Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen Cabinets

Before you start shopping for new kitchen cupboards, make sure you have a well-thought-out plan for your kitchen renovation. You should identify goals and priorities, with the help of your completed Day in the Life of Your Kitchen Questionnaire and Kitchen Goals Worksheet. You also should have a clear vision of what your new kitchen will look like, after exploring various kitchen designs and layouts and planning out space and storage. Finally, you should have a budget to work with.

Considerations When Choosing Kitchen Cabinets 


  • How long do you plan on staying in the home?
  • What improvements are standard for similar homes in your area?
  • What type of kitchen layout do you plan on using?
  • What is your budget?
  • Do you have exact measurements of appliances that will be involved in the new design?

Planning and Designing the Cabinet & Cupboard Space

Kitchen cabinetry is an integral part of home design and remains a significant component of measuring a house’s value. But there’s more to consider than price, style and material selection. Even the most basic kitchen remodel can be a costly and time-consuming process, so take these steps before considering any materials and products.
Step 1: Address resale issues.
Keep improvements consistent with the comparable market data of other residences in your immediate area. “I first make sure customers are certain on whether the space is a rental, a resale, or a place they’ll stay in and love forever,” says home improvement center specialist Wanda Edwards Lee. “It’s also important to decide the length of time customers plan to reside at the home.”
Step 2: Determine scope.
This primarily depends on the budget and the kitchen’s current condition. If the space just needs a face-lift without reconfiguring layout or relocating major appliances, replacing door faces or adding a fresh coat of paint may go a long way. But when faced with cabinetry that’s not sturdy, layout issues or new construction, you’ll want to invest in new cabinetry.
Step 3: Decide on a kitchen layout. Kitchen cabinetry is one of the most practical and convenient work areas in any dwelling. Before choosing a look, start with an accurate scaled floor plan of the existing space with door, window and other architectural dimensions noted. Location of present utilities, such as electricity, water and sewer connections are also important to document, especially if the remodel involves spatial reconfiguration.
Plans should establish the location of heating and air registers, cook-top ventilation, electrical outlets and gas piping, if applicable. Confirm exact measurements of new or existing appliances to be involved in the new design, including the refrigerator, dishwasher, range, hood, microwave, icemakers, under-cabinet wine coolers and sinks before selecting cabinetry.
Step 4: Sketch it up.
Devise a rough sketch, arranging major appliances with the most efficient use of space. “Keep it simple and accessible,” says AIA architect Mark Hutker. Form a convenient path between the three most used kitchen elements: the sink, range, and refrigerator (“the work triangle”). Placement of storage, task centers, accessories, and appliances, along with their frequency of use should be thoroughly regarded. Common kitchen layouts include galley, L-shape, U-shape, straight (one wall) and island.
Modern design has pushed the envelope of these traditional arrangements, creating larger, more open spaces. However, these basic configurations are still beneficial in determining the overall relationship of appliances and their proximity to one another. Unless you are an experienced do-it-yourselfer, it’s advisable to enlist the help of an architect, interior designer, kitchen designer, home center specialist, or cabinet designer in order to establish the most effective plan for your space and determine cabinetry dimensions and specifications.

Consider style and quality when selecting kitchen cabinets for your remodel.

Kitchen Cabinet DesignsWhen choosing cabinetry for your kitchen or bathroom, consider the available cabinet types and varying quality of construction.
These are the four basic types of cabinets:
Base. Standard base cabinets are 24 inches deep and 36 inches tall. Depth may be increased up to 27 inches on some semi-custom and custom applications. For ease of use, base cabinetry rests atop a four-inch recessed riser called a toe kick.
Wall. Upper cabinetry is generally 12 inches deep but can be increased to 17 inches on some semi-custom and custom applications.
Tall. Tall cabinets are typically 83.5 inches in height, serving as pantry space and broom storage.
Specialty Units. Specialty units maximize square footage and organization efforts. They include corner cabinets, sink/cooktop fronts, suspended units, hutches, bottle racks and appliance garages. An 18-inch backsplash creates usable workspace between countertops and the bottom edge of upper cabinets.

