Not all cabinets are made alike. When it comes to long term sustainability, consider upgrading the materials and quality of wood to withstand many years of use.
The kitchen is the heart of the home and has more uses today than ever before. Whether you are building from scratch or planning a remodel, modern cabinets will certainly become the focal point of your room. There are stock cabinets available to fit most spaces and there are custom cabinet builders that can give you personalization beyond comprehension. Cabinets and drawers can not only hold your pots, pans and utensils, today they can even keep your food warm or drinks cold.
Homeowners may be tempted to give their existing kitchen a complete facelift and create an entirely new design. It is important to remember to not contradict the style of your home when choosing your new design, especially if your kitchen is open to your family or great room. You want the new style to mesh with the existing style.
Cabinet styles can set the mood of the home and show the personality of the homeowners. The options are endless. Homeowners can choose from: antique, arts and crafts, cottage, country, contemporary, craftsman, mission style, old world, shaker, rustic, Victorian, retro, early American, vintage, Asian, European, French country, Italian, Tuscan, Mexican, gourmet, luxury, modern, traditional, transitional and just plain unique. The type of cabinet material, the shape, the color, placement and hardware are all options available to upgrade, replace or install as new.
Not all cabinets are made alike. When it comes to long term sustainability, consider upgrading the materials and quality of wood to withstand many years of use. Good construction will aid with daily wear as well as resale value. This is not an area to cut corners. Your cabinetry may be an important selling factor one day.
Choosing the face of your cabinets and drawers is where the above styles come into play. You may choose doors with simple lines that can compliment a variety of styles or choose elaborate doors to customize your style even more. There is a vast array of door styles to choose from: slab, raised panel, recessed panel, curved or arched panel, cathedral panel, bead board panel, routed and custom designs. Glass front doors are as popular as ever and showcase your dinnerware and stemware beautifully in the process.
Cabinets of varied height are becoming more popular
nowadays. You may decide on cabinets that reach the ceiling for a more grandeur appearance or leave about 12” open above them for storage or display. Varying cabinet heights complement different countertop heights as well.
Choosing a Type of Cabinet
Your contractor will walk you through the different options in choosing what materials are perfect for your kitchen as well as the type of cabinetry to suit your needs and budget. You can also seek the professional advice of a kitchen design expert to help with those decisions and your design style.
As you would expect, wood is the most popular component for making cabinets. Both hardwoods and softwoods are utilized. Exotic woods such as mahogany and walnut are some of the most popular in cabinetry. Vast expanses of wood are apt to warp over time so to counter this, plywood or another sturdy material may be used on the inside for stability.
Laminates are made from layers of special paper and plastic resin that are compressed together by heat. The cabinet box is usually made from plywood, particle board or fiberboard and the laminate is applied to that. The most attractive feature of laminate cabinets is the large selection of colors, finishes, styles and designs. They are also very easy to clean and are seldom damaged by cleaning products and are less likely to scratch or stain because of their durability.
Veneer should be installed by a professional. Veneer consists of thin sheets of real wood, premium hardwood, veneer core, paper, laminate or another substance that is made in different sizes and thicknesses (with a peel off backing) and installed on top of plywood cabinets or existing cabinets. Wood veneer costs much less than solid wood and it is uniform in finish and grain. It is also used to give less spectacular wood the appearance of fine attractively grained hardwood. You can cover an existing cabinet door and make it look like a solid wood door. Interiors of cabinets can be covered in veneer as well. This gives the inside a finished look when viewing through glass front cabinet doors.
Stainless steel is no longer just for appliances and countertops; they make spectacular cabinets as well. Good quality steel can take a lot of wear and tear and is very easy to clean.
Homeowners have the option to install stock cabinetry, semi custom cabinetry or custom cabinetry. Stock cabinets are pre-constructed and sold at retail homebuilding stores. There is little room to adjust for architectural details or specific sizes. Stock cabinet widths typically begin at nine inches and increase in three inch increments up to forty-eight inches. A contractor must use filler strips between walls and appliances for cabinet space that do not fit into these dimensions. While options available for doors, woods, materials and accessories tend to be limited, they do typically follow what is in style at the time. Stock cabinets are able to give you a stylish look at a price tailored to the budget-conscious homeowner.
Semi-custom cabinetry is more capable of incorporating custom features such as increased or decreased height or depth. Since semi-custom cabinets are considered a ‘special order’. Modifications can be made and they offer a wider range of options in color, wood, materials, finish and door style.
Custom cabinetry is considered the top of the line in kitchens. Your only limit is your budget. There are two ways custom cabinets are designed, either a custom manufacturer or a custom woodworking shop. They can be created from any type of wood or stain, designed in any style you choose, come in any shape, dimension and measurement you can imagine.
A custom woodworking shop will typically build the base, frame and drawers in their own shop. Then they will either make the drawers and doors in house or order them from a company in the style you have chosen. Both options produce a top of the line product. The next step is to install and finish the cabinets at the jobsite for a complete custom fit.
Cabinet Upgrades for High
Even the most beautiful cabinets are not worth much if you cannot get into them; this is where the hardware enters the picture. Upgrading your hardware is a simple fix. Consider, when choosing your hardware, whether or not you want it to blend in with your cabinets or stand out as a decorative accent. Be sure to choose hardware that is sized to scale to both cabinets and drawers. You do not want to choose knobs and pulls that are too large or too small to be functional and make sure they are easy to grasp also. If you have stainless steal appliances, consider brushed nickel knobs and pulls to accentuate them. Depending on the design style you choose, there are numerous options: modern, antique, heirloom, copper, enamel, glass, contemporary, wooden, etc., to tie together a finished look.
Consider upgrading to the slam-proof door and drawer mechanism. Not only does it eliminate unnecessary noise, it also ensures longer life by reducing damage by slamming. It is also just plain cool.
Inside upgrades to cabinets today can include pull out trays and sliders for trashcans or recycle bins. Pull out shelving comes in handy if the cabinets are deep, utilizing would be wasted space. Deep pull out drawers can have built in vertical organizers for plates, baking sheets and other flat items which is a great storage option versus stacking them. Built-in spice racks that slide out are very handy, as well flour bin pullouts. On the higher end, you can install warming drawers to keep food warm while still cooking/baking or while waiting to serve. Other surprise drawer/cabinet upgrades can come in the form of a small refrigerator, wine racks and a mini dishwasher. Consider using a lazy Susan in deep cabinets and corner cabinets to give access to the rear of the cabinet. Homeowners will be amazed at the variety of storage and organizational options for today’s cabinets and drawers.
Whatever material and style you choose for your cabinets, remember that the kitchen is where much of your time will be spent at home; time spent by you or other family members, preparing meals, doing homework, locating recipes, or socializing with friends. You want to make sure this space is comfortable, warm and inviting, while still serving its intended purpose and your family for years to come. A professional contractor or kitchen designer will be sure to lead you in the right direction.
By: Melissa Sherwood