Kitchen Cabinets Features – So Many Choices

Whether building new or remodeling, how do you wade through all the choices?  Are you more interested in the overall look of your new Kitchen or would you rather focus on the functional aspects?  The reality is that you probably want both.

Today there are more choices than ever in the world of stock, non-custom, cabinetry.  In term of priorities, we tell our customers to first select the components that must be part of the initial cabinet installation.  These are essentially the components that must be ordered with the cabinets or require expert installation.

The trend today in Kitchens is for the cabinetry to look like furniture.  This particular trend is more about substance than: here today; gone tomorrow fashion.  Quality finishes and beautiful wood will hold their value for years to come.  If this look appeals to you the following features must be on your short list:

  • Crown moldings – whether you choose to have your upper cabinets go all the way to the ceiling or stop short, you must finish the tops with a crown detail
  • Light rails finish the bottom of upper cabinets in addition to hiding under-cabinet light fixtures
  • Cooktop mantels – this is a wood hood used to hide the exhaust fan above the cooktop or range.  These often have a shelf built in and supported by corbels or brackets
  • Posts, feet and legs – these are used to make islands or cabinetry look like pieces of furniture that have been incorporated into the Kitchen.  Take care in the use of feet.  They are positioned in the cabinet toe-spaces, so if positioned poorly they can be a painful trip hazard
  • Glaze finishes – a premium finish that can turn a nice Kitchen into a great one
  • Dual finishes – another technique for getting the furniture look.  Often islands are done in a contrasting finish from the rest of the Kitchen, although the look is not for everybody
  • Decorative end panels – a must do for island cabinetry, but optional at other locations. If used throughout they can become the finishing touch on a Kitchen remodel.  Can be done later by enterprising homeowners
  • Glass doors – create a focal point; use with accent lighting.  There are many styles of glass. Doors come with or without mullions
  • Open shelf units – a good choice for cookbook storage in islands
  • Wine racks – another accent feature although not the best solution for true wine storage

The second list is comprised of functional items that not only add value, but are upgrades that will make your life better

  • Wide, deep drawer units – designed for pots and pans
  • 12” deep base cabinets – use these to make islands at least 36” wide or along a wall to make an island possible in a small Kitchen
  • Rollouts and deep trays – use in base and pantry cabinets to make use of the full depth of those cabinets

The third list is comprised of items that have minimal value or can be purchased and installed by most homeowners

  • Full-extension drawers – a nice feature if budget allows
  • Soft closing drawers and doors – a nice feature if budget allows
  • Spice drawer organizer – if you need it you need it
  • Accessories to keep pots, pans and lids organized

This is, by no means, a complete list of cabinet features or accessories.  There are many more possibilities depending on the brand of cabinetry you are considering.  Make sure you aware are of everything that is available before making your final choices.


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