Cabinet Quality Grades

Cabinets are grouped into four grades based on the quality of construction: ready-to-assemble (RTA), stock, semi-custom, and custom. Decide up front on the amount of money to be invested in cabinetry and then browse cabinetry lines and options within your budget. Cabinetry prices are measured in linear feet, ranging from around $50 per linear foot to $500 per linear foot. Installation costs may be included but are often quoted separately. Look for sound construction, regardless of whether you are purchasing stock, semi-custom or custom cabinetry. Maintain an open mind—well built, inexpensive cabinetry can look spectacular and may be well suited for many applications.
Ready-to-Assemble (RTA). Readily available and constructed with cost in mind, these cabinets are purchased boxed from chain home stores. Selection is narrow in style, size, and material and they require assembly. If you are skilled with do-it-yourself home improvement projects, you can save a significant amount of money on RTA cabinetry. However, long-term durability often results in trouble over time. If you are considering purchasing RTA cabinetry, make sure you are well versed in constructing and installing cabinetry, which can be tricky, even for a skilled professional.
Stock. Purchased pre-sized from their manufacturer, stock cabinets are a basic and economical option. Stock cabinets are mass-produced, available in fixed sizes and cannot be altered, making them less versatile for existing spaces. These cabinets are constructed on site from modular units. Stock cabinets are size-specific, measured in 3-inch increments. Stock cabinet materials range from particleboard covered with plastic laminates or melamime to solid wood, depending on the manufacturer. They offer a relatively limited range of accessories. While some stock materials only meet minimal standards and aren’t generated from valued woods, thoughtfully purchased stock cabinets may offer attractive and affordable style without sacrificing quality. The price of installation for stock cabinetry is typically not included in their purchase price.
Semi-Custom. With a broader selection in both style and material, semi-custom cabinetry generally marks the mid-range option in terms of price point. Semi-custom cabinetry allows some size adjustments and usually offers better quality cabinet construction. “These are special order cabinets. They’re standard in certain sizes but can be altered for increased depth,” says home improvement center specialist Wanda Edwards Lee. “They offer some changes but not all.” Semi-custom cabinetry boasts an extensive selection of styles, finishes, storage solutions and decorative enhancements, featuring a personalized look at a reasonable price point. Semi-custom cabinets consist of everything from stock cabinets fitted with custom doors to made-to-order cabinets selected from a manufacturer’s catalogue of featured styles, materials and finishes. Price of semi-custom cabinets usually includes installation.
Custom. On the high-end, custom cabinetry is completely made-to-order and offers the most diversity in style, material, finishes and accessories. These cabinets are one-of-a-kind with tailored sizes and innovative design solutions, suiting even the most unique spaces. Narrow measurements with exact increments down to the 32nd of an inch offer precision rivaling English Imperial standards. While design options are limitless, these high-dollar cabinets can quickly exhaust a budget. “With custom, you’ll get exactly what you want with the superior hand-built construction of skilled artisan,” says Josh Kayer, owner of Martin-Star Cabinetry. “It’s designed much like furniture. You have the flexibility of any size, shape, depth, or finish and accessories that push limits. Possibilities are endless—there are absolutely no standards.” The price of custom cabinetry in @city, @stateshort often includes installation and delivery.

Consider factors like frame type and construction materials when choosing kitchen cabinets for your remodel.When shopping for cabinets for your kitchen, you’ll find there are two types of cabinetry frames: face framed and frameless (box). In the past, most cabinets were constructed with a face-framed approach but newer designs lend themselves toward simpler frameless methods. Both applications now offer endless styles and design. Stock, semi-custom and custom cabinets designs are available in both framed and frameless construction.

Material Options and Construction

The two cabinet types share some similarities in materials but differ in construction.
Framed. In face frame cabinetry, a 1.5-inch to 2-inch border or frame is constructed to hide the edge of the cabinet box. The face frame adds strength and sturdiness. With face frame construction, the cabinet door is attached to the frame’s side. Doors can be mounted to the inside of the frame, creating a uniform, flush-mounted look or to the front of the frame, leaving a reveal (partial overlay). Few cabinets are made of solid wood and framed cabinets typically have a box made from wood substrates, such as plywood, particleboard or medium density fiberboard (MDF).
Frameless/Box. In frameless construction (also known as euro), there’s no face frame and the cabinet doors attach directly to the sides of the cabinet box. Doors typically cover the entire cavity and box, which is called a full-overlay. Because they don’t require a frame, frameless cabinets feature full access, allowing maximum use of space. Cabinets and drawers are slightly larger than those constructed with face frames. Most frameless cabinets are composed of manufactured wood products, such as plywood, structural particleboard or MDF and edged with a laminate or wood veneer.

