Cabinets are usually the focal point of any kitchen, invariably drawing the eye of any visitor (which makes sense, since they’re at eye-level).Combine this with the fact that they provide much-needed storage, and it’s easy to see why homeowners focus so intently on cabinetry during a kitchen remodel – or when it’s just time to say goodbye to the current ones. Unfortunately, knowing that you need new cabinets and actually knowing what’s the best fit for your kitchen are two vastly different things.What kind of material?How about style? Oh, and what type of handles work best for you?It can be a bit overwhelming… and these are just general questions!This decision is much too important to leave to the time-honored method of “eyeballing it” (hint: all cabinets seem beautiful in a showroom). Here are some criteria to consider that should help demystify the process.
What type of cabinets?
Does your kitchen configuration call for custom-built, or will stock cabinets do? Custom cabinets, as the term implies, are built to exact specifications and are available in your choice of design, materials, and accessories. As you might imagine, custom cabinets are constructed from scratch to fit your whims, and is the most expensive route.You can also go the semi-custom route. Semi-custom cabinets are built in the size requested by the homeowner, and the manufacturer makes them in batches. Semi-custom cabinets usually don’t come in the range of materials, styles, etc. of custom-built, but they are more cost-effective.Stock cabinets, are on the lowest price tier. These are pre-manufactured andare available in a standard range of sizes. While stock cabinets sometimes derided as being of inferior quality, you can actually find some reasonably-priced models made of solid wood.Found in around 80% of American homes, this is the best-selling type of cabinets.
What style ?
Framed or frameless? When it comes to style, this is the big question. Framed cabinets are made of a box and face frame, with drawers and doors attached to the surfaces. Frameless cabinets, commonly called “European-style,” don’t have a face frame; drawers and doors are attached to the box. Frameless cabinets are popular for their ease of use and more modern appearance. However, the lack of a face frame makes them less rigid, and thus, less sturdy. Some cabinet makers counter this problem by compensate by increasing the thickness of the box, often using a thicker plywood instead of flimsier particleboard.
What kind of features?
Accessories can add style and functionality – and, of course, digits to the final price tag. Some features, such as a sliding trash can, are invaluable. Another one to consider is a built-in charging stations to keep the countertop free of electronics clutter. One feature that is en vogue, the “appliance garage,” essentially a compartment to store appliances out of sight, don’t actually help much with organization. A better option is a lift cabinet with a shelf that’s spring-loaded. It swings out and give you quick access to your blender, toaster, and mixer.
It’s best to ask yourself which features you actually need, instead of what just sounds cool, to keep your budget in line. It’s better to spend more on well-built cabinets, rather than bells and whistles. Quality cabinets feature solid wood drawers and dovetail joinery, not particleboard. The drawer guides are full-extension guides, not a tacked on rail; also, the door frames are solid wood with solid wood or plywood panel, not particleboard or medium-density fiberboard.
What’s your décor?
It goes without saying that your kitchen’s décor and the style of home you have influences your choice of cabinetry – and, vice versa — the style of cabinetry you choose will have a great effect on the look and feel of your surroundings.
Ask yourself: do you want to keep your home’s aesthetic, or freshen it up a bit? If you have a classic antique home, traditional cabinets will help retain this timeless look. For a contemporary kitchen, European-style cabinets fit well. Identifying the style you have an affinity for will looking for will go a long way toward narrowing your choices.
How do you want your cabinets to function?
Before choosing cabinets for your kitchen, think about functionality. Is your kitchen currently crammed with stuff? If so, space for appliances, dishes, and other kitchen tools should be a priority. Or, are you minimalists? In this case, a simple layout would work. Finally, consider how easily you can move around your kitchen, especially with multiple people. Great looking cabinets are useless if you can’t gain access to them. Assessing the pluses and minuses , as well as your preferences, in your kitchen can be a huge help in deciding what you need.
These are just some basic guidelines to get the cabinet juices flowing. Here at Ovation Design Build , we’re more than happy to answer all of your questions about cabinets. So come at us with your cabinet queries!