Cabinets help bring a room to life and give a distinctive character to your home's interior, particularly when it comes to the kitchen. High quality cabinetry doesn't just look good but offers the benefit of an excellent system of organization. Whether you're choosing cabinets for your kitchen, bathroom or laundry room, the following guidelines will help give you an idea of what to take into consideration when making your selections.
Since the kitchen is such a key ingredient to your new home design, it's important you choose cabinets that meet all your needs. If you're interested in having taller cabinets or storage over the refrigerator, now is the time to choose them. You might also want to consider adding amenities, such as rollout shelves, wine racks, plate racks and decorative accessories like crown molding.
To keep a consistent look and feel throughout your home, your bathroom cabinets will usually match what you've selected for your kitchen. Consider the convenience of a raised vanity, because it not only gives your bathroom an extra touch of elegance, but it often provides extra storage space and additional drawers.
Though you may choose to continue the same cabinetry into your laundry room, many people opt for a simpler more economical style for this area. Your main consideration is storage, so focus on making choices that will give you the space and convenience you need. Consider details like how often you will use the room and how many supplies you plan on storing.
Selecting a Cabinet Style
Cabinetry has two basic construction styles: standard overlay and full overlay. A standard overlay reveals much of the cabinet face frame for a more traditional approach, however with this style, the size of the openings for drawers and doors will be reduced. If you're looking for a more contemporary and sleek appearance you may prefer the full overlay style, where the door covers most of the cabinet face frame, so you can enjoy increased storage space and easier access.
The cabinet doors come in two basic styles: flat panel and raised panel. Flat panel offers a simple, smooth front with no design detail, while raised panel features a variety of decorative styles like recessed or raised details. For added appeal on your upper cabinets you can combine solid wood with a glass-front door.
Choosing a Hardwood
Each type of hardwood cabinetry, like oak, maple, cherry or hickory, has distinctive characteristics and style.
Oak is the least expensive of the hardwoods and usually chosen for its strength and durability. Because it is forgiving of nicks and bumps, it can be an ideal choice for cabinets. The grain pattern ranges from straight grains to arcs, and colors range from light tans to deep reddish browns.
Maple is also a hard and durable wood, but with a smooth, subtle grain pattern and a clean, fine texture. Colors range from creamy to light blonde tones to dark reddish-browns. As part of its natural aging process, maple will mellow into a rich golden patina. As with other wood species, darker stains will reduce the natural wood color variation. Keep in mind that mineral streaks, pitch flecks and other markings are part of its natural characteristics, not defects.
Cherry is a warm, rich hardwood known for the elegant look it creates. Grain swirls, fine pinholes, pitch pockets, mineral streaks, and variations in color and grain distinguish it. The natural color of cherry ranges from pale yellow to deep reddish-brown.
Hickory is a very tough, dense hardwood, making it an extremely durable cabinet material. It is known for dramatic color variation, ranging from deep reddish-brown heartwood to pale-white sapwood. Knots and streaks add to the charm of hickory cabinets.
No matter which type of hardwood, style or finish you choose, remember that high quality, beautiful cabinetry is a major selling point for any home. The cabinets you select for your home reflect your personal taste, create a system of organization and add a distinctive design finish to every room.