Budget Considerations

Where to Splurge: If you’re seeking old-world appeal or a traditional period look, go with face framed cabinets with drawer fronts and doors derived from solid wood. Whether opting for a flush or overlay design, face framed cabinets provide a classic appearance that can’t be matched by their more modern counterpart.
Where to Save: Due to simpler construction methods, frameless cabinets involve less labor. Therefore, frameless cabinets are often more economical, although this also depends on the chosen style and material. With a multitude of styles now available in frameless construction, it’s likely you’ll achieve any desired look at a reduced price.


A complete range of door styles is available for both types of cabinetry but there are two terms you’ll need to comprehend before settling on cabinetry style or enlisting the help of a professional.
Full overlay. Full overlay cabinetry covers the entire face frame in framed construction and hides the cabinet box in frameless designs. This case front style shows a continuous façade of door and drawer faces, resulting in a seamless appearance. With so many door styles available, full overlay cabinetry may now be considered modern or traditional in appearance based on the chosen door.
Partial overlay. In partial overlay construction, a portion of the cabinet box or face frame is left partially exposed. The uncovered portion of the box is known as a reveal. In face-framed construction, a half-inch overlay door and drawer front leaves two inches of the cabinet frame exposed between drawers and door fronts. A quarter-inch reveal in face framed construction leaves slightly less of the face frame visible.

Improved glide technology makes it possible for drawers to be larger and hold heavier items.

Kitchen cabinets in should be both beautiful and functional, which is where drawers and glides come in. Choose cabinetry that makes your kitchen life more convenient. Stronger glide technology has resulted in bigger drawers that can handle heavier items. Drawers now store everything from utensils, cutlery and spices to bulkier items like pots, pans, dishware and chopping blocks. Drawers may be kept simple without partitions or divided for easy organization. Drawer fronts typically mimic the style surrounding door faces and can be flush, overlay or lip-edged.
“One trend we’ve gravitated towards is drawer-only designs for base cabinetry,” says Mark Hutker, an architect based in Martha’s Vineyard. “In lieu of doors, we stack lower, middle and upper drawers for chef-inspired cabinet design.”
Frequent use and heavy drawer contents call for drawer glides, which aid drawers in their function of opening and closing. Many cabinet manufacturers offer a variety of side, top and corner-mounted drawer glides. Quality drawer glide options range from three-quarter-extension, epoxy-coated glides that bear up to 75 pounds and allow most of the drawer to be pulled out from its box, to full-extension slides, which hold up to 100 pounds and allow access to the entire drawer. Some glides can’t be used with particular cabinetry styles. It’s also important to check load ratings for drawers. Options range from 50-pound to 100-pound capacities.

Material Options and Construction

Solid hardwood has traditionally been the choice material for drawer box fronts and sides. Solid wood joinery includes dovetail, finger, tongue-and-groove, dowel, biscuit and dado joints. “Dovetail joinery is the strongest way to make a drawer,” says Josh Kayer, owner of Martin-Star Cabinetry in Richmond, Va. “The construction won’t loosen over time.”
Resilient drawer boxes are also commonly made from engineered woods, such as veneered plywood, particleboard and medium-density fiberboard (MDF) with joinery often doweled and glued together. Make certain drawers have a minimum of 3/8 to half-inch thickness, especially on the bottom. Avoid flimsy drawers made from thin particleboard with a laminate or wood veneer and any drawers with stapled construction. “While solid wood is premium for drawer front and sides, plywood is a better choice for the bottom section of a drawer because it won’t shrink or swell,” Kayer says. Other common drawer materials include metal and manufactured melamine.
Most slides operate with plastic or metal ball bearings. Confirm slides are produced from heavy-duty materials with easy-gliding rollers or ball bearings, whether they are side, bottom or corner mounted. Drawer slides typically are made of stamped metal and most are unfinished. However, some can be purchased in black or dark brown finish. The best quality slides won’t rust over time. “To test cabinetry slides, open the drawer fully and check to ensure the drawer feels tight within the drawer cavity,” says Alabama-based builder Erica Neel of Structures Inc. “Make sure that the drawer opens easily, quietly, and does not tilt up or down when fully extended.

