The first thing anyone notices when they walk into a kitchen is the cabinetry. After all, the cabinets usually dominate the space.
With something as important as this major kitchen feature, you should take some time to consider your options and make the choices that best suit your needs.
The base cabinets
tend to take priority in the decision-making process, over the hung cabinets. We spend more time bending down to get cooking tools and cleaning products that are generally stored there. So, for ergonomics sake, this is a good place to start. These lower cabinets can include doors and drawers. The pull-out feature of a kitchen drawer makes it appealing to many homeowners—from pot lids and dishware to utensils and linens. Talk to your builder about how you can best use the base cabinet space with enough drawers to make it functional and accessible. Also look into narrow pull-out cabinets and pantry cabinets to make the most of every inch of storage space in your kitchen.
When you’re choosing your wall-mounted kitchen cabinetry, you have different height options
. They can extend all the way to the ceiling, which gives an elegant, finished look, but you also have to wonder how you’re going to access those high spaces.
The cabinet style
can vary from country cottage chic to contemporary sleek to elegant or exotic. With such a broad range of materials and designs, you can customize your kitchen cabinetry to suit your taste. Wood type—cherry, oak, mahogany, and bamboo, to name just a few—can be natural, stained, lacquered, or treated for a textured look. Of course, painted cabinets are another great option for bringing your personal style into the kitchen.
The cabinet door style
defines the design, and also is the biggest factor when it comes to price. Shaker, inset, flat, beadboard, distressed, louvered, and thermofoil are the most common styles. Glass doors have become a popular trend in kitchen cabinetry, because they allow the homeowners to showcase their favorite décor, glassware and dishes. Of course, you can explore custom options, but you’ll be significantly adding to the cost.
You also will decide between exposed and concealed hinges. For certain styles, like contemporary designs, you don’t want the hinges to break up the line, while distressed cabinets often utilize exposed hinges.
Your final design element is the cabinet hardware—the handles and pulls
. Often referred to as the “jewelry” of kitchen cabinetry, the hardware accessorizes, adding the finishing touch that is as personal as your signature. When shopping for the cabinet hardware, bear in mind that you are going to need a lot of pieces. Create an inventory list of the sizes and types of hardware so you don’t get in over your head and your budget!
Talk to your builder about cabinetry options and suggestions. Look at cabinet layouts in magazines and the homes of friends and family. Gather photos of the features you like so that you’re more prepared to appoint your kitchen with the cabinetry that’s right for you.