5 expert tips to give your kitchen cabinets the wow factor

A quick and easy kitchen update you can finish in an afternoon.
A cottage kitchen with a marble island, blue joinery, a mosaic splashback and farmhouse windows.Photography: Hannah Puechmarin

They may be small, but kitchen cabinet handles can have a transformative effect. A well-chosen handle can introduce personality and add the finishing touch to your kitchen cabinetry, especially when paired thoughtfully with your chosen profile. “Whether you decide on an integrated handle, a fitted statement handle or knobs, it really has a big impact on the overall look of the kitchen,” says Laura Pittaway, interior designer at Sunday Homes.

Whether you’re seeking a subtle update or an eye-catching statement, here are our tips for choosing the perfect kitchen cabinet handles.

A white open pantry with rattan baskets and shelving.
The use of Hepburn Hardware’s antique brass handles and knobs on the cabinetry add a heritage element to this classic Queenslander. (Photography: Hannah Puechmarin)

1. Choose a standout finish

Classic pairings include bar or cup styles with Shaker looks, ornate designs suit heritage or country-style cabinetry, and simple designs work well with contemporary and flat profiles. “We’re seeing a rise in the use of organic-shaped knobs and handles as standout accessories, particularly in matte black, brushed stainless steel, brass and gold finishes,” says Giorgia Manenti, content lead at Kaboodle Kitchen.

A white and blue kitchen with classic shaker cupboards and gold handles.
Brushed-brass knobs and handles add an elegant touch to Shaker-style cabinetry in this Humphrey Munson space. (Photography: Paul Craig)

2. Play with shapes

Small, circular knobs are the go-to for Shaker and country-style kitchens, but you can also make a quiet statement by opting for something different: think square shapes or metallics to bring in a bit of bling. And where you have knobs and handles in the same space, make sure their materials and finishes match.

A green subway tile splashback above turquoise cabinets in the kitchen.
Petite brass cabinet handles and custom cabinetry in Dulux Wentworth make a striking pair in this Sunshine Coast cottage. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes)

3. Go for sleek and simple

The routed handle – in essence, a recess or grip that’s carved into the surface of your cabinetry – is growing in popularity. “Not only is it sleek and contemporary, it also looks fresh and is easier to clean,” says Laura. Routed handles can have a tone-on-tone look or be given a contrasting finish to add a dash of detail.

The kitchen leading to the family living area.
The kitchen cabinetry of this Scandinavian-style home has a simple beauty. (Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Corina Koch)

4. Hide your handles

Cabinetry with concealed handles or handle-free designs lets your finishes shine, while delivering a modern, uncluttered feel. “Discreet grip handles are gaining popularity for their ability to seamlessly blend into kitchen designs, while still offering practical functionality,” says Giorgia of these barely-there options.

Minimalist white kitchen cupboards with white handles.
All-white handles match all-white cabinetry for a clean and smooth look in this kitchen, designed by Sunday Homes. While the bar pulls on the cupboard and recessed pulls on the drawers are different, the consistency in colour creates cohesion. (Photography: The Palm Co / Styling: The Palm Co)

5. Make a bold statement

It often pays to consider something unexpected. “If you want to make a statement, choose something that pops,” says Laura. “We love to play with scale, and to mix and match handles and knobs. We also love a statement handle, like Sibella Court’s range at The Society Inc, or the beautifully curated offering at Noble Elements.” Such designs can inject character and visual interest, but might require a little bravery. “Don’t be afraid to try something new – order samples and think of a few different options,” suggests Laura. “Just don’t get the drill out until you are certain that you have the right ones!”

A modern kitchen with timber cupboards and slim gold handles.
Warm, natural materials make this kitchen and butler’s pantry from Jayson Pate Design a coastal dream. The joinery, by Just Wardrobes & Storage, is Polytec ‘Natural Oak’ with a Ravine finish, giving the look of raw timber. Brushed brass is the perfect luxe complement, with ABI Interiors ‘Tezra’ textured handles and ‘Imes’ cabinet pulls proving a natural fit. (Photography: ABI Interiors / Styling: ABI Interiors)

Shop kitchen cabinet handles


Momo Handles Graf Knurled Knob in Brushed Dark Brass

$15, The Blue Space

Best for: The perfect grip

Petite yet intricately detailed, the Momo knob has a modern look and robust construction for everyday wear and tear. Better yet, the textured surface ensures a secure grip while adding visual interest without overshadowing the rest of the kitchen.

Size: 60mm x 8mm

Colours: Brushed Black, Brushed Dark Brass and Dull Brushed Nickel finishes

Material: Aluminium

Key features:

  • Suitable for kitchens and bathrooms
  • Knurled texture
  • Industrial aesthetic


Art Nouveau Poppy Handle in Gold Brass

$52.30, Etsy

Best for: Cottage kitchens

It’s hard not to love these botanical beauties with two delicate poppies on a brass handle that immediately transform any cabinet. Available in both left and right styles, these handles have a quaint allure, bringing the garden into the home.

