Kitchens are one of the most expensive home renovations, and of that, the cabinets make up the bulk of that budget. Cabinets are the most visible, and largest component of the kitchen. This makes them ripe for kitchen cabinet design possibilities.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed looking through the seemingly endless ideas.
You probably like some aspects of the modeled homes, but aren’t sure they’ll fit your décor; or you don’t see an example using a home like yours. Or maybe you just have no idea where to start.
Ultimately though, your choice should be functional and reflect your personality.
We’ll break down the process to help you choose the best kitchen cabinet design for your home.
How to Find the Best Kitchen Cabinet Design
Home remodeling can be an extremely stressful time in your life.
You are putting a great amount of time, energy, and money into a remodel — and you want it to be perfect.
Because cabinets are such a large aspect of a kitchen, finding the right kitchen cabinet design can add to this stress.
Luckily, finding the perfect design for your home can be easier than you think, if you follow these tips.
1. Think of your current cabinetry
It seems counter intuitive to think heavily about the very items you’re trying to change, but it’s actually an important step that will save you time and frustration down the road.
You’ve probably been using your existing cabinetry for awhile.
It’ll be easy to identify what you like about your current kitchen cabinet design, and what you don’t like.
Completing this thought experiment helps you really nail down what your kitchen needs instead of staring at a blank wall.
Consider how the space is organized – maybe you want to rearrange the location of drawers to make it easier to reach eating utensils; or you want to have a large open cabinet near the stove for large pots and pans.
Amount of Space
Look at the existing amount of space – are you bursting at the seams, or would you be okay paring down to something smaller?
Consider the décor – maybe you like the construction of the cabinets but the look needs to be updated; or you’re looking to completely change the overall look and feel of the space.
2. Decide what type of cabinetry you want
Once you have a clear idea of what you kitchen cabinet design you like and don’t like, you can start planning the type of cabinetry that you’ll need.
Are you looking at stock, custom, or semi-custom cabinetry?
There’s a misconception that custom is better than stock, but that’s really not the case.
It’s possible to find stock cabinets that are just as high-quality as custom cabinets.
The difference between stock and custom cabinetry is simply manufacturing.
Stock cabinets are pre-fabricated in a factory off-site so there’s not much room for things like custom sizes, finishes, or hinges.
Custom cabinets, on the other hand, are built to suit your exact specifications.
Custom options are a good choice if you want cabinetry constructed from a specific material, or your space is constructed of odd sizes.
Otherwise, stock options should work just fine.
3. Find the right materials and accessories
Once you know whether you’ll need custom or stock cabinetry you can start thinking about materials and features like the style of door, and door hardware.
There are many aspects to this part of kitchen cabinet design, so they’re explained in more detail below.
Solid wood is a popular choice but can sometimes be cost-prohibitive, depending on the wood.
Other materials include metal, melamine, and stainless steel. MDF, particleboard, and plywood are also choices. Most cabinets are a combination of these.
The cabinet boxes are usually plywood because it easily handles even the heaviest countertops, and mostly resists moisture. Particleboard is less expensive by less resistant to water damage, and often breakdown where the door hinges are located.
Hardwood veneers atop plywood or MDF are used for large flat visible sections. Veneers stick well to plywood boxes and give the impression of a solid wood construction, at a fraction of the cost.
Cabinet doors are typically constructed of solid wood.
Even if your style is less traditional there are many cabinetry options on the market.
Consider repurposing old tool boxes for an industrial look, or a dresser for a more rustic feeling.
Style of door
However, the designs typically fall into one of six styles:
- Slab is a single, unembellished piece of material. It tends to evoke a modern feeling because of its smoothness.
- Shaker style doors have a simple solid insert beveled at a 90-degree angle. The design is simple and sleek but maintains its traditional appeal. Most come paint-ready though and can be painted to feel very contemporary.
- Single arch or cathedral doors are the most common design, easily recognized by a single rounded arch at the top. These are typically constructed from a single piece of material with the design inlaid.
- Double arch doors are nearly as common as single arch and easily recognized by a rounded arch on the top as well as the bottom.
- Beadboard doors consist of a outer wood frame with an insert; the insert containing straight, evenly-spaced, vertical grooves. These work well for rustic and farmhouse style kitchens, though some creative homeowners replace the traditional insert with modern materials and designs.
- Window or mullion style doors have a frame that resembles a regular window, and a glass insert. Opaque or transparent glass, or even plexiglass can be used behind the frame. The overall style, regardless of insert, is traditional.
Finding the perfect hardware is fun; it’s usually hands-on with a lot of different materials to choose from.
And hardware gives you a good opportunity to add a surprise pop to the kitchen.
More modern kitchen designs may incorporate hidden grooves that act as handles, or use magnets behind the door instead of regular knobs.
Metal knobs with sleek curves, or very straight lines also appeal to a more contemporary aesthetic.
Traditional knobs are usually constructed of wood, though a small round metal knob also feels decidedly rustic.
This part of kitchen cabinet design is extremely personal, and depends on your individual style.
Cabinets are an important component of your overall kitchen design, reflecting your personality and design choices.
Finding the best kitchen cabinet design for your home doesn’t mean you have to spend hours on the internet looking at perfect illustrations, or sitting with a designer.
Going in with a plan makes the process much easier.
Think of what you like about your current cabinets, decide whether you want stock or custom construction, then focus on the details like materials and styles.