Choosing the perfect design options for your kitchen cabinets involves much more than simply finding something that fits your space and offers adequate storage. Choosing the right cabinet options is a complex job. It requires planning, an understanding of organizational and storage space concepts, and adherence to best practice design and construction methods.
The goal of any custom kitchen cabinet design (or re-design) should be to make the space more organized and accessible, more aesthetically pleasing, and to provide added functionality.
To help you make the right decisions when choosing design options for your custom kitchen cabinets, here are few points to ponder:
1. What’s Inside?
Selecting the best cabinet design for your space should consist of a combination of looks, practicality, and function. So, even if you think you’ve found the perfect design that will look gorgeous in your kitchen, consider what’s inside your cabinets before you finalize your choice of options.
Exactly how much storage space do the cabinets offer? What type of shelving is inside? Some cabinets have pull-out shelves while others have cubby shelving. Can it be altered or reconfigured if you want?
How will cabinet inserts (such as silverware storage or trash receptacles) work with the design? What’s possible?
At the end of the day, your cabinets need to serve their chief function: to provide sufficient storage space for all your kitchen tools, appliances, and other items.
2. What’s Beneath the Cabinets?
The toe kick space beneath cabinets is where the cabinet frame meets the floor. Traditionally, it’s been a very underutilized space—little more than a place for dirt and debris to gather. These days, however, many homeowners are opting to add discrete pull-out storage in the toe kick space. Usually accessed by tugging on a handle, it can offer lots of storage space for items such as serving platters, cookie sheets, and baking dishes.
In terms of outward appearance, the toe kick usually looks like an extension of the cabinet frame. You can also match it with the flooring. Alternatively, you can go for a different color to give the cabinets a distinct border.
That’s not all. You can add lighting in toe kick areas as well. This can improve functionality and aesthetics, and give your kitchen a modern, sleek look.
3. Consider Cabinet Lighting
Speaking of lighting, in addition to lighting cabinet toe kick areas, there are many other ways to add light fixtures to kitchen cabinets. Consider adding low profile LED strip lights to the undersides and insides of the cabinetry. This not only adds a cheery glow to your kitchen space, it can also help you find your way around the kitchen at night.
Another option is to install automatic lighting that comes on every time you open your cabinet doors and goes off when you close them. Now that’s convenience and aesthetics at your fingertips!
4. Make Sure Appliances Are Accessible
Who doesn’t love an open countertop with ample space for showcasing freshly made culinary delights? Unfortunately, when you’ve got multiple appliances taking up space on the countertop, optimizing its usage can be difficult. Most modern kitchens, however, facto places for each of these appliances into their designs.
A great example is with microwaves. In many households, the microwave sits on the countertop, taking up valuable space. But with a little ingenuity, you can incorporate space for the microwave into your cabinet’s design. When done right, you’ll be able to use the microwave without needing to bend or to climb a ladder to access it.
5. Know Your Floors
When doing a complete kitchen remodel or a new install, one area that often gets overlooked by inexperienced or DIY designers is the kitchen floor. What’s it made of? How thick is it? Should it be in place before installing new cabinets … or after?
Cabinets are usually installed slightly above the floor level. This means you can modify them without having to redo the flooring. But should you?
When possible, having the flooring in place before getting cabinetry work done is always a good idea. After all, you don’t want your new cabinets or their finishes nicked or damaged from the flooring job, which could be rigorous! Additionally, the type and thickness of the flooring might impact toe kick space which, as we’ve explored earlier in this article, can be used to create more storage.
Of course, there may be times when you have to install cabinets before the flooring, especially if you’re planning to use floating floors. An experienced cabinetry designer and manufacturer like Holland’s Custom Cabinets can help determine which steps are right for you.
6. Keep Your Budget in Mind
One of the crucial first steps of any project is to set a clear budget so you have a good idea of how much you can spend. That way, you can prioritize what’s most important to you.
Holland’s Custom Cabinets works with all of its clients to determine realistic budgets from the outset. As a client, this allows you to make decisions that factor in all of your essentials so you can enjoy a functional kitchen and get the necessary features and fixtures you want.
7. Design Creativity Can Help Make More of Limited Space
Naturally, the overall design of your kitchen cabinetry depends greatly on the space available. This, however, does not mean designs for smaller areas have to skimp on things like appliances, sinks, electrical outlets, and various storage solutions. What it does mean is that you’ll benefit greatly by working with seasoned experts like those at Holland’s Custom Cabinets to come up with creative ways to optimize your space.
When considering the design, they’ll look at things like slots for kitchen appliances, sinks, and electrical and plumbing fixtures, and factor in specs for each item to make sure they fit the available space, often providing multiple options and approaches for clients to consider.
8. Making a Place and Proper Space for Everything
The spacing between upper cabinets and countertops can make or break a kitchen’s aesthetic appeal and overall functionality. Place them too close together, and you just might wind up with lots of insufficient or unusable countertop working space. Place them too far apart, and you might have uppers that are inaccessible without a ladder. Place them just right, though, and you’ll have a visually appealing kitchen that’s open and functional.
Homeowners who work with professionals like Holland’s Custom Cabinets find their input and expertise immensely helpful. Hollands can factor in things like the thickness of countertops and the height of countertop appliances when determining the position of wall cabinets. They’ll also look at cooktop hoods, lighting, electrical outlets, appliance locations, plumbing, and various other items to ensure there’s a place and proper space for everything.
The Kitchen of Your Dreams
Installing custom kitchen cabinets is a great way to renovate a kitchen and make it more useable. As a homeowner, you’ll face a wide range of design choices, including different styles, shapes, and sizes of cabinetry, different materials, appliances, lighting, storage options, and more. Holland’s Custom Cabinets can work with you to explore these design considerations and other options so you can achieve the kitchen of your dreams. Contact us today or call us at 619.443.6081.