Size: 14mm long

Colour: Gold Brass finish

Material: Solid brass

Key features:

  • Available individually or in pairs
  • Comes with two 25mm M4 screws
  • Whimsical design


Marley Cabinet Knob in Matte Black

$11.95, Temple and Webster

Best for: Doing it yourself

The ‘Marley’ brass knob comes with everything needed for easy installation such as a wall plug, hook fitting screw and spring washers. Plus, the ‘Marley’ knob is made from durable brass to prevent corrosion ensuring it stays looking perfect.

Size: 25mm x 28mm

Colours: Brushed Brass, Brushed Nickel and Matte Black finishes

Material: Brass

Key features:

  • Powder-coated finish
  • Knurled texture
  • Geometric design


Sola Half Round Lip Pull in Brushed Brass

$25, The Blue Space

Best for: The modern kitchen

An elegant round design with four stylish finishes – need we say more? The Sola Half Round Pull has high-end appeal and when installed in pairs forms a complete circle on cabinets for added cohesion.

Sizes: 80mm, 120mm, 160mm and 240mm

Colours: White, Stainless Steel, Matt Black and Brushed Brass finishes

Material: Stainless steel

Key features:

  • Forms a full circle when mounted in pairs
  • Suitable for kitchens and bathrooms
  • Contemporary design


‘01’ Handle in Saddle Tan

$28, Made Measure

Best for: Adding warmth and comfort

Leather isn’t a typical material choice for the kitchen, but these soft and durable leather handles add a sophisticated and effortless touch. With high-grade leather, black edges and a flexible feel, you’ll love the comfortable grip of these handles on both drawers and joinery.

Size: 30mm x 200mm 

Colours: Olive, Slate, Black and Tan

Material: Leather

Key features:

  • Tight grain texture
  • Simple to install
  • Flexible


‘Almond’ Knob in Black

$39, Lo & Co

Best for: Creating a Scandi aesthetic

For those who love Scandinavian style, these handles have a simple beauty. Sculpted in solid brass with nine finishes, these handles effortlessly blend charm and elegance making them a delightful addition to contemporary kitchens.

Sizes: Small and large

Colours: Black, Aged Brass, Brass, Bronze, Live Brass, Nickel, Tumbled Brass, Tumbled Nickel and White finishes

Material: Solid brass

Key features:

  • Minimalist look
  • Black electroplated finish
  • Solid brass base


‘Moana’ Timber Cabinet Handle in Walnut

$29.95, Handle House

Best for: Function and style

These timber handles offer a fun twist on traditional cabinetry hardware. A whimsical wave design is paired with luxe finishes for a practical but charming approach that will transform your kitchen into the heart of your home.

Sizes: 128mm, 192mm and 320mm

Colours: Walnut and White Oak finishes

Material: Timber

Key features:

  • Available in three sizes
  • Distinctive design
  • Made from timber


‘1954’ Drawer Pull

$65, The Society Inc

Best for: Old-world charm

Inspired by mid-century designer Carl Auböck, this vintage-inspired pull combines cane and brass for timeless elegance. Perfect for drawers and cupboards, the handle rod can be trimmed to size for bespoke customisation.

Size: 175mm x 18mm

Materials: Cane and brass

Key features:

  • Handmade
  • Cane finish
  • Strong and durable


‘Hegman’ Pull in Ash

$14.90, Abi Interiors

Best for: Classic functionality

The ‘Hegman’ pull takes cabinetry hardware back to basics but with style and warmth. The Ash Timber handle boasts natural beauty in a sleek design to seamlessly fit into most kitchen designs. With water resistance and easy installation, it’s no wonder this is a classic.

Size: 20mm x 130mm

Colour: Ash Timber finish

Material: Timber

Key features:

  • Sealed with a natural-wax oil
  • Easy installation
  • Water resistant


Armac Martin ‘Queslett’ Cup Pull in Aged Brass

from $105, Noble Elements

Best for: Making an impression

For a striking style statement, look no further than these opulent brass handles from the ‘Queslett’ collection. Crafted in England, these handles boast a solid brass finish for a decorative flair in traditional New England style.  

Sizes: 40mm x 64mm up to 40mm x 432mm

Colours: Lacquered, Plated and Living finishes

Materials: Solid brass

Key features:

  • Made in England
  • Sustainably made
  • New England aesthetic


‘Tezra’ Textured Round Knob in Brushed Brass

$39.90, Abi Interiors

Best for: Timeless texture

The ‘Tezra’ cabinetry knob is all about the finer details, featuring a two-texture finish in solid brass for a unique and tactile appeal in both kitchen and laundry cabinets.

Size: 28mm diameter

Colours: Brushed Brass, Brushed Copper, Brushed Gunmetal, Brushed Nickel and Matte Black finishes

Material: Solid brass

Key features:

  • Physical vapour deposition
  • Easy installation
  • Timeless finish


‘Tubby’ Pull in Aged Brass

$89, Lo & Co

Best for: A seriously smooth touch

The ‘Tubby’ collection takes art and sculpture to the next level with a smooth cylindrical design in a brass hand-brushed finish. Plus, with three sizes available, these easy-to-grip handles are a pleasure to hold.

Sizes: Small, medium and large

Colours: Aged Brass, Black, Brass, Bronze, Nickel, Tumbled Brass and White finishes

Material: Solid brass

Key features:

  • Electroplated aged brass finish
  • Hand-brushed
  • Contoured ends

Related stories