Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Ideas For Kitchen Cabinets

How does one get the best ideas in creating their dream kitchen cabinet or countertop?

Most designers will tell you, you can never look at too many photos of kitchen cabinets and countertops. Create a file of features you like; it's OK to make judgments based on appearance in this case. Select colors, styles, details, and configurations you love. Then, think about function. Imagine you're preparing a holiday dinner : What storage systems would make it easy for you to find your baster, roasting pan, and muffin tins? Picture your dinner guests perched on stools at your island bar : what type of countertop would be the most comfortable under their elbows - and the easiest to clean once they've gone home?

Of all the products you'll consider for your new kitchen or bath, cabinetry offers you the greatest chance to customize. You'll be amazed by your options : raised-panel doors for traditional settings; slab (unadorned) doors for a sleek, streamlined approach; glossy lacquered finishes that convey a contemporary European look. Choose from woods as familiar as maple, oak, and cherry or as exotic as wenge and anigre.

Discover a seemingly limitless array of colors created by stain, paint, and glaze. Add decorative hardware, glass inserts (available in a variety of textures and patterns), and embellishments such as corbels and legs. And remember, you'll want to outfit cabinet interiors with storage systems suited to your stuff and style.

New cabinets are an investment you probably will live with for some time. They will likely also require the largest portion of your budget - often as much as half - for kitchen products. Your first step when shopping for cabinetry is to weigh your budget against your desire for customization. Door styles, wood species, and storage options combine to create a one-of-a-kind kitchen, but also ramp up the cost. A professional designer can help you make choices that balance your budget with your vision of your future kitchen.

Here's some buying tips when shopping for cabinetry :
  • Collect pictures of kitchens that appeal to you to establish the overall flavor you're interested in before you start comparing specific products. Such a portfolio is an ideal starting point for working with a designer, who will ask questions about the pictures and plan a design based on your answers.
  • Study cabinets at home centers and showrooms. With displays that often mimic full-size kitchens, you can compare finishes, get a feel for what it's like to bend and reach when opening doors and drawers, and investigate the many accessories that boost storage and convenience.
  • If you're interested in glass-front cabinets, first decide what you'll store in them. Clear glass is best when you wish to put items such as a dinnerware collection on display and you want visual "open space". Ribbed and other types of patterned glass add a textural element. You'll still see what's behind these glass doors, but the effect is somewhat abstract. Frosted-glass doors are the best choice when you want to break up the monotony of wood doors while obscuring contents.
Shopping for cabinetry and countertops will likely be the most daunting - and priciest - aspect of creating your new space. But if you see things my way, you'll no doubt discover that it's also the most rewarding. Let the matchmaking begin!