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Get a grip on handles, instead of knobs

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Knobs are so last year! Ask anyone whose worsening arthritis has made onetime simple tasks painful. Mom's osteoarthritis made her fingers stiff and painful, and the tiny knobs on the cabinets in her old house didn't help matters.

handle_opt So in her new house, we installed Sugatsune H-bar steel handles (seen in the kitchen above, and at right) that extend far enough from the cabinet face so that Mom could slip her entire hand through, if necessary, to pull open a door or drawer.

The H-bar type handles come in a variety of lengths and we were able to order handles made long enough to add architectural interest to the cabinet fronts -- a detail on the cutting edge of kitchen design when the house was built. The extended length of the handles also allow one to grasp it at any height that is comfortable to pull open cabinet doors and the vertical pantries.

wire_cabinet_handle_opt In the laundry room, closets and storage areas, wide wire handles from Hafele (right) also allow one to slip a hand through. For the dressing room where even handles might get in one's way, the cabinetmaker crafted crescent-shaped cutouts into the drawer fronts that allow one to open a drawer by slipping a hand through.

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