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Your Guide on How to Choose Kitchen Cabinets

The kitchen represents the hot spot of the home. It’s the place where families and friends gather to share meals, stories, and successes. It’s where some of the best memories are made. And when it comes time to sell the home, a well-designed kitchen can tip the scales in your favor.

 

Your kitchen cabinetry has a lot to do with the overall look and feel of the room. Different people have different needs: some prefer lots of storage, while others want to keep costs as low as possible.

 

But knowing how to choose kitchen cabinets that will enhance your aesthetics while providing the functionality you need isn’t always intuitive. 

 

We’ve got you covered with our guide on how to choose kitchen cabinets that will make your kitchen a visually pleasing space you will love spending time in. And if you’re lucky enough to live in New York City, we’ve got you covered! We offer free quotes and can help provide personalized design recommendations.

Kitchen Cabinet Styles

collage of the different styles of kitchen cabinets

#2 Credit to Elizabeth Burns Deisgn / #4 Credit to HGTV / #8 Credit to Plank and Pillow

Cabinet styles can take multiple forms and are largely based on personal taste. For example, open shelving is a big trend right now, offering quick access and greater visibility to your cabinet’s contents. Not everyone likes this style, however, since it does little to protect items from dust and debris and doesn’t conceal clutter.

Let’s look at some other popular style terms:

  • Beaded refers to the interior cabinet panel that features a single or double groove down its entire length.
  • Flat is a perfectly flat panel framed by molding.
  • Glass refers to cabinet “windows” that are framed by molding.
  • Mission is a type of flat panel cabinet that has a square frame and is usually made of oak.
  • Raised panel is a traditional option and is defined by a slightly raised center panel with a contoured groove around the edge.
  • Shaker cabinets are similar to mission cabinets but are more narrow.
  • Slab cabinets are minimalist in design and feature no molding or other ornamentation.
  • Open Shelving is a newer/more modern approach that includes substituting kitchen cabinets with kitchen shelves.

Cabinet accents can make any of the above styles come to life. Molding, decorative supports, aprons, corbels, and toe kicks should be considered in your overall design.

Types of Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

While cabinets themselves are a huge part of the kitchen aesthetics, the hardware will add to the overall vibe. The right knobs, pulls, and handles can make your kitchen appear new and well-cared for and complement the rest of your decor. 

Here are a few options to consider:

Pulls are drawer-like handles that can be attached horizontally or vertically and are usually affixed with two screws (one on each side of the pull).

Image credit to The Home Depot

Knobs are small, round handles that are attached with a single screw for a single point of entry.

Image credit to The Home Depot

Hidden pulls are attached to the top of a drawer or door with only a small piece accessible, making for a minimalist design.

Integrated handles are pulls that are made to be part of the cabinet itself.

Push latches are another type of hidden hardware that uses magnetics and requires you to push a door to open or close.

How to Choose Cabinet Color

Choosing kitchen cabinet colors should complement the rest of the kitchen. When exploring color options, you’ll want to consider the room’s lighting, since light can create shadows and throw off your design scheme.

As a general rule, white, espresso, and classic blue cabinets pair really well with bright-colored countertops and bright metals. Darker cabinets usually pair best with white countertops and stainless, but every case (and every taste) is different. 

You should also take your wall color into account. Cabinet colors should complement your existing color scheme. The two can work in tandem to create a specific mood or tone for the room. For example, white cabinets and light colored walls are often associated with the farmhouse vibe, while dark cabinets with white walls or countertops may give off more of a high-end appeal.

It’s a good idea to look at cabinets and kitchen designs online to inspire your own choices.

Types of Cabinet Qualities

Different price points will yield different types and qualities of cabinets. The good news is that more expensive cabinets don’t always look better than budget-friendly options. The biggest differentiating factor isn’t price, but the type of cabinet and the cabinet manufacturer.

 

Let’s look at some definitions to help you navigate your options:

 

  • Ready to Assemble cabinets are purchased from big box retailers like Lowe’s, The Home Depot, or IKEA and come with everything you need to install right out of the box. They’re more cost effective but less durable, so your investment might not stretch as far. You may also need professional installation.
  • Stock cabinets are purchased directly from the manufacturer. Because you’re purchasing whatever the manufacturer has in stock, you won’t have as much flexibility with size. The good news is that they’re still less expensive than other options and are usually higher quality than ready-to-assemble cabinets.
  • Semi-Custom cabinets can take two forms: either as made-to-order cabinets from the manufacturer or as stock cabinets with special requests, such as custom doors. This is a middle price point option and the quality is much higher than ready-to-assemble cabinets.
  • Custom cabinets are the most expensive option, with each cabinet being built to your specifications. These cabinets offer the most flexibility in terms of hardware, finish, size, and construction.

