Handles are everywhere in our homes. They are visible, obviously! so they have an impact on the look and feel of our homes. We don’t get to choose the handles on most of our furniture so we can end up with ones that we don’t particularly like or that don’t complement the design scheme of the rest of the room.
In addition, handles are tactile, we touch them several times a day and they leave an impression on us; do they feel smooth, cold, sturdy or warm? Does this impression leave us with a positive experience? Does a grubby handle remind you that you really need to do a long overdue spring clean for example? Do old-fashioned or tarnished handles take the shine off an otherwise lovely room?
These days you don’t have to be stuck with handles that you don’t love. Handles are now very affordable and easy to buy online so what are you waiting for? Replace any old or ugly handles with something better and instantly refresh your home.
Clean and Touchup
First of all, you should make sure the surface of the cupboard doors look neat and tidy, you should give them a good clean with something like a cream cleaner or a degreaser. This will fetch off most marks and stains, using an old toothbrush will make this task easier and more effective.
Next, you should touch up any chips or large scratches. Use paint, nail varnish, markers or anything you have to hand. Nail varnish is great for high gloss or plastic surfaces. Strong coffee works well to hide scratches on wood, wood veneer or wood effect surfaces as it can stain the underlying material in a similar colour to the top surface.
Everyone becomes bored with their decor now and again. You can freshen up a room and make it interesting again without having to change the large and expensive elements like furniture and flooring. It is also not very environmentally friendly to throw out chests of draws or kitchen cupboard doors when they are in perfectly good condition. Why not freshen them up instead?
First of all, follow our cleaning and touch up instructions (above). The simplest way to freshen the furniture is to replace the handles. Carefully remove the existing cupboard or drawer handles. Keep all the internal parts and fixings, screws and washers and tape them together – take them to a charity shop, don’t throw them away! Replace them with ones that are different colour or style to the originals.
You can buy replacements very cheaply. You can find a website with a good range of cupboard handles easily online. We like the range at the Handle King, there are a mix of materials (brass, aluminium, stainless steel), colours (matte black, copper, polished/satin chrome) and styles (traditional and contemporary) so you can select a style that you love but is different to what you have grown tired of. We particularly like the Copper Cup and Brass Victorian Bow handles but there is also a great range of modern handles for under a pound each. We tried a couple of these handles out.
Polished Copper Handles
We were instantly attracted to the ‘polished copper finish’ handle. We hadn’t seen any before with this finish. Brass is, well brassy, and very old-fashioned, however, the copper finish is much softer and warmer with pink tones. As a result, it is much more modern and softer on the eye. The handles would fit in with lots of contemporary as well as shabby chic design schemes. We loved these handles. They looked great on the bathroom cupboard we tried them on. We replaced the old knobs so we only had to drill one hole for each new handle as we re-used the existing hole. They are very sturdy and solid and easy to grip. They bring the unit bang up to date and make it look really stylish.
Matte Black metal handles
These handles are well made, feel strong and appear durable. Although the design is simple they are good looking and fitted securely on our kitchen cupboards. The matte black colour is unusually tasteful and sophisticated. They would look great in a contemporary loft space or office. We also think they would be brilliant in a farm style kitchen or Scandinavian inspired room too.
When you choose a new handle think about the existing holes in your furniture. Will your new handles use the same holes? If not how will you hide or cover the old ones? For the best (and easiest) finish choose a handle that can reuse existing holes or that will cover up redundant holes.
Most handles simply screw in place by hand or need a simple tool like a screwdriver or allen key. Although Handle King supplied screws needed to fix the handles, not all suppliers do. If this is the case make sure you go to a good hardware shop and buy matching screws. Then all you need to do is step back and enjoy the updated look of your cupboards or chest of drawers.