I dream of unadorned kitchen cabinets that are inexpensive to fabricate and easy to use. This is how I discovered the cutout drawer and cabinet pull.
As much as the next person, I do a lot of swooning over open shelving. The reality of my small kitchen and obsessively ordered personality, however, is that I need every available inch for closed storage. But then the visual clutter, exacerbated in a small kitchen, of all those protruding handles becomes another problem altogether. Enter the cutout handle: a simple hole or notch in the cabinet face that functions as a cabinet pull.
Above: A small-space plywood kitchen benefits from unobtrusive cutout cabinet pulls. See more space-saving ideas in Kitchen of the Week: A Compact Family Kitchen in Paris. Above: In Happiness at Home with a German Design Duo: Studio Oink’s own bright and airy kitchen in Wiesbaden features discreet circular cutouts. Above: Architect Peter Legge uses rectangular cutouts in a kitchen in Dublin. See the rest of the project in A Victorian Transformation, Dublin Style. Above: Custom fronts with “just a gap to slip your hand in” are added to Ikea cabinets in Kitchen of the Week: A Designer’s Own Ikea Hack Kitchen in Provence, Before and After. Above: Cabinets with round cutouts and a dose of robin’s egg blue in Kitchen of the Week: A Copenhagen Stylist Reinvents Her Kitchen, Ikea Hack Included. Above: The most inventive cutout shape? An organic notch in A Light-Filled Chalet in the Italian Alps, Updated for a Young Skier. Above: A detail of the cutout, with partially-milled plywood that exposes a darker ply inside. Above: For fewer cutouts, top and bottom drawers share a simple, oval-shaped cutout. See Kitchen of the Week: Cookbook Author Anna Jones at Home in London. Above: Bespoke cutouts, bright edition, in Kitchen of the Week: A Boundary-Breaking London Remodel. Above: In Kitchen of the Week: Oakland Family Kitchen by Medium Plenty, overhead sliding cabinets feature easy-access circular cutouts. Above: In A Victorian Girls’ School Reborn, a sleek, streamlined kitchen makes use of narrow cutout pulls. Above: Busy spaces benefit from cutout cabinet pulls, too: In this city apartment, traditional pulls would only add more visual clutter. For more, see Before & After: A Galley Kitchen Reinvented. Above: “To me, there’s something nautical about them,” says the designer Rachel Cleaveland Riedy of cabinet cutouts—fitting for An Artful Aerie in Mill Valley. Above: The Sliding Kitchen by Workstead, a member of the Remodelista Architect & Designer Directory, features circular cutouts in the cabinetry. Above: Clean-lined cutouts in Kitchen of the Week: Eclectic English Kitchen, Color Included. Above: Drawers are given an easy-open cutout treatment in The Curtained Kitchen, Dutch Modern Edition. Above: A Sixties-Inspired Danish Ikea Hack, Now Coming to America, includes subtle circular cutout pulls. Above: Cabinet noir: another Workstead project with cutout cabinet pulls.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on September 23, 2013.
For much more, see
Remodeling 101: Cutout Cabinet Pulls. Want to go with traditional cabinet pulls? Here are a few we like:
Finally, get more ideas on how to evaluate and choose kitchen cabinetry and hardware in our
Remodeling 101 Guide: Kitchen Cabinets & Hardware.