 

There are also two types of cabinet construction to choose from. Framed cabinets rely on a 1.5” frame in the front of the cabinet box for extra dimension and reinforcement. It also provides greater flexibility with door types. The biggest downside, however, is that framed cabinets generally require more material, which can drive up the cost. 

 

Frameless cabinets are a popular style in Europe and the trend is quickly catching on the U.S. The contemporary design eliminates the traditional frame and provides better access to the cabinet. A potential downside is that this design only allows for full overlay doors with hinges attached to the sides of the cabinet. 

 

The other major consideration for cabinet qualities is the material itself. Cabinets can be constructed with particle board, medium density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, solid hardwood, metal, laminate, or melamine. More expensive cabinets are usually constructed using higher quality materials.

Throughout homes, many other natural materials also continue to make their way into updated spaces, especially stone. And, if you thought marble was out, think again. While the white marble from this past summer may have definitely been an overused pattern, natural stones are still all the rage and they are finding their way into more parts of the home than ever, climbing outside of the kitchen and bathroom into the main living space.

What to Look For in Kitchen Cabinets

There’s no single-best option when it comes to cabinetry options. Factors like budget, size and layout of your kitchen, cabinet materials, color, and construction should all influence your decision before moving forward, and with this guide, you’ll be more prepared knowing how to choose kitchen cabinets like a pro.

If you’re located in the New York City area, Golden Talon Construction offers free quotes for kitchen cabinets and can help provide design ideas and inspiration. Contact us today to schedule a consultation today!

FAQs

Cabinet size depends largely on your storage needs and the size and layout of your kitchen. It’s a good idea to work with a designer who can help you take accurate measurements and create mockups of what your kitchen will look like with different cabinet options. If you’re located in the New York City area, our experts at Golden Talon Construction will bring samples to the consultation to help you determine which size cabinets will fit your needs best.

Hardwood is usually best in most cases because it’s more durable and lasts longer. However, the particular hardwood will depend on budget and accessibility to your selected type of wood.

The cheapest “wood” for cabinets is actually MDF board, but the cheapest hardwood is probably poplar, maple, or oak. The costs for each can vary by location.

Your Guide on How to Choose Kitchen Cabinets

The kitchen represents the hot spot of the home. It’s the place where families and friends gather to share meals, stories, and successes. It’s where some of the best memories are made. And when it comes time to sell the home, a well-designed kitchen can tip the scales in your favor.

 

Your kitchen cabinetry has a lot to do with the overall look and feel of the room. Different people have different needs: some prefer lots of storage, while others want to keep costs as low as possible.

 

But knowing how to choose kitchen cabinets that will enhance your aesthetics while providing the functionality you need isn’t always intuitive. 

 

We’ve got you covered with our guide on how to choose kitchen cabinets that will make your kitchen a visually pleasing space you will love spending time in. And if you’re lucky enough to live in New York City, we’ve got you covered! We offer free quotes and can help provide personalized design recommendations.

Kitchen Cabinet Styles

collage of the different styles of kitchen cabinets

#2 Credit to Elizabeth Burns Deisgn / #4 Credit to HGTV / #8 Credit to Plank and Pillow

Cabinet styles can take multiple forms and are largely based on personal taste. For example, open shelving is a big trend right now, offering quick access and greater visibility to your cabinet’s contents. Not everyone likes this style, however, since it does little to protect items from dust and debris and doesn’t conceal clutter.

Let’s look at some other popular style terms:

  • Beaded refers to the interior cabinet panel that features a single or double groove down its entire length.
  • Flat is a perfectly flat panel framed by molding.
  • Glass refers to cabinet “windows” that are framed by molding.
  • Mission is a type of flat panel cabinet that has a square frame and is usually made of oak.
  • Raised panel is a traditional option and is defined by a slightly raised center panel with a contoured groove around the edge.
  • Shaker cabinets are similar to mission cabinets but are more narrow.
  • Slab cabinets are minimalist in design and feature no molding or other ornamentation.
  • Open Shelving is a newer/more modern approach that includes substituting kitchen cabinets with kitchen shelves.

Cabinet accents can make any of the above styles come to life. Molding, decorative supports, aprons, corbels, and toe kicks should be considered in your overall design.

Types of Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

While cabinets themselves are a huge part of the kitchen aesthetics, the hardware will add to the overall vibe. The right knobs, pulls, and handles can make your kitchen appear new and well-cared for and complement the rest of your decor. 

