The trend for handleless kitchens has been growing steadily in recent years. Smooth, streamlined and sleek have become the watchwords of modern kitchen design. As with any aspect of kitchens, handleless designs won’t be for everyone. However, there is no doubt that any list of latest kitchen styles for 2022 would be incomplete without handleless kitchens. Here we give you our comprehensive guide to the handleless look – with a specific focus on three particular types: solid wood handleless, true handleless, and push to open handleless.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about these fantastic latest kitchen styles. This will help you to decide whether they are suited to your lifestyle and taste.
Latest kitchen styles: Handleless kitchens – the story so far
When people see a handleless kitchen for the first time, they often comment on how modern – even futuristic – the design looks. What comes as a surprise to many people is to learn that handleless kitchens are nothing new at all. In fact, they’ve been around for over 40 years now. However, when they were first introduced onto the market, they didn’t really catch on. To be fair, handleless kitchens were probably a bit ahead of their time the first time around. Sales in the retail market never represented more than only a tiny percentage of total sales. Therefore, designs of handleless kitchens were not developed and explored in any substantial way by manufacturers and designers alike.
However, decades on and the climate is different. With more and more homeowners looking to embrace contemporary living, and the role of the kitchen itself evolving, handleless kitchen doors really have enjoyed something of a rebirth.
The streamlined nature of handleless kitchen design delivers a straightforward and sleek look that is the perfect accompaniment for the busy modern lifestyles that many of us now lead.
The main advantages of handleless kitchens
The smooth and streamlined nature of a handleless kitchen means that it is a look that blends in effortlessly with most contemporary and classic kitchen designs. It is especially suited to open-plan layouts. Of course, open-plan kitchen/living areas have become particularly popular in recent years. With such designs, it is important not to interrupt the flow between different zones and spaces. You really want the flow to be seamless. However, handles and the like can make the transition jarringly obvious and distinct. Naturally, the handleless look really comes into its own in this respect.
Similarly, the need for space in the home has become even more pressing due to the demands of modern living. As there are no overhanging handles and hardware on a handleless kitchen design, it makes the food preparation space more effective and easier to navigate around. This makes a handleless kitchen a great choice for homeowners who have limited floor space to play with. In fact, it can really create the illusion of space, as well as light and airy feel.
The design offers safety benefits too. The kitchen can be a potentially hazardous place as it is with hot surfaces and sharp utensils around. At least a handleless kitchen removes one potential risk – handles that can be easily run-into by children (and that are often at child-head height too, of course).
Solid Wood Handleless Kitchens: The Lowdown
Traditionally, solid wood has been the go-to choice for homeowners who want cabinets that bring a natural look to any space. With beautiful and unique grain patterns, solid wood brings charm, character and warmth to a room that is hard to beat. You could argue that in terms of aesthetics, solid wood is unrivalled.
Yes, solid wood has long since received the plaudits for its unique customization features and its overall look of class and traditional timeless quality.
Latest Kitchen Styles: The Harborne Collection
At Kitchen Warehouse, we have responded to the growing trend for solid wood handleless designs. Our Harborne collection is the perfect combination of ultra-modern minimalism and timeless kitchen design. The design incorporates a twist on one of the ultimate classic kitchen styles – The Shaker.
The Shaker, with its distinctive traditional panelling, is one of the most recognisable of all kitchen styles. However, perhaps the oldest popular kitchen design is given a futuristic reboot with the Harborne. The classic styling is blended with a handleless design. Harborne cabinets and doors incorporate integrated handles. The result is both unique and unusual – but somehow manages to retain the familiarity of the original Shaker look. There is no doubt that it is a winning combination
Wide colour choices for solid wood handleless kitchens
In many ways, our Harborne Painted Solid Wood Handleless Units give you the best of both worlds. The design is an irresistible mix of the classic and traditional Shaker and the ultra-modern, handleless. Despite its heritage and pedigree, nobody could accuse Shaker kitchens of being old-fashioned or old-hat in anyway – the look has moved with the times and remained current and vital throughout the decades. However, the twist that the Harborne brings to the piece really is something to behold. This is the ultimate mix of the classic and the contemporary.
The doors to Harborne units are manufactured using traditional mortise and tenon methods. Quality is assured and the frontages are unmistakably Shaker-esque. However, the absence of handles creates a genuinely different look. With over ten sumptuous colour choices at your disposal, you will be sure to be able to select a shade that truly suits your tastes. From greys and greens to beiges and blues, these are colours that complement each other superbly. On the other hand, they are tones that are more than strong enough to carry the whole room, should you choose to use one colour right across the whole kitchen.
