Over the past few years we have noticed a gradual shift away from vertical built in handle grips between tall cupboards to other handle options. So what’s new for 2022? We explore three alternative handle choices for tall units and look at the pros and cons of each approach to help you make the right selection for your new kitchen.

Built in horizontal handles

Many contemporary kitchens now have the option to add built in horizontal handles instead of vertical. This can be made of the same door material like a J-Pull handle or a built in metal grip in a matching or contrasting décor. Shown here, two examples of Arrital’s new ‘Cover Up’ handle solution for a matching grip.

Pros – By removing the 3cm vertical grips and replacing with horizontal handles built into each door, space is saved for more storage, the horizontal grip line of the tall units continues the line of the base unit grips for a streamlined look. Cons – it’s not obvious which way the door will open, can be heavy to open fridge doors with a horizontal grip.

Touch to open handles

For a true handleless look, there is the option to add touch to open doors instead. A firm press of the door pushes the door open just enough for the door to be pulled fully open. Shown here, Next 125 kitchens both with tip on doors for the tall units and with a ‘hidden kitchen’ element found in their range of retractable door units.

Pros – Creates clean minimalistic lines for tall units, can hide everything away including appliances by fitting retractable tip on doors. Cons – Can be opened accidentally by leaning, certain units such as refrigeration or bin units require electric assist mechanisms to be fitted which adds extra cost.

Oversized external handles

Kitchens with this look either use the handles as a bold contrast or match the finish of the door for seamless integration. Shown here, an Arrital AK 05 kitchen with matching black handles and a Next 125 kitchen with contrasting steel handles (image that says thumbnail is the Next one)

Pros – Easier to open fridge doors and tall units with internal pull outs with longer handles, easy for all members of the family to reach the handles Cons – As with all external handles, a build-up of dirt around the handle would require regular cleaning.