Budget Considerations

Where to Splurge. Well-constructed drawers are the trademark of a high-quality cabinet. All drawers consist of a front, back, bottom and two sides but the manner in which drawers are assembled and cut determine their value. Solid wood with seamless dovetail joinery identifies the best construction practices. “To determine if cabinetry is high dollar, open a drawer and look inside for solid wood sides and a dovetail joint,” says interior designer Jane Coslick.
More expensive drawer slides result in a better cabinet experience. Undermount glides are more costly than side mount glides. However, they also tend to warp and sag less, which saves on repairs down the road. “Undermount concealed slides function three times as well and are able to carry more weight,” Kayer says. “They’re well worth the extra cost.” The best slides include built-in bumpers to cushion the impact of the drawer when closed. Inexpensive glides will cause drawers to eventually get stuck, tilt or sag. “Spend money on a top of the line slide,” says Coslick. “The operation of a drawer is just about the most important thing.”
Where to Save. Side mount glides are less expensive than undermount slides but they’re evident when drawers are ajar. If you want to slash costs and don’t mind seeing workable parts, consider side-mounted slides. Three-quarter extension glides are another practical way to cut price. In addition, if you don’t plan on stocking heavy items, you may be able to downgrade on weight capacity. Buyer beware, cheap glides can’t handle more than 50 pounds and won’t support rollout shelves or drawers filled with bulky objects. “Cut corners on drawer construction with a solid wood drawer face but an engineered box,” Coslick says. “Only the trained eye will notice the difference. As long as the box construction is good, you’ll be fine.”


If you are seeking luxury at your fingertips, go with “soft closing” or “feather touch” glides, which retract with a gentle push and include shock absorption that prevents drawers from slamming shut. Also, check out detent features, which cause the drawer to pause at various marked positions.
Pull-through slides are ideal for islands because they allow drawers to be opened from either side. Some specialty slides allow drawers to extend beyond a full extension. These slides are advantageous for countertops with deep overhangs. “For the ultimate kitchen experience, I have self-closing drawers installed,” Coslick says. “Clients love them because they add to the convenience of cooking and preparing food.”
When choosing cabinetry for your kitchen or bathroom renovation, pay special attention to your door options. Cabinet doors are the most visible part of cabinetry and a key element to the overall personality of the space. There are four basic door types:
Slab doors. These doors are made of flat pieces of plywood or medium-density fiberboard (MDF) with a veneer flanking each side.
Plank doors. Plank doors are flush and comprised of solid wood and may involve decorative patterns routed into their face.
Frame-and-panel doors. Frame-and-panel doors are manufactured with a frame around a central panel, which may be squared, arched or rounded at its upper edge. The central panel may be either recessed or raised. A recessed door has the central panel inset into the door. A raised panel offers an elevated central panel.
Frame-only doors. These have a rabbeted edge, which secures a glass pane. The pane may be a single light or subdivided with muntins, creating a pattern of separate lights.
Most cabinet doors are either sliding or hinged. Sliding doors permit access to only a portion of the cabinet’s opening while hinged doors provide full access. Door hinges support doors and allow them to swing open while latches and catches are designed to keep doors closed. Catches are two-piece assemblies concealed inside the cabinet using magnetic devises or mechanics. A latch is a variation of a catch. They can be push-operated or magnetic. They’re surface mounted, which adds another layer of style.
The type of cabinet front (framed or frameless) and door style determine the type of hinge you’ll need. “Pick hinges consistent with your door’s overlay or inset,” says Erica Neel, builder and owner of Structures Inc. in Birmingham, Ala. Inset doors require surface, butt or wraparound hinges. Rabetted doors are usually hung with lipped or semi-inset hinges. Overlay doors coordinate best with concealed hinges.
In general, visible hinges should maintain the look of knobs and pulls. The number of hinges installed per door is determined by the weight of the selected door. Most standard cabinet doors require two hinges. Appropriate hinges are generally included in stock cabinetry pricing.

