Cabinets form the backbone of the kitchen. Configure the cabinetry to make the most use of your kitchen’s size and floor plan, and play with different layouts and looks.
Base cabinets get the most attention, whereas hanging wall cabinets are sacrificed for aesthetic features—windows, dramatic backsplashes—to create atmosphere and a living room appeal in the kitchen. That said, base cabinets are moving away from doors and toward drawers. Drawers make storage more accessible for more people.
"Ergonomically, it brings contents to you rather than you having to bend over and dig through layers to get what you need," says Dennis Poteat of Blum Inc.. Hardware accessories neatly organize plates, pots, pans and lids, plastic-ware, you name it.
Going Up the Wall.
Wall cabinets today extend to the ceiling, making use of high-up space for storing infrequently used specialty serving-ware and cookware. Or, wall cabinets are blown to full-length proportions, stretching from floor to ceiling to create an accent wall that can house everything from cookbooks to appliances.
Cherry wood is big for cabinets with rich, dark finishes. For a more exotic look, go for alternative woods such as mahogany, bamboo, sapele and anaglade. These can be stained or even lacquered to provide a sleek finish. The glazed cabinet treatment is phasing out with the rise of textured looks: wood grain peeking through brushed finishes—a more natural look.
European-style frameless cabinets afford more storage than traditional rail-style cabinets that are typically found in U.S. kitchens. Soft-close on drawers and doors is a must. Some hinges have this feature built-in. Touchless cabinets are a luxury add-on that is becoming more mainstream. This application is especially convenient for waste/recycling drawers.
Request fully adjustable door hardware that allows the installer to adjust doors so the gap between them is uniform.
Ask for recessed bottoms or a valence to hide under-cabinet light fixtures.
You don’t have to invest in luxury cabinets to get high-quality features. Moderately priced, semi-custom cabinets offer many organization solutions like spice organizers and pull-out pantries.
What are you going to do with that dead space in the far back corner of your cabinets? You might not even know this space exists—sometimes the blind corner is closed off completely. A pie-corner base cabinet pulls out and utilizes the space; and an old-fashioned Lazy Susan spins and brings stored items within reach.