How to Choose the Right Cabinets for Your Kitchen
A kitchen is the center of any home. It’s the place where your family gathers to prepare meals, grab a snack, and socialize. It’s also where you store all of your foodstuffs, dishware, and cooking implements, which is why your cabinets are so important.
Cabinets are for more than mere storage, though. In addition to being utilitarian, they must also enhance the aesthetic of this oft-used space. The wrong cabinetry could make your kitchen feel dark and claustrophobic, or alternately, sterile and institutional.
The right kitchen cabinets will provide the perfect marriage of form and function, becoming an inextricable element of a cohesive design, while serving your functional needs with suitable storage and convenient features. How can you choose the perfect cabinets for your kitchen? Here are a few things you’ll want to consider when making your choice.
Before you even start looking at options for upgrading cabinets, you need to know what kind of space you have available. Like any remodeling project, the first step is to take measurements. This will provide a designer with the information needed to create a floor plan and mock-ups for your approval, as well as select the products and sizes to complete your kitchen.
Just because you don’t necessarily see the bones of your cabinetry, so to speak, doesn’t mean the quality of craftsmanship isn’t a primary concern when choosing the right cabinets for your kitchen. While the average homeowner might not know a lot about how cabinets are constructed, you should make a point of asking about the type of materials used, the thickness of boards, and the kinds of joints.
A knowledgeable designer should be able to describe all of these elements to your satisfaction and highlight the structural features that make your cabinets sturdy and dependable, as compared to lower-quality products.
First and foremost, your cabinets must be functional, which means you need adequate storage space for all of your dishes, cookware, utensils, and more. If you don’t have a dedicated pantry (or even if you do), you’ll also need storage space allocated for dry goods, spices, non-perishable snacks, your collection of gourmet coffee tins, and so on.
When you first start looking at cabinets, utility should be your top priority. You want to make sure cabinets will not only fit in your space, but that you have ample room to accommodate all of your kitchen gadgets and wares. From there you can start to look into handy extras like spice racks, plate racks, wine racks, corner cabinets with lazy Susans, and features like soft-close drawers, just for example.
You probably have some ideas about what you prefer when it comes to kitchen cabinets, but before you inundate your designer with kitchen pics from your favorite Pinterest boards or pages torn from Architectural Digest magazine, you might want to stop and consider how different elements will work with existing architecture.
These days you don’t necessarily have to be a slave to one particular style, but neither do you want to end up with a kitchen that is so at odds with your existing architectural style as to be an eyesore. You can blend styles, but you should probably try to stick to basic themes.
This isn’t to say you can’t stray from a prescribed formula. Just because you live in a Victorian or craftsman style home doesn’t mean you can’t create a more modern and streamlined aesthetic when installing kitchen cabinets. You just might not want to go too far. If the general look and feel don’t at least compliment your home’s existing architectural style, you risk ending up with a kitchen that stands out like a sore thumb.
Modern vs. Traditional Aesthetic
There are so many options for cabinetry that you really can find products to suit almost any style sensibility, whether you want a specific style or you just have a feeling in mind. In order to narrow your options, you might want to begin by deciding whether modern or traditional styles are more to your liking.
Naturally, existing architecture could play a role in your decision. For example, you don’t necessarily want an ultra-modern, glass and metal kitchen space in an old Victorian home, but neither do you have to go overboard with the adornments particular to this style if your preference is a clean, simple, and streamlined look.
Modern kitchens can blend a variety of stylistic elements, so if you like certain aspects of both modern and traditional styles, simply speak with your designer to determine which elements will work best together to create a beautiful, personal, and cohesive kitchen design.
Simple vs. Embellished
Cabinetry can feature as much or as little embellishment as you prefer. Modern homes may feature nothing more than minimalist, open shelving meant to display dishware, or if you want a more enclosed structure, you could forego solid doors in favor of glass panels, even going so far as to install undershelf lighting to show off fancy dishes.
You could also go all out with cabinetry edged by elaborate corbels and molding, doors and drawers that feature beveled frames or decorative glass work, and of course, eye-catching hardware. Your designer can provide you with suitable options based on your architecture and your personal preferences.
Whether you like the look of natural wood, you prefer the sleek simplicity of laminates, you’re interested in the personality of painted wood, or metal and glass options are more your speed, the materials you choose for cabinets (or at least the facing) will have a major impact on the overall look and feel of your kitchen. Make sure to ask for samples so you can get an idea of how different materials, colors, and textures might look in your space.
One of the best things about living in a post-modern world is that you can deconstruct styles and make them your own. Case in point: modern, mix-and-match kitchen cabinets. Many homeowners these days are opting for a blend of dark and light wood, or for two different colors of cabinets.
This popular trend usually involves placing darker cabinets on the bottom and lighter ones on top to add visual weight to the lower half of the kitchen while maintaining a light, airy, and open aesthetic, but you can mix and match however you like.
Ask the Pros
Most homeowners aren’t experts in cabinetry, which is why you should speak with design professionals that can guide you through the process and ensure you get the products that meet your functional and aesthetic needs. An experienced designer can collaborate with you to turn your unique vision of the perfect kitchen into a reality.
Even better, you should seek a full-service business that can manage your kitchen remodel from beginning to end, providing one-of-a-kind designs, installing your cabinets, and advising you on how to proceed at every step of the way. With experienced designers, architects, and builders all under one roof, you can truly get the personalized service and custom kitchen cabinetry you’re looking for, along with other design and construction services if you’re interested in a complete overhaul.
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