Door Materials and Construction

While solid doors are intended to hide contents, glass doors display dishware. Glass door faces on upper cabinetry offer a welcome change of pace and open up the room, allowing it to feel more spacious. “Glass doors can be paned, beveled, textured, etched, mirrored, glazed or tinted,” says home improvement center specialist Wanda Edwards Lee. “Pay attention to the type of glass. If you’re not super tidy, opt for shaded or textured glass to disguise contents.” Another alternative to solid doors or upper cabinetry, open shelving personalizes a room and allows it to feel more airy. The look can be sleek for modern spaces or pump up the charm factor in cottage-like kitchens. Whatever your taste, tidiness and attractive dishware are key to glass inlays and open shelving.
Other common door types are plastic laminate and rigid thermafoil. Plastic laminate doors look similar to slab doors but most are have 5/8-inch MDF core covered with a laminate on all sides. Rigid thermafoil doors are made from a three-quarter-inch MDF slab with a sheet of heat-formed PVC face. A thermafoil surface won’t stand up to some abrasives and is easily scratched. They don’t offer the permanence of plastic laminates and their detailing is not as crisp.

Door Styles

When selecting a door style, you’ll want to consider the overall look you’re hoping to achieve. With budget in mind, first select a material. Then, decide on a style. “Pick door style carefully because it will be with you for a long time,” says Georgia-based interior designer Jane Coslick.
If you are designing a breezy, island-inspired kitchen, check out louvered doors. For a classic cottage look, browse beaded board considerations. Bungalows are compatible with Craftsman-style doors. For a sleek, modern home or loft, unadorned slab or plank doors are the standard. If your space is tight, consider simpler designs with few embellishments. An intricately crafted door can overwhelm close quarters. Always select door style synonymous with the overall period look of your home.


Hinge types include:
Butt. This common type of hinge suits an authentic, period look. They’re inexpensive, consisting of two metal leaves secured by loose or tight pins. Butt hinges may be either mortised or non-mortised.
Mortise butt hinges are set in routed or chiseled door gains for concealment and designed for flush front cabinetry. With an outer leaf attached to the frame and the inner leaf to the door back, non-mortised butt hinges are designed for flush overlay cabinet fronts or reveal overlay fronts with face frames. Butt hinges don’t function properly with inset doors and require separate locks or catches.
Concealed. (also known as a Euro hinge) This hidden hinge contains screws onto the arm, which may be altered for lateral and front to back placement. These hinges are strong and fit a 35mm hole. They’re fully adjustable in three planes and self-closing. Concealed hinges offer a sleek look and go hand-in-hand with full overlay cabinetry.
Lipped. Designed for rabetted doors, these hinges suit any style with a visible hinge pin. They are easily mounted and inexpensive.
Surface. Surface hinges are inexpensive, mount easily and non-adjustable. They require a latch to keep doors shut. With surface mounted hinges, style is of the essence.
Wraparound. These hinges have an extra flange inside doors, providing support for weighty inset doors. They require door and cabinet mortises, can be difficult to adjust and require latches.
Self-closing. These hinges are built with a spring, which prevents doors from standing ajar and are ideal for busy, five-star cooks and tight cooking quarters.
Adjustable. With oblate mounting holes, these hinges permit door adjustment. As the hinge is mounted, it may be relocated before the screw is fastened.
Other conventional hinge types include: formed, pivot, pin, invisible, continuous and glass door hinge.

Hinge Features

Hinge surfaces may be brushed, polished or textured. Many are plated with chrome, brass, oil-rubbed bronze, antiqued bronze, early American bronze or copper. Some have applied finishes such as enamel, lacquer or varnish. “Hinge finishes used to be simple,” Coslick says. “They were basically chrome or brass. Now, there are so many options to choose from. There’s everything from old-world to polished. The sky’s the limit.”

Budget Considerations

Where to Splurge. If you’ve got a collection to show off, consider glass door faces on upper cabinetry. When opting for hinges that are exposed or partially exposed, ensure they’re cohesive with the style of surrounding knobs or pulls and the overall room style. If you want a designer look, go all out on a surface mounted hinge. With styles ranging from country to classic, an attractive surface mounted hinge in a contrasting finish can make a bold statement on even the most basic style of cabinetry.
Where to Save. “Keep things simple with concealed hinges and go with an option that won’t break the bank,” Coslick says. “Then, spend some money on great-looking knobs and pulls.”

