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Finding the Right Kitchen Cabinets

Nov. 6, 2017 at midnight

Choosing kitchen cabinets can prove to be a daunting task. They are one of the most visible design elements in the kitchen, create its overall look, and make the room function effectively. And, cabinets are an expensive part of the overall renovation; they usually account for around 30% of a kitchen’s total remodel budget. Also,

you can get overwhelmed by all of the possibilities. There is a host of different styles, materials, finishes, and accessories to choose from. Your cabinets can create a timeless, traditional style, for example, or produce an ultra-sleek, modern style.

However, there’s no reason to panic. While cabinetry is expensive and a crucial part of your kitchen’s appearance, it can also last for a very long time, so it’s important to think carefully. With thorough consideration, you can find cabinets that fit your kitchen, style, and budget.

First, you’ll want to decide if you want stock, semi-custom, or custom-made cabinets. Stock cabinets are bought as is from the manufacturer and come in standard sizes. While they are generally more affordable, they may not precisely fit your kitchen and may reduce available storage space. Semi-custom cabinets are in the middle of the price range. With semi-custom, you can choose from a broader selection of materials, styles, and finishes. In addition, you can have made-to-order doors for stock items or get specify sizes to mix and match in more challenging kitchen spaces. Custom-made cabinets are, unsurprisingly, entirely made-to-order. If you decide on custom-made, you get to choose everything, including the materials, styles, hardware, and finishes. While custom-made cabinets are the most expensive, they also offer the opportunity to design your cabinets to perfectly fit your space and needs. Moreover, with custom or semi-custom cabinets, you can get customized finishes, including a catalyzed finish.

You’ll also want to decide between framed and frameless cabinets. With framed cabinets, there is a 1-2 inch frame surrounding the face of the cabinet, and doors and hardware attached to the frame. With frameless, the doors attach directly to the cabinet’s face. Framed cabinets are more traditional and don’t necessarily require exterior knobs or pulls. Frameless cabinets, also called European cabinets, are more contemporary. If you like the look of frameless cabinets but still want the stability of a frame, you can also get framed cabinets with a full overlay. The overlay type indicates how much of the frame is visible. Standard overlays show an exposed frame, while full overlays hide the frame completely.

Now, you’ll want to think about the exterior look. What kind of cabinet door do you want? The traditional shaker doors and inset doors are both fashionable and timeless, while flat doors appear more seamless. The stain or paint should also match the style of the cabinets and the kitchen’s overall appearance. Stains can highlight the wood’s grain and really show off its unique features, while custom paint jobs can present a smooth, flawless finish. Whether you plan on painting or staining, you’ll want to see finished wood samples to know it will look like when dried. Finally, you’ll want to think about your hardware, which can customize any kind of cabinet and tie in with your kitchen's overall look.

As always, get a professional opinion if you are unsure of which option works best for you. Pros know kitchens; they’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. Remember, it’s important to both appreciate what you like and understand your space. If your kitchen is a smaller galley kitchen, you may want open shelves that create a sense of spaciousness. If the kitchen is larger and more traditional, you may want framed cabinets that create a classic look. Right now, cabinetry is more diverse than it has ever been. With so many options available, your kitchen cabinets can reflect the character of your house, update your kitchen with a modern look, and make cooking more efficient.


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