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Getting New Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinets set the style for any kitchen, and with advances in functionality as well as beauty, your new cabinets should transform your food prep workspace. 

According to Consumer Reports, new cabinets account for about 40 percent of an overall kitchen remodel budget, so it’s important to get the look and features you want. 

Lowes.com explains that cabinets are available in one of three ways: 

Stock cabinets are preassembled in standard sizes and shapes, and often have size-matched Formica countertops available. Features are limited to the basics - shelf space and sliding drawers, a good solution for garages and utility rooms. $

Semi-custom cabinets are built after you order them, and they offer more features like corner cabinets with Lazy Susans, so you can access items without wasting space. You can pick and choose which options you want and where to put them. They come in standard sizes and configurations. $$

Custom cabinets are made to specifications and are ideal if you have irregular spaces that can’t be accommodated by semi-custom manufactures. For example, you can create a more open kitchen by ordering custom cabinets that are a few inches shallower than standard, a difference that won’t be discernable to the casual observer. Custom cabinet makers can build anything you want, and can match colors, stains, and finishes to existing cabinets or furniture. $$$

The most popular contemporary cabinets today are frameless, which means they are like a lidless box turned on its side. There’s no face over the cabinet interior, so drawers and cabinet doors can access all the space. This is ideal for kitchens with storage problems. Cabinet doors and drawer fronts are full overlay, which means there’s only a fraction of space between the drawers or cabinets. The look is clean, sleek and modern, but can be made more traditional with wood finishes and the types of cabinet/drawer hardware pulls you choose. 

Look for “quiet closing” cabinets that close on their own to prevent slamming sounds and hurt fingers, a boon for parents of small children. Storage options that pull down, rotate or lift up can deliver small appliances and other equipment to you without your having to bend over or get onto a stepladder. Drawers that pull out under countertops are easier to use than shelves because you can see everything that’s stored. Cabinets that reach the ceiling can accommodate items you don’t use daily, like holiday dinnerware. 

Many new kitchens have various wood grains and stains, factory-painted wood, and porcelain or laminate cabinet fronts. Lower cabinets and island cabinets often feature a contrasting color to the wall cabinets. 

All kitchens have trouble spots that can be fixed with the right design. Hire a kitchen specialist or take advantage of in-house design services. They’re adept at space planning, traffic control and are up-to-date on the newest labor-saving products. 

Be open to new products that can save you valuable time, such as drink stations, refrigerated drawers and large trough sinks. Visit a few kitchen showrooms with your designer to get more ideas.