Top Ten Tips to Choosing New Kitchen Cabinets

Posted by on Tuesday, May 9th, 2017 at 9:45am.

The cabinetry is the most prominent and defining feature in any kitchen, which is why you are going to want to choose the right style for your space to make a successful kitchen design. However, finding a style that will fit your needs, desires, and appearance preferences is not an easy task. This week, we are going to break down the basics, offering tips and advice on everything from determining which type of cabinet is right for you and how to maximize the storage while making the open shelving look good!

  1. Start with the basics. You are going to want to begin by determining if your kitchen will include all or some of the four basic types of cabinets: base (which is under the counter), wall mounted, tall and standalone pantries, and specialty units like corner cabinets, hutches, or a bottle rack.
  2. Cabinet grades. Next, you will need to choose a cabinet quality grade. Depending on your budget, there are four cabinets grades available: Ready-to-assemble (RTA, will save your money but they are less durable and, if you cannot put them together yourself, should hire a professional to install), Stock Cabinets (an affordable choice and better quality than RTA), Semi-custom cabinets (they could be stock cabinets with custom touches), and Custom cabinets (the highest price with unlimited options). 
  3. Choose the construction. There are two types of cabinet construction, Framed cabinets and frameless. Framed cabinets have rails and stiles that form a 1.5-inch face frame at the front of the cabinet box, attached to the door front, giving extra strength and dimension. While frameless construction is a “European” method, offering a more contemporary look and better interior access by excluding the face frame. 
  4. What is overlaying? Overlaying is a term that means how much the door overlays the face frame. Standard overlaying doors are less expensive and do not require hardware because they have a more exposed face frame and there is no handles or knobs to open the doors. A full overlay has more custom appearances and the door covers the entire face frame. Double door cabinets with a full overlay have an advantage because do not have a vertical face frame between the two doors, so you can easily fit large items like serving platters and pans.
  5. Inset Cabinets. They have the door set inside the face frame inside of having the door on top of the cabinet box. Special hidden or decorative hinges are used to precisely fit the door inside the frame opening. These type of cabinets create an elegant look with clean lines. They are ideal for larger kitchens since they take more space away from the interior of your cabinets. They are also more expensive.
  6. Styles for a traditional kitchen. There are dozens of different types of cabinet styles, but choosing a construction and door type will help narrow down those options. Typically seen styles in kitchens are slab and raised panel. A slab style is the most minimalist option that features no panels, molding, or ornamentation. They can have hardware pulls, such as a finger ledge or push-to-open mechanisms. Raised panels are a more traditional style in cabinets. Their center panel is slightly raised with a contoured groove around the molding.
  7. Styles for a Transitional kitchen. A flat panel is when the door has a single flat panel surrounded by molding. Mission cabinets are a type of flat panel door; typically made of oak and stained so the wood grain is highlighted, they have square frame molding with simple, clean lines. Then there is shaker style, which is similar to mission cabinets, but has a narrower frame molding and focuses on function and durability.
  8. Mix and match styles. These three styles are perfect to be combined with other styles. The arched cathedral is door panels that are shaped like an arched window. The shape can be recessed or raised within the door frame and are typically used for upper wall cabinets. The beaded style is for the interior panel that features stripes created by single or double grooves.
  9. Doors or drawers. If you are trying to maximize your storage and provide an easier access to your dishes, try base cabinet drawers; drawers offer a much better use of space, which is an optimal solution for storing pots, pans, dishes, and cookware. However, if you prefer the look of doors, you can opt for the pullout shelving system hidden behind the cabinet doors. Finally, glass inset is when the doors are essentially windows in the cabinet doors.
  10. Open Shelving. If you are someone who is perfectly organized, exposed shelving is a good idea. It works well with a casual style and can be ideal for smaller places since it will make the room appear open and bigger. Exposed shelving is also one of the easiest and more affordable solutions for quick kitchen upgrades since it will cost much less than replacing the full cabinetry. Open shelving can also be combined with traditional cabinets to create space for displaying cookbooks or rarely used items.

What do you recommend is thrown away from kitchen pantries? Share thoughts in the comments below or join our conversation on Facebook!

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