The cabinets are a major part of any kitchen renovation. Color, style, and layout are all related to the cabinets. If you imagine your dream kitchen—go ahead, do it—the first thing you probably thought about had to do with the cabinets.
Choosing cabinets may feel like a big deal, so I’m going to break it down into some easy steps that will make it seem like a cinch!
Choosing cabinets can be as easy as looking at photos on Pinterest. BTW—what did we do before Pinterest? Who knows. But I digress. Kitchen planning starts with inspiration, usually from other kitchens. Restaurants, friends’ houses, and photos online are all great places to start finding colors and styles you like. Save photos somewhere so you can return to them to review details. I have more detail about this in my first Kitchen Renovation Series post.
Choosing a store
Cabinets can be purchased at a variety of stores, ranging from Ikea to big box chains to custom cabinet stores. Your store choice will largely hinge on your budget, with custom cabinet stores costing quite a bit more money than the others. Discuss the options with your contractor to find their preferred store within your budget. Our cabinets were built by Metropolitan Cabinet, and we were very happy with the outcome.
Deciding the layout
How will you use your kitchen? Sounds like a silly question, but it’s worth really considering. Do you even cook? Do you entertain large parties on the reg? Do you order out? Think carefully about how you’ll use your space. Imagine preparing a specific meal, and then think through each of your steps to picture how to maximize the workflow. If you have a designer helping you, describe to them how you’ll use your kitchen. Listen to their suggestions. Note that as a perk of using a custom cabinet maker, you will work closely with a designer who specializes only in cabinet design and layout.
Drawers vs Cabinets
Call me crazy, but it was very important in my design to have as many drawers as possible. I was sick of aimlessly reaching into cabinets, removing stacks of pots and pans to find what I want, and returning them only to find them fall over. So far, my drawers have done a better job storing my dinnerware, pots and pans, mugs, glasses, and pretty much everything else. Think through your potential layout, and try to picture whether drawers could replace some of your cabinets to provide better function.
There were so many special feature options in the cabinet store that I couldn’t believe! Electronic toe kicks to open cabinets, popout corner cabinet caddies, spice racks, knife blocks, recessed doors…the list goes on and on. Before you meet with a designer, think about some really annoying areas in your kitchen—mine were my spice cabinet, trash can, and deep corner cabinet. Your designer may have some creative ideas to solve these storage problems. Just remember, these features usually come at a price, but some may be well worth it.
Another feature to consider is outlet placement. Where do you use your appliances? If you have a large island, do you want your outlets only on the sides, or will you need something in the middle? I thought through where I would use an appliance (the middle of the island), and opted to put outlets in the middle, between the top drawers.
What’s your favorite cabinet feature? Tell me about it below!