A life without handles!
For many kitchen buyers, there is a strong want to have a clean line handle-less kitchen. The look is very modern and very current in today’s design trends. In fact, such has been the uptake in this style of kitchen, it has outlasted all predictions. When the first handle-less kitchen was produced, the entire market believed this was going to be a 24-month design trend. At the time handle-less design concepts were released, the current hot topic in kitchen design was soft close. Compared with soft close, which is a true function, many in the industry believe the handle-less design was a pure design-driven concept. Whilst this is entirely true, (there is little functional benefit), the uptake of this design trend has been so strong that many now know it is here to stay. Therefore, we have dedicated an entire section on our site, to this concept. So read on to gain more knowledge of the design, style and its considerations.
HANDLE-LESS KITCHEN STYLE
In our opening statement on handle-less living, we talked about the design style being clean-lined and very modern. It is our belief here at Peter Hay kitchens that handle-less design style is only truly fitted to clean- lined modern kitchens and cabinets. Given this, if you are considering a handle-less design style, you will need to ask yourself some important questions.
Does the design style fit with the theme of my current house? Does the design style fit with my plans? Both are important questions, as most kitchens, these days are still viewed as aesthetic masterpieces and not truly functional, aesthetically pleasing workspaces.
Does the colour palette I have chosen, fit the design style of a handle-less kitchen? Whilst the first handle-less kitchens were produced in mainly high gloss white finishes, we have seen wonderfully created spaces in today’s equally popular satin or matte finishes.
Can I pull off a black colour palette? Do I enjoy cleaning? Do I have children? The truth is all handle-less kitchens operate by touch and that touch is generally by hand. Fingers leave finger marks!
In summary, consider your theme and your colour palette. There are not many Shaker style handle-less kitchens for a reason and black looks great in magazines, however in reality, it is difficult to live with.
There are a few ways to create a clean lined modern handle-less kitchen, however truly handle-less functions are created with only two options, mechanically or electrically assisted. So, let’s explain the differences.
TIP-ON and TIP-ON with Blumotion are the names our mechanical technology goes by. The systems work on a push activation trigger to activate the function. A gentle push is all that is required. A synchronisation bar operates with an activation trigger to make sure equal pressure is applied to the cabinet face. This is particularly important when the push activation is not in the centre of the cabinet face.
TIP-ON is available in cabinets with doors and TIP-ON with Blumotion in cabinets with drawers only. TIP-ON for the AVENTOS system is available in the HK operating motion only, however clever design in the overheads cabinet area by dropping the door slightly below the cabinet face, means you can pull from behind the door, reducing the need for a handle.
CONSIDERATIONS OF MECHANICALLY ASSISTED
Whilst the TIP-ON function gives you everything you need in a truly handle-less design style, there are trade-offs with the system. The system does not feature lean protection, meaning the drawer or door will open with any pressure applied, whether you meant to open it or not.
TIP-ON for doors and TIP-ON for AVENTOS systems use a manual close. This means the system does not operate with a spring mechanism to pull the doors in like traditional soft close systems. Because of this, the mechanical system can’t feature soft close.
TIP-ON with Blumotion in a mechanically assisted operation featuring soft close, is now available in our ANTARO drawer programs.
Like anything there are a consideration with any choice and once understood, TIP-ON provides great motion technology to give you that dream kitchen look.
SERVO-DRIVE is our electrically assisted motion technology. SERVO-DRIVE works on the same type of pressure applied to the cabinet face, but unlike TIP-ON with its mechanical activation, SERVO-DRIVE uses a small electric trigger to push open the drawer or lift-up door. The difference between SERVO-DRIVE and TIP-ON is the electric activation and because of the electric assistance, the drawer or lift-up features soft close as its closing function, it really is the best technology money can buy.
We leave door cabinets with SERVO-DRIVE, as the truth is there isn’t any options, and the TIP-ON system works just fine.
CONSIDERATIONS OF ELECTRICALLY ASSISTED
The SERVO-DRIVE technology is really very good and in truth there are very few considerations. Activation distances are in line with all standard kitchen hardware and the system features soft close. The system also features lean protection, meaning the drawer or lift-up will not open when prolonged pressure is applied.
