Best Kitchen Cabinets
Gray is the New White
Wondering what color to paint your cabinets? The kitchen industry's leading manufacturers say that while white cabinets continue to be tops, gray is the shade they're betting on to break white's top spot. This kitchen by Wellborn pairs soft gray cabinets with richly stained wood showcasing yet another kitchen trend — combining cabinet colors is a trendy look that's holding strong. Image courtesy of Wellborn Cabinets
As you begin your kitchen remodel, one aspect that will become readily apparent is that cabinets are an essential element in kitchen design, and you'll want the best kitchen cabinets your budget can handle.
Sleek Uptown Look
If you can tear your eyes away from the fabulous glass-bubble chandelier, check out these countertops: Absolute Black leather-finish granite throughout, plus serving stations and a custom-made tabletop in a complementary Iron Red polished granite. Designer Gwyneth Hand chose black laminate and charcoal-stained oak cabinets to complete the look. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchens
Cool and Glamorous
Calacatta Gold countertops — an Italian white marble with gray and gold veins — set the tone for this contemporary kitchen. Designer Erinn Valencich took a classic white palette, warmed it by marrying white lacquer and gray-stained oak cabinets, and added a retro touch with a mirrored mosaic tile backsplash. Photo courtesy of Erinn Valencich.
Want Harmony? Think Contrast
Although designer Jennifer Gilmer uses a bold orange for the walls and an exotic Macassar ebony veneer on the custom cabinetry in this kitchen, the look is still serene thanks to the addition of high-gloss white cabinets. "Combining dark and light keeps it warm while adding some sparkle," Gilmer says. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchens
Mediterranean Meets the Modern Era
Although Sarah Barnard designed this kitchen for a Mediterranean estate, she avoided a stuffy Old World look by adding wow factor. The deep charcoal hood over the cooking station pops against the toffee-colored cabinets, and the embossed concrete backsplash and armless chair are transitional touches that keep the composition contemporary. Photo courtesy of Sarah Barnard Design
Hip to the Nth Degree
Steve Johnson and Bradford Fox designed this kitchen's two colossal islands to anchor a 1500-square-foot open space. One island boasts a CaesarStone quartz countertop, the other stainless steel to complement the red lacquer and maple Poggenpohl cabinetry. Cool touch: The translucent glass backsplash changes color on demand. Photo courtesy of Poggenpohl Atelier Inc.
Two Islands Better Than One
In a large kitchen, designer Heather Hungeling prefers to create two smaller islands instead of one behemoth — a too-large island becomes an obstacle to get around instead of a boost to functionality. Here, one island is topped in granite and the other in warm, rich Iroko butcher block (an African hardwood). Photo courtesy of Heather Hungeling
Study in Black and White
Despite the presence of traditional elements such as the chandelier and crown molding, this isn't your grandma's black-and-white kitchen. Designer Angela Shannon used a 60-inch Wolf oven, high-gloss white Poggenpohl cabinets, Marron Cohiba granite countertops with metallic flecks and clear Starfire glass bar-height countertops to create a luxurious contemporary feel. Photo courtesy of Angela Shannon
Bigger Is Better
Outsized scale creates a larger-than-life effect in this kitchen designed by Heather Hungeling. The massive oak island and ivory Edwardian-style cabinetry are balanced by a contemporary-feeling backsplash with a sleek metallic finish. Lesson: Don't be afraid to mix traditional elements with of-the-moment accessories. Photo courtesy of Heather Hungeling
High Tech, High Style
Designer Leslie Meyers incorporated the latest technological wizardry to keep the lines of this ultra-contemporary kitchen bright and unbroken: an interactive glass LED-lit backsplash, pop-up electrical outlets and aluminum appliance garages. The high-gloss black and white Poggenpohl cabinetry, Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances and granite countertops appear practically seamless. Photo courtesy of Leslie Meyers
Not only do kitchen cabinets serve the important practical purpose of storage, but they also take up the most real estate in your kitchen. This means they'll play a big role in determining the overall look of your space.
The best kitchen cabinets you can choose will embody the style and function you desire for arguably the most important room in your home. In general, the quality of the cabinets you choose will be determined by the overall budget for the project. There is a wide range of cabinetry available in the market today from the highest-end custom cabinetry to the ready-to-assemble or stock kitchen cabinets you can pick up at your neighborhood retailer. Materials and labor go a long way to determining cost, as will the additional features and accessories you add to your cabinetry.
In terms of materials used in your cabinetry, there is also a range in quality. Solid wood is often considered the best cabinet material as it provides the most natural beauty and durability. It also comes in a wide range of colors and styles, so it gives you some design freedom to express your distinct tastes. There is a range in cost of wood cabinets depending on the type of wood chosen. Wood is also more expensive than any of the alternative composite cabinet materials available. Thermofoil and laminate are examples of cabinet materials that are of lesser quality and are less expensive than wood. They provide alternatives to homeowners who want a particular look but who are constrained by a tighter budget.
In terms of finishes and accessories, the best kitchen cabinets will often have the most bells and whistles. Unique color-matched finishes are available with custom cabinetry, along with hand-painted faux finishes, glass-paneled doors, and decorative wood carvings. Additionally, internal accessories such as lazy Susans, gadget garages, recycling bins and spice or wine racks can be added to meet the homeowner's unique functional needs. High-end hardware is also found on the highest-quality cabinetry, often made of unique materials and high-end metals.
Whether you choose custom cabinets or stock, wood or laminate, choosing the best kitchen cabinets for your kitchen space will result in a functional and attractive eating and cooking space in your home.
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