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A 7-step guide to choosing the right kitchen cupboards

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
by Feldman Architecture Classic
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The right cabinetry for your kitchen can make or break your cooking space – visually, at least. And let’s also remember that budget always plays a part (this is real life, after all). 

Fortunately, we have a little system that we use when picking out kitchen cabinetry, and it’s always worked for us. 

Here’s what we do…

1. Decide on stock vs. custom

First of all, decide whether you want custom cabinets, stock cabinets, or something in between. 

Custom: built to your specifications, this is the option that is the most expensive and labour-intensive.  

Stock: ready-made kitchen cabinets that are mass produced and sold in specific sizes and colours (definitely the quickest and cheapest). 

Semi-custom: similar to stock cabinets, yet you have the option to partially edit sizes and add extra details.

2. Think about storage

Residential French Lane Modern kitchen by HEID Interior Design Modern Granite
HEID Interior Design

Residential French Lane

HEID Interior Design

Be honest with yourself when asking the following questions: 

• Is your kitchen cluttered? If so, is it because you require more storage areas, or because you’re just not organised? 

• Are you a cabinet person or a drawer person? 

• Do you have small appliances that can be hidden away or built-in instead of placed on the counter?

3. Determine your door style

​ Design Ideas for large kitchen of Katrina Antonovich by Luxury Antonovich Design Classic
Luxury Antonovich Design

​ Design Ideas for large kitchen of Katrina Antonovich

Luxury Antonovich Design

When choosing door styles, consider not only the look you want for your kitchen, but the rest of your home’s style as well. Remember: your kitchen needs to connect with the rest of your house, especially in an open-plan layout, so that the final design can visually “flow”. 

If you’re going with custom cabinets, you can choose pretty much anything, whereas semi-custom will have fewer options. With stock, what you see is what you get.

4. What about colour and finish?

Modern Kitchen Revamp - High Gloss Two-tone by Zingana Kitchens and Cabinetry Modern
Zingana Kitchens and Cabinetry

Modern Kitchen Revamp—High Gloss Two-tone

Zingana Kitchens and Cabinetry

Similar to door styles, the colour and finish you pick should reflect your personal style and complement the other colours and finishes in the room (like the floors and countertops). 

And consider return on investment as well – going with a style that’s too trendy might mean it can become dated very quickly. When it comes to kitchens, light neutrals and classic wood finishes are usually best for either maintaining or increasing the value of your home.

5. Picking out hardware

House B - House Design by Redesign Interiors Eclectic
Redesign Interiors

House B—House Design

Redesign Interiors

The hardware will provide the finishing touch on those cabinets. As a general rule, you want the hardware to align with the style of the cabinet doors. 

For example, a sleek cabinet door will go with simple knobs and pulls with a clean silhouette. But remember that you can also create an eye-catching look by juxtaposing the simple with the extravagant.

6. Picking out hardware part 2

The Icon, Grosvenor Road, London, SW1V Modern kitchen by APT Renovation Ltd Modern
APT Renovation Ltd

The Icon, Grosvenor Road, London, SW1V

APT Renovation Ltd

If possible, ask your cabinet-maker/kitchen installer to hold off on handles and knobs until all of your cabinetry has been installed. This will give you an opportunity to stand in your new kitchen and hold your handles against the cabinet doors and drawers to try out different positions and heights.

7. Adding moulding and details

Adding moulding is an easy way to make your kitchen cabinets unique. Choices include decorative supports, aprons, corbels and toe kicks—these features might not come standard on most cabinetry, but they can add lots of character.

And let’s not forget how frosted, textured and seeded glass can also change the look of your kitchen cabinets!

Next up: 13 ideas for kitchen tiles and walls.

Which cabinet styles (and colours and finishes) are you picking out for your kitchen?
Modern houses by Casas inHAUS Modern

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