Are there any negatives to handleless kitchens?
Of course, the honest answer to this question is ‘Yes’. There are pros and cons to any kitchen style and any interior design choice. The thing is that, if you are already sold on the advantages of handleless kitchens: the ultra-modern look and efficiency of space, it is unlikely that a few potential drawbacks will put you off.
But it’s only right that you make any decision with your eyes wide open. When it comes to cleaning a handleless kitchen, it really is a case of swings and roundabouts. It’s true that if you choose a high gloss handleless kitchen (especially in white), you can expect finger marks to be visible and build up on the surface. Similarly, dust will soon accumulate in the channel – the opening ledge – of the cabinet.
However, on the flip side, anybody who has spent time desperately trying to clean awkwardly-shaped handles on their kitchen cabinets will be glad of the change and be happy enough to give your handleless cabinets an occasional wipe down instead as a trade-off.
What about the practicalities?
Generally speaking, there is no reason why a handleless kitchen should be any less practical than any other kitchen type of kitchen design. If you have mobility issues or conditions that affect the hands – such as arthritis – then you may have to concede that a handleless kitchen might not be the most sensible choice.
Other than that, you just need to decide which type of handleless kitchen style is best for you: true handleless or push to open.
Although it’s obvious from the name what a handleless kitchen looks like, there are actually three different types of handleless mechanisms. For each variation, the outward look is the same. There are no handles on cabinets or drawers. However, each of the three different mechanisms open in a slightly different way.
What’s a J-Pull?
With a J-Pull design, a handle is incorporated into the door or drawer. A ‘J’ shaped (hence the name) curve is built into the cabinet so that your fingers can easily hook into the curve to effortlessly pull the door open. The true handleless design differs from the J-Pull as it has no built-in handle feature at all. In its place, a rail is positioned behind the drawer or door. This essentially creates the space for the fingers to grip and pull-open. Typically, true handleless cabinets can open from the side or the top of the unit.
Finally, push-to-open mechanisms offer an alternative to pulling the door or drawer open. They are self-explanatory really – a light touch is all that is needed to open. For lower cabinets the touch can be your foot rather than your hand.
True Handleless: How does it work?
A true handleless kitchen gives you a clean and uncluttered look. The absence of handles means that the eyes are not drawn to anything other than the lines of the kitchen. This makes any space look open, modern, and more spacious.
True handleless designs are one of the latest kitchen styles for 2022. This ultra-modern look features a top rail instead of handles. The rail sits underneath the worktop with enough space to allow your fingers to slot into the top of the drawer or cabinet. Only one rail is needed to the top of each row of cabinetry, as the lower drawers work through a push-to-open mechanism. This can be a godsend in various aspects of kitchen design and keeps everything clean and tidy.
The finger rail on true handleless units will be positioned to the furthest edge of the cabinet. This can be horizontal or vertical and depends on direction of the units. This means that if you have a longer run of base units, such as on an island or a group of floor to ceiling wall units, the finger rail will be one continuous piece with no breaks.
Similarly, on the horizontal recess that exists between the worktop and the door or drawer, a rail will run along the entire section. With vertical rails, the ergonomics are faultless. The rail is essentially in the perfect place for any person, regardless of their height.
Latest Kitchen Styles: Push-to-open handleless kitchen designs
Last, but not least, on our list of the latest kitchen styles for 2022 comes push-to-open handleless designs. The name of the style pretty much says it all. Instead of a handle on the front, a push-to-open latch is placed on the inside. The latch is released when the door is pushed and the door opens.
So, why should you choose this type of kitchen cabinet? Well, there are several advantages to choosing a push-to-open handleless kitchen. As part of the handleless design ‘family’, push-to-open designs look sleek, stylish and streamlined. If you want a contemporary look with the emphasis on clean angles and straight lines, push-to-open designs create a genuine statement piece.
Easy to make changes
Of course, if you decide to make changes to your kitchen in the future, you can save yourself the hassle of finding replacement handles to fit existing holes. Over time, this makes renovating and updating of the kitchen space much less of an ordeal.
On a practical note, the big advantage that a push-to-open handleless kitchen has over other types of handleless designs is that you can open your cabinets and drawers, even if your hands are full. Not only that, as push-to-open cabinets don’t have a handle on the front it saves space and prevents potential accidents.
Latest kitchen styles: Which handleless kitchen is right for you?