Kitchen Cabinet Finishes include painted, stained, glazed, antiqued and distressed surfaces

Cabinet finishes are a great way to personalize your kitchen. Manufactured wood doors and drawer fronts are available unfinished or with a factory-applied finish. Semi-custom cabinetry offers a wide selection of finishes and paint colors, which are typically baked on. Custom finishes are usually hand applied or rolled and topped with a varnish.
While unfinished cabinets are somewhat less expensive, the cost of labor to prep and paint them can easily offset savings. “For wood cabinetry, most manufacturers offer painted, stained, glazed, antiqued and distressed finishes,” says home improvement center specialist Wanda Edwards Lee. Stains come in a variety of pigments, allowing the wood’s natural grain to show.
A glaze is a semi-transparent wash of color applied over a paint to add dimension and depth. Glazes offer heavier contrast and less consistency. Glazes appear darker in the crevices, highlighting detailing. “It’s like putting an ink pen to it,” Lee says.
Antiqued patinas are hand-rubbed for added character, allowing cabinetry to appear well beyond its years. Cabinets may be distressed through a variety of techniques, which score the wood’s surface to add age and a weathered rustic patina. Paint has a heavy pigment that does not show the wood’s grain.
“Choose a timeless paint or finish and consider its impact as part of the whole design,” says interior designer Jane Coslick. “Over time, you’ll likely tire of anything too bold or distracting. Have a sample door finished first to compare against other design elements. Live with it for a few days before finalizing your decisions.”
Kitchen Cabinet finishes colors, systems, and topcoats are the ultimate consideration to the quality of the cabinets. The various finishes include the satin finish, stain/glaze, foils and acrylics among others. The quality of the finishing chosen will, in the long run, be worth the investment or prove to be a waste of your hard-earned cash. Here are some example kitchen cabinet finishes we recommend:

·         Real Wood Kitchen Cabinets
·         Alder Kitchen Cabinets
·         Cherry Kitchen Cabinets
·         Hickory Kitchen Cabinets
·         Maple Kitchen Cabinets
·         Oak Kitchen Cabinets
·         Pine Kitchen Cabinets
·         Walnut Kitchen Cabinets
·         Fiberboard Kitchen Cabinets
·         Glass Door Kitchen Cabinets
·         Laminate Kitchen Cabinets
·         Painted Kitchen Cabinets
·         Thermofoil Kitchen Cabinets
·         Metal Kitchen Cabinets
·         Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets
·         Stainless Steel Kitchen Cabinets

