Nothing refreshes the look of a kitchen more than new kitchen cabinets. Crisp, clean lines and shiny hardware draw the eye and pull the entire room together. But there are so many options, how does a homeowner know what to choose? Here are some tips to help anyone choose the perfect cabinets for their home.
The first is the first
Before a homeowner starts choosing new kitchen cabinets, he needs to know the exact layout of the kitchen. Measurements must be taken and an overall design theme must be chosen. This will make the ordering process much more streamlined. Standard lower cabinets should be 24 inches deep and 36 inches high, while upper cabinets are typically at least 12 inches deep and 18 inches above the counter. However, these measurements are only a guide and can be customized.
Stock, Semi-Custom and Customized
Kitchen cabinets can be ordered in three ways: standard, semi-custom, or custom. Standard varieties come as-is and are the most affordable options. They may come assembled or in a package for the owner to assemble. Semi-custom means that buyers have some additional options when ordering that will give them more flexibility, but are still restricted to what is already available. Custom options are designed especially for the owner and can be adjusted to suit any setup.
framed vs. unframed
Standard cabinets are usually framed, meaning the door and drawers are attached to a front frame. However, European or frameless cabinets have been gaining in popularity in recent years. In this option, the door and drawers are fixed directly to the box. The lack of a front face can reduce the strength of the frame, so experts recommend avoiding cheap materials like particle board and using more solid wood instead.
There are several different door styles, from traditional Shaker to flat and glass panel doors. The style of the door will have a significant impact on the overall style of the kitchen. Consider flat doors for a minimalist look or Shaker for a more traditional feel. Custom moldings and different finishes can be added to existing doors to create an even more custom look.
A number of accessories can be integrated into the cabinets to personalize them. Designs tend to change based on technical trends. For example, homeowners today often design built-in charging stations that will keep electronics off the counter. Appliances, such as heavy mixers or coffee makers, can be placed on lift-up shelves that are hidden behind doors. Other popular trends include pull-out trash cans, touch-open doors and integrated LED lighting.
To get the best value for your money, homeowners should focus on quality materials and construction over desired features. Avoid over-customization as some features can be so customized as to damage resale value. However, a well-done construction will always be a good investment.