones. Instead of gripping the handle and pushing it to the desired side, these handles have a special cutout that must be pulled to open the cabinet.

Let's look at two types of profile handles.

J-Pull Handle

It's a good alternative to completely handleless cabinets like push-to-open, with the same advantage of an aesthetically minimalist look and convenient usage. According to this mechanism, the handle is built into the kitchen cabinet or drawer door itself. It has a J-shape just for holding on to it when opening the cabinet, thus making the whole process easier and more convenient. The handle itself isn't very noticeable, which doesn't disrupt the look of a handleless kitchen. You won't have to worry about cleanliness because, once again, these are not the kind of handles that gather dust or debris.

J-pull handles on two different kitchen cabinet designs

The disadvantage of J-Pull is that it is quite difficult to install on your own, however, you can always seek professional help. It also can be possible that the handle itself will bring more discomfort rather than comfort, so it's worth either seeing or trying a sample, or asking an expert more about it.

Anyway, it is still a good option if you don't want to give up the traditional approach of having more grip when opening the kitchen cabinet.

Gola Profile

In handleless kitchen design, the Gola profile is a structural element that is often hidden in the cabinet or drawer construction to make it easier to open and close the fronts without visible handles or buttons. Gola profiles are usually installed horizontally or vertically in the cabinet or drawer body and serve as a mechanism for smoothly opening and closing cabinet doors or drawers. 

The Gola profiles with different designs on two different kitchen cabinets

There are two basic shapes of Gola profiles: the L-shaped handle, which is placed under the worktop, and the C-shaped handle, which is placed between the drawers. There is also a vertical Gola profile, which is used, for example, for built-in refrigerators or some tall cabinets. If you have both types of profiles in your kitchen, it is highly desirable that they are from the same manufacturer and that there is no variation in the design of the profile. They come in a variety of colors, such as black or metallic stainless steel type. There are also white and the color of pure aluminum. These are standard colors, but if desired, they can be painted in the color of the facade.

Gola profiles are needed to make a gap between the facades, and in the depth of this gap stands this profile, forming a kind of cavity in which you grab with your hand, and open the facades. They are attached to the cabinets with the help of various corners, which are inserted here in the groove, moved along this groove with screws, screwed to the handle, and screwed to the kitchen cabinets with self-tapping screws. To install such profiles in the kitchen in the vertical posts of the lower enclosures, cutouts need to be made.

The profile handles complement the minimalist look of the kitchen design and enhance its modernization to its full potential and beauty.

Finger Pulls

Finger pull cabinets are becoming increasingly popular with those looking for a stylish and modern kitchen design. The combination of innovative solutions with an aesthetic twist gives a comfortable use to the space, and it increases the pleasure of using it.

There are several types of finger pull handles that can be used in your kitchen design.

Standard finger pulls

Finger pull kitchen cabinets have a groove along the top or bottom edge of the fronts that serves as a handle. They are typically ergonomically designed to provide a comfortable grip and easy opening of the kitchen cabinet. Instead of using traditional handles, you simply insert your fingers into the groove and pull the door toward you.

The hand is opening a kitchen cabinet with a finger pull on the right, the open drawer, demonstrating the handle, on the left

The good thing is that you won't need additional hardware, which in turn makes this style one of the most economical types of handleless kitchen cabinets. In addition, you don't need to make changes to the cabinet structure itself.

Custom finger pulls

Custom finger pulls include cut-out handles, which in turn can have different shapes (rectangle, oval, etc). Often this type also includes handles that are cut into colored facades and have wood inside of them. To create this handle, a solid wood is inserted into the middle of the facade so that the handle is colored on the outside and the wood is visible inside.

Two different options for custom finger pulls, the right one is oval, and the left one is a C-shaped wooden handle

The second type of custom finger pulls is the wooden pulls. They are suitable for facades that are made of wood veneer or solid wood, and usually, they go in the color of the facade so that the handle seems invisible. Wooden pulls are typically made from solid wood.