Learn about cabinetry options like knobs, pulls, lazy Susans and more

You don’t have to choose custom cabinets to personalize your kitchen. Incorporate your unique sense of style with these features:
Knobs and Pulls. These handy features are more than a means to open cabinetry. Along with hinges, they’re integral decorative elements. The primary consideration when selecting knobs and pulls is determining whether these elements will serve as an accent or blend in with surrounding cabinetry. An extensive range of knobs and pulls is available from wood and plastic to metal and ceramic. Knobs are generally round, egg-shaped, organic or square and mounted with a single screw. Pulls are typically mounted with two screws. Personal taste and price point are the only guiding factors.
Accessories. Whether you are installing new cabinetry or upgrading, you’ll want to peruse accessories for ease of use, optimum storage and increased organization. “The very basics include lazy Susans, trash bin and recycling pull-outs, and utensil dividers,” says home improvement center specialist Wanda Edwards Lee. “And you can get as detailed as you like with semi-custom and custom cabinetry. But the more accessories added, the higher costs will increase.”
Accessories vary from company to company but most offer a plethora, enabling cabinetry to be as hardworking as possible. Plate displays and divided wine racks establish eye-catching focal points but also serve a function. “For five-star cooks, spice drawers pack a big punch,” says Jane Coslick, a Georgia-based interior designer.
Another popular cabinetry feature is integrated panel systems. Designed to look like surrounding cabinetry, these veneered facades applied to the surface of utilitarian appliances, such as dishwashers and refrigerators, avoid a choppy look and allow the kitchen to feel less industrial.
Here’s a punch list of more handy accessories:
  • Rollout drawer trays offer a continuous look and increase organization.
  • Swing-out shelving and pantry pull-outs maximize pantry storage.
  • Pull-out tables fully extend for increased work space.
  • Slide-out baskets and bins hide trashcans and recycling centers.
  • Cutlery and utensil dividers make putting away items a cinch.
  • Tilt paneled sink fronts conveniently store cleaning supplies.
  • Lazy Susans make efficient use of corners or “dead space.”
  • Spice drawers keep spices within eyesight.
  • Appliance garages house toasters, coffee makers, blenders and other small appliances beneath a door that functions similarly to a garage door. Items are kept out of sight and don’t need to be put away after use.
Lighting. Effective illumination increases productivity and brightens any space. A variety of professional lighting is available with most stock, semi-custom and custom cabinets. Above-cabinet lighting includes linkable light strips and task lighting, suiting spaces with lofty ceilings that are void of soffits. Interior cabinet and drawer lighting provides a glow inside cabinetry. Puck lights, fluorescent strips and decorative cabinet lighting offer general ambiance below upper cabinetry.
Decorative Features. “In the 1800s, the kitchen was often located in a detached building, but today’s kitchen is a part of the main living space,” says Florida-based kitchen designer Carolyn Lambert. “Decorative elements are designed to give a space that ‘wow’ factor.” Posts, pilasters, corbels, capitals, valances, wainscoting and hoods are just a few of the many decorative accessories that make a big impact in any kitchen.
“Every kitchen needs at least one focal point to make it unique,” Lambert says. “Large wood hood systems make a stunning statement while other decorative accessories lend cabinetry a furniture-like feel, allowing kitchens to be open to the primary living spaces.”

Get tips on choosing cabinetry that’s easy on the planet

Environmentally conscious consumers have more options than ever to limit their negative impact on the planet, at least when it comes to their kitchen cabinets.
The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) created the Environment Stewardship Program (ESP) to help manufacturers, consumers, designers, architects and builders identify environmentally friendly products. More than 150 cabinet manufacturers carry an ESP seal, which recognizes companies meeting requirements of air quality, product resource management, process resource management, environmental stewardship and community relations. Stock, semi-custom and custom cabinetry are all available with ESP certification.
Whether purchasing through local dealers, designers or home improvement centers, such as Lowe’s or Home Depot, look for and inquire about products with an ESP seal.

More Eco-Friendly Tips

  • If you’re repainting, opt for paints with low or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • When designing custom cabinetry comprised of solid wood, always ensure that wood is derived from a certified managed forest and carries the Forest Stewardship Council logo.
  • Be sure to complement cabinetry with other sustainable or eco-friendly materials on nearby countertops, floors and backsplashes.
The options are seemingly endless when you’re shopping for cabinetry for a kitchen or bathroom remodel. Manufacturers sell cabinets through a retail network including building supply stores, kitchen and bath retailers and home improvement centers, such as Lowes and Home Depot.
It’s advisable to enlist the same company to measure, design, purchase and install cabinetry, whether you buy through a big box store or a custom cabinet maker. “The most important thing is to allow the same person or company who designs the cabinets to also install them,” says California-based builder Ben Davies. “If you don’t and mistakes are made, installation costs quickly go way up. If you come across a cabinet maker who does not install, go with another company.”
“Measurements are so important. Just an inch is enough to throw off the fit,” says home improvement center specialist Wanda Edwards Lee. “It’s important and convenient to let your retailer take the measurements, design the plan and handle the install. This ensures you won’t be responsible for any measurement or other oversights.”
Once ordered, the turnaround time for kitchen cabinetry can be anywhere from one day to several months. Semi-custom orders take around six weeks to arrive and stock cabinetry delivery time is minimal, often with same day delivery. Plan on eight weeks or more for custom cabinetry. After the shipment arrives, ensure cabinets match the bill of sale.
“Installation methods vary from installer to installer but walls should be straight and primed, floors flat and everything square,” Davies says. Cabinet doors and drawers should be removed before installation and appliances to be installed should be on-site, in case any adjustments are necessary.