This article was written by Jack Kellerman for Signature Kitchen & Bath magazine:
One of the most important decisions you will make when buying a new kitchen is choosing your cabinets.Not only are the kitchen cabinets the most costly element, but cabinets also have the largest impact visually.With so many styles, finishes, and options available, the process of selecting cabinets can often seem insurmountable.However, knowing some basic facts about kitchen cabinets, and breaking the process down into several steps, the task will be much easier.
The first step in choosing cabinets is to identify what look and style you desire for your kitchen.If you desire a very traditional kitchen, your cabinets should be face framed cabinets.This is a cabinet in which a wooden face frame is attached to the cabinet box, and doors and drawers are attached to the face frame.A modern or European style kitchen will dictate the use of frameless cabinets, which lack a face frame attached to the front surface of the cabinet.Due to the absence of a face frame, the doors and drawer fronts are attached directly to the cabinet box, and they are nearly touching one another.
Once the type of cabinet is selected, you will need to choose a door style.Cabinet manufacturers offer a multitude of door styles, and this choice is often one of personal preference.Because the doors and drawer fronts are the main element of the cabinets, the door style has a huge effect on the overall look of the cabinets.Take your time and investigate all the choices available and narrow down your selection to two or three possible doors.If possible, take the door samples home and put them in a prominent place in your home.After several days of viewing them, the right choice will become apparent.
Your next decision will be choosing between stain and painted cabinets. Again, this will be a personal preference based on the overall look you are trying to achieve. The really important thing to insist on is a good quality finish.Conversion varnish is a catalyzed product that offers a superior, furniture quality finish.Also consider using different finishes on the island and the perimeter cabinets.This will give your kitchen a unique look, and will call extra attention to the island.
With your main decisions behind you, there are a few more items on cabinets that require some consideration.Door hinges come in a variety of styles – Concealed hinges are now the standard hinge on most cabinets and offer easy three-way adjustment.Drawer boxes also come in a variety of styles, with the dovetailed drawer box being the superior choice.The drawer slide systems are also varied, but the ultimate system is the undermount slide with a soft close mechanism.This feature allows the drawers to close very slowly and softly against the cabinet.
Now the only thing left is to fill up the cabinets with all those extra goodies!There are a plethora of accessories that go in the inside of the cabinets to help organize your kitchen.From pull out spice racks, to built-in cutting boards, the options are almost limitless.A must have is a pull out trash can built into one of the base cabinets – these are also available as recycling centers.Another popular option is a lazy Susan for corner cabinets, which helps utilize wasted space.Finally, consider using roll-outs behind base cabinet doors.This helps find items stored in base cabinets, which are often difficult to access.
By breaking down the process of selecting the cabinet type, style, finish, and options, it makes the entire task more manageable and enjoyable.Take the time necessary to review all the options available to you, and don’t rush your decisions.After carefully proceeding thru the myriad of choices, you will be confident when you say, “I’ve selected the perfect cabinets for my kitchen!”