The advantage of this type of finger pull is that it is aesthetically pleasing, stylish and truly unique with its design. On the other hand, this is natural wood we are talking about, and it isn't as durable as metal. The other thing is the cost of these finger pulls especially because of solid wood and their custom specifics.

Beveled Edge

Beveled edges can be found on a wide variety of furnishings and serve both stylistic and practical purposes. As you can already guess, this mechanism is also used when installing handleless kitchen cabinets for this very reason.

A kitchen cabinet with a beveled edge is opened

The beveled edges function in much the same way as the Gola profiles, that is, they create a special finger space that allows the kitchen cabinet to be opened easily. What is also good about this mechanism is that it is cost-effective because it does not require hardware and you can get the entire cabinet finished together during their installation. A small plus is that the choice of beveled edges is flexible and has no color restrictions.

Kitchen designs with handleless cabinets

The design of handleless kitchen cabinets is also convenient in a way that it can fit any interior. As a result, another feature is highlighted, which has transformed this type of cabinet into a favorite for many people. It’s a flexibility. There are many kitchen styles, and you can find a handleless cabinet option for almost each of them.

Mostly handleless kitchen cabinets are associated with the following kitchen designs:

Contemporary kitchen

Contemporary kitchen design combines all the latest trends and popular trends in the world of interiors. It is most popular for its flexibility, as it allows both a combination of traditional design elements and fully immersed in modernity. Cabinets in this kitchen often use glossy or matte shades to create a modern look.

Handleless cabinets are a trend that has accompanied the modern kitchen for many years, so much so that they are often associated with this design. Apart from the sleek minimalist look, they offer maximum storage capacity, which will not keep things out of the drawers and thus overload the kitchen design with unnecessary details. And that is why we are sure that the relevance of handleless cabinets with contemporary style will not diminish.

Scandinavian kitchen design

To show a balance between tradition and modernity, handleless cabinets are often used in this kitchen design, where comfort and convenience prevail.

In one of our previous articles, we talked about how handleless cabinets are great for a Scandinavian kitchen because of their elegant minimalistic look and large capacity. That's what fits in with the “hügge” concept that the kitchen design is inspired by. It means that a flat and smooth surface creates a pleasing picture for the eyes, which you want to look at and be in all the time. The aesthetic component is not a substitute for practicality, but becomes one with it, filling the whole design with a sense of harmony. Our company offers our customers the following handleless kitchen design in a similar style.

Japandi kitchen style

A popular Kitchen style, which combines the features of Scandinavian design and the aesthetic traditions of Japan. This kitchen design adopted the best features of existing styles while adhering to established principles of minimalism and simplicity. The use of natural materials enhances the effect and emphasizes the chosen shape and texture of the cabinets.

Among our collections, there is one kitchen design whose cabinets were inspired by the Japandi style. You can see what such cabinets look like and how they fit into a modern environment.

Minimalist kitchen design

The name says it all: the fewer details, the better. Handleless cabinets are an integral component of such kitchen design. The minimalist approach to this design implies simplified forms and minimal use of decorations. Handleless cabinets create smooth, uncomplicated surfaces, clearly delineating the space and creating perfect symmetrical proportions. 

A perfect example of a similar design is our Marble Collection kitchen, which showcases the beautiful brevity created through handleless cabinets.

Conclusion

Many kitchen designs resemble each other due to the presence of similar elements in furnishings and aesthetics. Especially when it comes to something along the lines of handless cabinets. As you can see, they can fit into almost any kitchen. However, it is the appropriate choice of cabinet material, styling, and organization that will make you feel the difference between the designs. 

In addition, you are the one who decorates your kitchen by choosing the right cabinets, their shape, color or finish, and their placement.

Regardless of the style you choose, handleless kitchen cabinets add modern charm and functionality to your kitchen space, making it more elegant and user-friendly.

Victoria Hoffman
May 22, 2024
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6 min read
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