Here are a few options to consider:

Pulls are drawer-like handles that can be attached horizontally or vertically and are usually affixed with two screws (one on each side of the pull).

Image credit to The Home Depot

Knobs are small, round handles that are attached with a single screw for a single point of entry.

Image credit to The Home Depot

Hidden pulls are attached to the top of a drawer or door with only a small piece accessible, making for a minimalist design.

Integrated handles are pulls that are made to be part of the cabinet itself.

Push latches are another type of hidden hardware that uses magnetics and requires you to push a door to open or close.

How to Choose Cabinet Color

Choosing kitchen cabinet colors should complement the rest of the kitchen. When exploring color options, you’ll want to consider the room’s lighting, since light can create shadows and throw off your design scheme.

As a general rule, white, espresso, and classic blue cabinets pair really well with bright-colored countertops and bright metals. Darker cabinets usually pair best with white countertops and stainless, but every case (and every taste) is different.

You should also take your wall color into account. Cabinet colors should complement your existing color scheme. The two can work in tandem to create a specific mood or tone for the room. For example, white cabinets and light colored walls are often associated with the farmhouse vibe, while dark cabinets with white walls or countertops may give off more of a high-end appeal. 

It’s a good idea to look at cabinets and kitchen designs online to inspire your own choices.

Types of Cabinet Qualities

Different price points will yield different types and qualities of cabinets. The good news is that more expensive cabinets don’t always look better than budget-friendly options. The biggest differentiating factor isn’t price, but the type of cabinet and the cabinet manufacturer.

 

Let’s look at some definitions to help you navigate your options:

 

  • Ready to Assemble cabinets are purchased from big box retailers like Lowe’s, The Home Depot, or IKEA and come with everything you need to install right out of the box. They’re more cost effective but less durable, so your investment might not stretch as far. You may also need professional installation.
  • Stock cabinets are purchased directly from the manufacturer. Because you’re purchasing whatever the manufacturer has in stock, you won’t have as much flexibility with size. The good news is that they’re still less expensive than other options and are usually higher quality than ready-to-assemble cabinets.
  • Semi-Custom cabinets can take two forms: either as made-to-order cabinets from the manufacturer or as stock cabinets with special requests, such as custom doors. This is a middle price point option and the quality is much higher than ready-to-assemble cabinets.
  • Custom cabinets are the most expensive option, with each cabinet being built to your specifications. These cabinets offer the most flexibility in terms of hardware, finish, size, and construction.

 

There are also two types of cabinet construction to choose from. Framed cabinets rely on a 1.5” frame in the front of the cabinet box for extra dimension and reinforcement. It also provides greater flexibility with door types. The biggest downside, however, is that framed cabinets generally require more material, which can drive up the cost. 

 

Frameless cabinets are a popular style in Europe and the trend is quickly catching on the U.S. The contemporary design eliminates the traditional frame and provides better access to the cabinet. A potential downside is that this design only allows for full overlay doors with hinges attached to the sides of the cabinet. 

 

The other major consideration for cabinet qualities is the material itself. Cabinets can be constructed with particle board, medium density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, solid hardwood, metal, laminate, or melamine. More expensive cabinets are usually constructed using higher quality materials.

Throughout homes, many other natural materials also continue to make their way into updated spaces, especially stone. And, if you thought marble was out, think again. While the white marble from this past summer may have definitely been an overused pattern, natural stones are still all the rage and they are finding their way into more parts of the home than ever, climbing outside of the kitchen and bathroom into the main living space.

What to Look For in Kitchen Cabinets

There’s no single-best option when it comes to cabinetry options. Factors like budget, size and layout of your kitchen, cabinet materials, color, and construction should all influence your decision before moving forward, and with this guide, you’ll be more prepared knowing how to choose kitchen cabinets like a pro.

If you’re located in the New York City area, Golden Talon Construction offers free quotes for kitchen cabinets and can help provide design ideas and inspiration. Contact us today to schedule a consultation today!

FAQs

Cabinet size depends largely on your storage needs and the size and layout of your kitchen. It’s a good idea to work with a designer who can help you take accurate measurements and create mockups of what your kitchen will look like with different cabinet options. If you’re located in the New York City area, our experts at Golden Talon Construction will bring samples to the consultation to help you determine which size cabinets will fit your needs best.

Hardwood is usually best in most cases because it’s more durable and lasts longer. However, the particular hardwood will depend on budget and accessibility to your selected type of wood.

The cheapest “wood” for cabinets is actually MDF board, but the cheapest hardwood is probably poplar, maple, or oak. The costs for each can vary by location.