Handles on Fake Drawers in Kitchens: Yes or No

August 23, 2022
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Should I Put Handles on Fake Drawers in Kitchens?

Function vs. Form Battle over Fake Drawer Handles

When flipping or renovating a house, the kitchen is a main focal point, so you want it to be stylish and sleek. One way to do this is to make sure the cabinets all look cohesive, even those with fake drawers.

Fake drawers are a handy tool for first-time house flippers and seasoned renovators. They make a kitchen’s cabinets look cohesive even when some cabinet drawers are nonfunctional, like those hiding plumbing or cooktop stoves.

Different Types of Kitchen Handles and Knobs in a Retail Showroom

Whether or not to use fake handles on your kitchen cabinet doors or cabinet drawer front varies depending on the kitchen layout, the amount of space, and the type of handles present in the rest of the kitchen.

The important question is whether or not including a handle on the false drawer will confuse the person using the kitchen. Will someone attempt to pull on a cabinet handle that doesn't have a drawer associated with it? Could pulling too hard result in damaging the false drawer front or the kitchen cabinet hardware?

Best Types of Handles for Faux Drawers

Depending on the aesthetic of your kitchen, there are different types of cabinet handles for faux drawers. You can find them at many home decor or hardware stores, like Home Depot.

Matte Black

While black is versatile and can blend in with nearly any kitchen design, it goes best with modern appliances and hardware. It’s elegant but also functional. You won’t need to polish these periodically to keep them clean!

A Matte Black Knob on a Kitchen Drawer

Matte black hardware pairs well with wood or metal, and it won’t show fingerprints easily.

Brushed Nickel

Nickel is a warm metal, with almost golden undertones. Rather than a polished, shiny finish, brushed metals have a matte look. While brushed nickel may not look as elegant as polished, it hides fingerprints and water spots well, and has a more hand-crafted look. Brushed nickel goes well with craft kitchens, or homes with a more traditional aesthetic.

Stainless Steel

If you want something that polishes well, blends in with nearly every kitchen aesthetic, and will last a long time, then stainless steel is your best bet. Faux drawers may not see the kind of use as a regular cabinet, but it's still a good idea to invest in something that will last.

Brushed Copper

Copper brings a warmth that no other metal does. Like other metals, the polished route looks classy and lends elegance to any kitchen, but brushed finishes hold up better under daily use. Copper works best with vintage kitchens, especially ones that have a farmhouse aesthetic.

How Should a False Drawer be Used?

When a renovator inlays something into the counters, like a sink, or a cooktop, they may hide these additions with fake drawers. After the installation of the cabinet and countertop, they inlay all the appliances within the countertops. Once the countertops are in place, a renovator can put the drawers into them.

In many cases, sink base cabinets come fully assembled. The rest of the cabinets typically already have their drawers attached. In that case, the drawers will not have handles unless the set comes with knobs under an inch long.

Renovators may prefer to save money by building their cabinets instead of purchasing them. They will paint or stain the cabinets after construction, and the drawers and drawer brackets can then go on each counter and drawer.

Renovators then level the drawer to ensure it is in line with the other drawers. If the drawers have drawer bumpers or stoppers to keep them from slamming against the cabinets, adding the bumpers to the false drawer will add a cohesive look to the kitchen.

Once the false drawer is in place, builders will screw it into the cabinet and hide the screws with wood putty or paint. Screwing the false drawer in place is the best for painted cabinets since they can patch and paint the holes without being very obvious.

For stained wood false drawers, people often use double-sided tape or wood glue to keep them in place. These solutions are optimal since there will not be visible differences in the wood front. Alternately, they can screw sink clips into the back of the false drawer and its adjoining cabinet for extra security.

If a renovator would like to add a handle to these false drawers, they can measure where the drawer handles will go and mark these spots. Then, they drill holes into the cabinet front and attach the knobs. They can install the false drawer onto the cabinet using screws, glue, or tape.

