Lessons Learned: Appliance Handles

Many of today's appliances have decorative handles that protrude well beyond the front of the actual appliance. This has been true for a long time with ranges and refrigerators. These appliance handles can project out anywhere from 1 ½ inches to 3 1/4 inches.

Matching decorative kitchen appliance handles on a dishwasher and an oven.

With more and more dishwashers featuring integrated styling, controls hidden on the top edge of the door, manufacturers are now able to include these large decorative handles on the front of the dishwasher so that all of your appliance handles will coordinate

Having all of the handles in the same style it does create a cohesive look, but there are some other design considerations that should be examined closely.  If your dishwasher or range is going to be located anywhere close to a corner make sure that you are aware of how far the appliance projects out including the handle. 

A large decorative appliance handle on a dishwasher in a kitchen corner close to a set of drawers.

While the dishwasher itself may not stick out much beyond 24” add in that cool looking arc handle and you are now looking at an extra 3” of handle that protrudes beyond the dishwasher door.  While this doesn’t interfere with anything as you pull open the dishwasher door it does affect the drawer the opens on the adjacent side.

In the case below, the drawer will open, but the dishwasher door has to be completely closed for the drawer to open all the way.

A close up of a corner dishwasher with a large appliance handle and a drawer opening with clearance.

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