The major consideration is the price. The technology is expensive when compared with traditional hardware. Power locations are also required in certain areas of the kitchen, meaning you have added cost with electricians when you undertake your kitchen project.
As with TIP-ON, SERVO-DRIVE once truly understood provides a truly wonderful motion experience for your kitchen and cabinets.
You now need to consider the integration of the handle-less design style into the rest of the kitchen. Handle-less operations work on all door, drawer and lift-up cabinets. There are considerations to made with other hardware.
Waste bins for starters are available, but only as a drawer mounted systems. The Peter Hay UNO system is a perfect consideration. Our Peter Hay LE MANS system works well with the handle-less style. Other systems that are front-mounted will not work effectively, or at all without the use of a handle.
Our SPACE CORNER cabinet solution also requires consideration. The system with a normal handle setup uses a collapsing unit in the drawer front. This angles the front past the adjacent cabinets. With SERVO-DRIVE, the front remains rigid and requires profiling of the drawer fronts. Because of this, certain types of decor materials are an issue. Considerations will need to be made when deciding on your colour palette.
Appliances with integrated fronts are also difficult to work into the design style. Dishwashers and fridges when integrated need handles. Mid 2016 SERVO-DRIVE Flex was launched to solve this issue. But like all electrical assistance, it comes with a price.
So, what constitutes a handle-less design style? Is it the true absence of handles, or is it the flat clean-lined fronts that draw people in? For each and every customer there are many reasons. For some of those reasons, Peter Hay provides some excellent alternative approaches.
Providing a clean cabinet front whilst retaining the standard functions. An extruded handle profile finished in Nickel, or powder coated to match or contrast. A groove cut into the cabinet sides, runs along the full length of the cabinetry, providing a great look.
Like all things, the GOLA handle requires some consideration. Under bench appliances and kitchens with several return angles, need thought.
Like the GOLA handle, the MILAN handle extends your options with clean-lined kitchens.
The handle profile in extruded aluminium is back fixed on each cabinet front. This is different from the GOLA handle which works independent, of the cabinet fronts. A MILAN handle is available in a Natural Anodised, Nickel Plate or can be powder coated to match or contrast.
The MILAN handle is a cheaper option than GOLA. It requires less machining and has greater flexibility with appliances and kitchens with return angles.
A MILAN handle is the perfect choice for a cleaned line kitchen with a more modest budget. Plus, you get the bonus of all those wonderful standard features available in the Peter Hay range.
Removing the handle all together is the idea behind profiling the cabinet fronts. By taking the front and machining a 45-degree cut back on the top of each cabinet face. The PROFILED concept works without the aid of a fitted handle.
With PROFILED fronts, the finish is as per the material of choice, of which there are limitations. PROFILED fronts are only for Lacquer or Timber Veneered cabinet materials. They require a difficult machining process, this is difficult to replicate well, on Melteca or Acrylic materials.
The PROFILED option works with a cut-out in the cabinet side. It uses a detailed strip to separate each individual front.
A PROFILED front is the most expensive option.
TOP FIXING HANDLES WITH EDGE STRAIGHT
A simpler way of achieving a modern clean-lined kitchen. Many sizes, a range of finishes from Aluminium to Copper, Brass to Black. Edge Straight has everything you need to pull off that clean line look.
The handle mounts to the top of the door and screwed into place from behind. The handle allows you to use standard cabinets with standard Blumotion soft-closing features. Just be careful when turning right angles, the handles don’t collide with each other.
Combined with our handle-less wall cabinet, you have a very smart kitchen, at a great price.
There is no doubt that a clean-lined handle-less design style is the go-to option for many kitchen buyers. After all it is the current trend, the concept has now outlasted its original perception. Because of this, we are seeing innovative solutions from various suppliers.
Considerations come with trade-offs on various options. Whether it be the loss of soft-close, the option of integrated appliances, use of a handle or the high upfront cost of electric assistance, they all need thought.
So, what is the perfect balance? Well, it is up to you. However, we have spent many hours researching and developing our latest range, so we are going to give you an answer.
Try this. A Melteca cabinet front with ZERO JOINT technology, with a 20mm Engineered Stone top. Combine this with a MILAN handle, you have one very high spec, fantastically functional kitchen. With clean lines and a contemporary design style, at a very affordable price.