Despite the limited space, false drawers can also be additional storage spaces. Rather than attaching to the sides of the cabinet, a hinge can reveal a secret compartment underneath a false drawer. This compartment can hold soap, sponges, or other kitchen items in a secretive, stylish manner.

Kitchen Drawer Handles - Most are Functional - Others are Fake

The fake drawer fronts’ allotment depends on the distance between the sink and the cabinet. This space is typically a few inches, large enough to hold wire racks or other storage solutions and allow the false cabinet to open and close comfortably.

An openable faux drawer could also be handy beneath a cooktop or in the upper cabinet. This compartment can hold hot utensils or pot holders. If creating a usable false drawer, securing the top of the false drawer with magnets or hooks will keep the drawer from falling open. Just be sure you attach a cabinet knob!

What Types of Kitchen Layouts Need a False Drawer Handle?

There are six types of kitchen layouts. For smaller homes or limited kitchen areas, a single wall layout, or island or galley-style kitchens are optimal. The single wall layout has counters, appliances, and the sink all along a single wall. For these quaint kitchens, a fake drawer handle on panels will make the space appear cohesive.

Usually, if the kitchen is attached to a dining space, renovators will optimize the space by adding an island counter or using the galley layout. An island layout adds additional counter space parallel to the single-wall kitchen for seating. If they install overhanging counters, extra storage and counter space, or a cooktop stove, including a handle will help bring the kitchen together.

When a kitchen is large enough to fit two parallel counters, it has a galley layout. This style is a double-edged sword since larger counters break up the space but in smaller spaces, the kitchen can appear truncated. In the galley layout, not including handles on false drawers can help distinguish which drawers can open and which cannot.

In larger kitchens, continuous wrap-around counters can maximize space and add a lot of storage to the kitchen. The most common types of wrap-around counter layouts are the L-shape and U-shape. Both have all their appliances against the wall to maximize the floor space, and will often separate the oven and fridge for optimal heating and cooling.

Additionally, the peninsula layout adds seating or counter space to the U-shape by adding a small counter along the fourth corner of the kitchen. This layout offers a lot of kitchen space. These three styles will not need fake drawer handles because users will intuitively know which drawers are fake.

Why Should the Kitchen Be a Main Focus?

When planning house renovations or preparing to sell a house, the most important rooms are the master bathroom and the kitchen. Renovators should expect to spend 15% to 20% of their upgrade budget on the kitchen.

The kitchen is the heart of the house. A good layout is key when selling a kitchen. Buyers look for functionality, storage space, and seating availability.

Renovators will select the correct cabinet layout, cabinet hardware, and style. A smaller kitchen in a cookie-cutter neighborhood might feature vibrant colors or interesting designs to make the kitchen stand out. Larger kitchens usually will have muted or neutral cabinet colors to let other kitchen elements, like the countertops or the backsplash, be the focus.

When choosing cabinet pulls, a renovator should consider what will look good against the cabinets and what will look good in pictures. Since over half of buyers looking for homes in 2020 found their new home using the Internet, photographs are a vital selling point. Drawer handles should accentuate the cabinets and make them pop both virtually and in reality.

If a small kitchen has a unique color scheme, white or black pulls are a simple contrast to a more vibrant design. For a cabinet with an interesting pattern, a small knob would be optimal so the cabinet design stands out. If a cabinet has textures or colors, the pulls should not be metal, since that can easily get lost or clash with the colors.

For muted or neutral cabinets, metal drawer pulls will stand out better. Additionally, these cabinets may have built-in grooves as cabinet pulls to add an interesting aspect to the cabinet door. Handles with geometric shapes or intricate patterns can also make the hardware pop against the muted color.

Once a renovator chooses their hardware, it is important to put the hardware on the rest of the drawers first and then assemble them. This will allow a renovator to see if the final cabinet will look better without hardware. If adding hardware looks strange, it will be easy to remove and repair using wood putty and touch-up paint.

Frank Salvatore

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!

About Me
Frank Salvatore
I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!
Learn More About Me
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