How to choose kitchen cabinet handles and other finishing touches

How to choose kitchen cabinet handles and other finishing touches

While we’re firm believers in the importance of signature stone worktops to establish a kitchen design scheme, it’s also true that finishing touches can tie everything together. So once you’ve made the big decisions, like choosing between granite, marble and quartz for your sweeping worktop, it’s time to look at features like cabinet handles. But how do you make sure that when you choose these finishing touches, they are right for your overall concept?

Cabinet Handles

The style of kitchen cabinet handles, or even if they’re there at all, can have a huge impact on your overall kitchen aesthetic. Not only this, but remember that you have to use them every day. So it’s important to think about functionality as well as appearance.


The first thing to consider is the shape of a handle. This aspect ties directly into the design concept of your kitchen. So, very traditional country kitchens often work well with round knobs rather than bar handles. However, if you find rounded knobs are inconvenient to use, more ornately shaped bar handles remain in keeping. Shaker and coastal concepts sit well with cup shaped handles. Straight lined bar handles are popular for more contemporary kitchen concepts. Within these styles, you can choose from rounded, flat or more bespoke shaped products.


Historically, brass and wood tend to be used for more traditional kitchen styled cabinet handles, and brushed and polished chrome or steel for more modern concepts. However, kitchen trends have become a lot more experimental, and vintage accents are very popular for finishing touches such as cabinet handles. This means that many more options are open and can make the choice even more overwhelming! The important thing is to think about how the colour of a handle finish sits against its immediate surroundings: the cabinet fronts and stone worktop. 


Similarly, kitchens of old would seek to match a finish across a kitchen. So brushed steel for cabinet handles, light fittings and sinkware, for example. Now, mixed materials are much more popular across a kitchen design concept. Indeed, some handles are mixed material themselves with wood and iron elements combined. If you’re going to pursue a mixed material kitchen trend, it needs to be carefully considered and planned otherwise the overall look can become rather jumbled. Aged brass or copper can work really well as a contrast in modern kitchen concepts, as long as it ties in with other aspects of the kitchen.


The size of your kitchen cabinet handles is both a visual and practical consideration. You may like the idea of oversized statement handles. However, if the handles are so large that they knock into a wall or irritate you to open, then it’s simply not worth it. Similarly, if a handle is so small that you slip each time you use it, it’s not a great idea. General advice is to keep the size of handles consistent across the kitchen. There are no hard and fast rules, though and as long as it’s done intentionally, mixing sizes can be appealing and unusual.


For a super modern and sleek design, handleless cabinets and drawers are ideal. Without handles to interrupt the line of units, the scope for colour and contrast is widened. In this way, ultra contemporary kitchens which seek to include a splash of colour work fantastically as part of a handleless design. Similarly, minimalist monochrome schemes without handles can create fabulous lines that are clean and uncluttered.

Other Finishing Touches

In order to think about how your cabinet handles tie in with the other finishing touches of your kitchen, it’s important to plan them all at the same time. Below, we’ve looked at some of the main aspects that you may consider as a finishing touch to your kitchen design.


We talked earlier about mixing or matching the finish of your cabinet handles to your sinkware. Obviously if cabinet handles are wood this isn’t possible, but for steel and chrome materials, people often prefer to keep their choice of brushed or polished finish consistent. Large, industrial look steel sinks and taps are popular for super modern kitchens. However, many people prefer to keep the length of their stone worktop uninterrupted by integrating a draining board into the worktop and choosing an undermounted sink. Traditional kitchens really suit a large, statement ceramic sink, with brass or nickel taps. However, for kitchens that have a lot of eye catching detail elsewhere, you may prefer a more understated sink area. 

Window Dressing

The way that you dress your windows should support your overall kitchen design concept. Curtains tend to suit more country kitchen styles, while blinds feel more modern. Having said that, wooden shaker blinds work beautifully in old and modern kitchens alike! Don’t forget about the impact that your decision has on there amount of natural light in your kitchen. You may have already maximised natural light by choosing a reflective, sparkling quartz worktop. If natural light remains a concern in a darker aspect room, you may want to ditch window dressing altogether in favour of a sleek window trim.


When it comes to your new kitchen lighting, the choice of fixtures and fittings are a fantastic way of making the space unique. If you have a breakfast bar or kitchen island, bespoke pendant lighting offers a unique way to illuminate the space and reinforce your colour scheme. Or look to freestanding lamps or wall features for ambient lighting.


A fantastic way to keep your kitchen feeling fresh and healthy is to scatter greenery around the space. This could be with floor plants and an indoor herb garden on a windowsill or even inlaid into a stone worktop. Alternatively use the space above your kitchen wall cabinets to trail plants. Don’t forget to keep a well stocked fruit bowl on your kitchen island or breakfast bar to keep the space colourful and fresh.


Kitchen trends have moved away from hiding everything and towards displaying choice items. You can use open shelving to show off unique collection pieces. Don’t overdo it as display can very easily appear messy, and you don’t want to clutter up your stone worktop! Glass or mesh fronted cabinets can integrate your display into the rest of your space without becoming imposing.

Finishing touches can be a really fun way to stamp your individual style on a kitchen. But first, start with a great foundation of a statement stone worktop. Just contact us to get started.

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