One of the fastest growing designs of handleless kitchens in the UK are matt handleless units. The sleek design and easy-to-clean and space-saving qualities of handleless kitchens have been well-documented. Unsurprisingly, it is high gloss handleless kitchens that tend to steal a lot of the attention. This is due to the ultra-modern look that they create in any space.
However, sneaking up on the blind-side in many respects has been matt handleless. We have no doubt that the growth of more matt finishes and colours has significantly contributed to the increased popularity of handleless kitchens overall.
As demand increases, it is only right that Kitchen Warehouse customers a greater range of finishes and colours. All our matt handleless kitchen doors are 22 mm thick. These sprayed matt doors are manufactured to exacting standards in Italy. They are definitely one of the best quality handleless doors currently on the UK market. All are produced using the very latest manufacturing methods and technology, the satin smooth finish of these doors really is something to behold.
Matt handleless kitchens: Looks that steal the show
Matt handleless kitchens are very practical and easy-to-clean too. However, their looks still the show. Simply stunning are really the only words to use. Matt handleless has quickly become one of our most popular lines. To keep up with demand, we keep adding to the selection of colours that we have available. We make it easy to choose the correct-sized units to fit perfectly into the home. This is regardless of the shape and size of the space.
Some of our superb units are on display at our showroom in Ripon. Alternatively, you can order a sample online. This gives you the opportunity to check the quality of the finish and the shade of the colour up-close in your own kitchen, before you decide to buy. Feel free to contact the team by email or phone if you have any questions or queries.
Matt handleless: A wide range of colours to choose from
There are a wide range of great colours to choose from with matt handleless kitchens. For the classic look, Matt White will tick all the boxes. However, for something softer, we’ve got you covered. Matt Porcelain and Matt Cashmere are both sumptuous and stunning shades to die for. For fans of grey – a colour that is right on trend at the moment, there are two gorgeous tones to choose from: Matt Dust Grey and Matt Light Grey. Both of these beautiful tones of grey will create a contemporary and modern feel for your kitchen space. Last but not least, for those of you that prefer bolder colours, there are three other great colours to mull over. Matt Indigo, Matt Anthracite, and Matt Marine. Matt Marine is particularly popular right now, as it marries blue and green (two very on-trend colours) together in perfect harmony. The choice is yours!
Latest Kitchen Styles for 2022: The Final Verdict
There’s no denying that handleless kitchens are the look for 2022. We’re not surprised. In fact, the only thing we are surprised about is that it has taken so long for handleless styles to become this popular. To be fair, handleless kitchens have come a long way since those early versions of the 1970s and 1980s. The current round of handleless kitchens are built for the present and the future. That much is sure. We see no reason why the current trend for handleless designs might diminish any time soon.
A handleless kitchen makes a kitchen about as safe as it can be. With no protruding handles exposed, there will be no fear of accidents – bumps and scratches, or rips and pulls. Of course, it is also true that choosing a handleless kitchen will also give some additional space too. As there is no overhang from the cabinetry, the design helps to create a light and airy feel in the space. The look is particularly successful when looking at creating an open-plan living space. There are no handles to disrupt the fluidity and flow of the space. This is particularly important when it comes to open-plan spaces.
A beautiful and highly functional design
Although the functional and practical aspects of handleless kitchen design brings considerable advantages. However, we believe that it will always be with the beautiful design and look of these kitchens that handleless wins the most plaudits. A well-chosen and fitted handleless kitchen genuinely has the power to take your breath away. The sight really can be that stunning when you see it in the flesh.
There is no better kitchen design that will deliver such a clean and contemporary aesthetic. The sleek and smooth surfaces of the units are guaranteed to make any kitchen look elegant and classy.
What’s more, there is now such a wide range of materials, finishes and colours to choose from with handleless kitchens too. This means that you should feel confident that you will able to choose a style that is totally suited to your personal tastes and the individual needs of your home.
Latest Kitchen Styles: Solid wood, true or push-to-open?
Solid wood handleless, true handleless and push-to-open handleless are the latest kitchen styles that are on trend for 2022. Choose one of these great looks if you want to be right on-trend. However, bear in mind that any type of handleless kitchen will give you a breathtaking look for your kitchen.
If you are planning a kitchen update or upgrade anytime soon, a handleless kitchen is the inspired choice. This is contemporary kitchen styling at its finest.
Come on over to the Kitchen Warehouse showroom in Ripon to see some stunning styles of handleless kitchens for yourself. Alternatively, check out the website. All the information you need about choosing and buying a handleless kitchen is there on the site. Finally, don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like to speak to one of the expert and friendly Kitchen Warehouse team members about handleless kitchens. We are always happy to help.