I Asked Designers About The Best Shape for a Kitchen Drawer Handle — Now I Need to Change All My Hardware!

Kitchen hardware may seem like an easy decision, but the handles and knobs you choose can make or break your space. Here's what designers want you to know

A kitchen with dark green cabinets and long, copper handles on drawers
(Image credit: Jenifer McNeil Baker. Studio credit Maestri Studio)

While homeowners usually give a lot of thought to the color, counter materials, and lighting for the kitchen, more often than not the hardware becomes an afterthought. But, as they say, the devil is in the detail, and the right knob or pull can make a serious visual impact, elevating the room effortlessly. The drawers are opened countless times in the day and a well-made piece of hardware can truly impact how you use your kitchen.

This is why we decided to ask experts on what drawer handle shape is the most ergonomic and ideal. Take a look at their advice and learn more about modern kitchen ideas on hardware.

What is the best shape for a kitchen drawer handle?

A kitchen with gold-plated drawer handles

(Image credit: sdelaemremont)

'I feel the handle shape and its convenience comes down to the user,' says Julia Mack, founder of Julia Mack Design. 'Generally, larger, more linear, sleek pulls in a contrasting metal to the cabinetry color are the best to use. These are also useful in homes with children and elderly using the kitchen. They are easier to grasp, reducing small mishaps and possible larger accidents.'

Pulls in refined finishes and pop colors look great on a kitchen shelf or drawer and are a big kitchen hardware trend. These are usually more expensive than knobs but are available in many different sizes, finishes, and shapes.

What makes this shape ergonomic?

A kitchen with green drawers and copper handles

(Image credit: Herve Goluza. Studio credit Space Factory)

'Generally, long, linear pulls look and work great on oversized doors (like a pantry or cabinet door) and work best because of their size,' says Ariel Bleich, founder of Ariel Bleich Design. 'And, it's more practical to hold on to. On cabinetry, I like combining knobs and pulls to give a more understated and varied look to the hardware.'

From large to small kitchen layouts, these beauties make working in the kitchen an easy task.

'Do note that a pull handle that has access from the top and bottom with no protruding ends to snag on clothing is best,' says Laura Williams, founder of ATX Interior Design.

What finishes are best for the drawer handle?

Wooden kitchen by Bright Designlab

(Image credit: Bright Designlab. Photo credit: Crosby Dove)

Giving your hardware a bejeweled look is the biggest trend for kitchen cabinet pulls and drawer handles.

'For finishes, I think it depends a lot on how much you want the hardware to show,' says Ariel. 'For example, if you have wood-stained cabinets and you want a monochromatic look for the hardware, then brass can be a nice option because of its low contrast with most wood tones. But if you want a high-contrast look then brass on a dark-painted cabinet can be beautiful as well. I like and use all the finishes for hardware and I think any of them can be timeless. It just depends on what they are combined with, and what the overall aesthetic direction is for the project. The finishes I use the most are polished nickel, brass, and bronze.'

3 drawer handles to buy

Design Editor

Aditi Sharma Maheshwari is the Design Editor at Livingetc. She is an architecture and design journalist with over 10 years of experience. She's worked at some of the leading media houses in India such as Elle Decor, Houzz and Architectural Digest (Condé Nast). Till recently, she was a freelance writer for publications such as Architectural Digest US, House Beautiful, Stir World, Beautiful Homes India among others. In her spare time, she volunteers at animal shelters and other rescue organizations.