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When Craftsmanship Meets Luxury: Choosing the Perfect Kitchen Cabinets

Ellen from Cherry Creek Colorado asks:

Can you pass on some guidelines about selecting kitchen cabinetry?

Sure Ellen, when you think about things in your house that you touch the most, your kitchen cabinets are probably on the top of the list. Starting with breakfast, you’re pulling out cereal and dishes, getting out utensils to make lunch, and digging out pots and pans to make dinner. Something you use so much should be perfect, from how it looks to the way it works.

Getting the perfect kitchen cabinets is an investment worth making, and there are literally a million options available for you. Whether you like an intricate, classic look or a more sleek, modern aesthetic, there’s a kitchen cabinet style for you. Read on to learn about some of the design factors you can choose from in kitchen cabinets.

Framed vs. Frameless

Framed cabinets are what you typically think of when you picture cabinets. Rails and stiles form a one-and-a-half-inch box on which the cabinet door is mounted. This gives structure and dimension to the cabinets both physically and visibly.

Frameless cabinets provide a more modern, minimalistic look to a kitchen. The hinges for these cabinet doors sit inside the box, and the doors cover the entire structure of the cabinet. The box of the cabinet tends to be thicker than the framed constructions to provide enough stability.

Standard Overlay, Full-Overlay, Half-Overlay or Inset

There are four options for cabinet doors: standard-overlay, full-overlay, half-overlay or inset doors. Standard overlay is the style you most often see on framed cabinets. They overlap a little bit on the frame and do not require hardware since there’s enough room to get a finger hold.

Full-overlay or frameless cabinet doors are what you see on frameless cabinets; they cover the box of the cabinet entirely and require special hinges. Inset doors are sort of the opposite of full overlay. These doors sit flush with the box of the cabinet, feature hidden hinges and do require hardware.

Style Options

There are a wealth of options available to you when it comes to cabinet styles. You can get arched cathedral cabinets with a door panel shaped with an arched window. You can have glass inset doors that keep a space open and make everything look more glamorous (provided organization is your strong suit).

You can also get raised panel cabinets, which have a center panel that’s raised and surrounded by molding. Or you can get flat panel, shaker, or mission cabinets that feature a plain door surrounded by molding. You can even get plain flat panel doors that provide a clean, modern look; the world is your oyster, so play with different style options!

Doors vs. Drawers

One of the things you’ll want to consider when shopping for cabinets is whether you want doors or drawers. A common configuration is to have drawers on top of doored cabinets. But you should think seriously about your needs and what will work best for you.

If you have trouble staying organized, having more and larger drawers may be a good option for you. Cabinets do offer more vertical space, so those are a good choice if you have lots of stockpots, rice cookers or blenders. Take a look at what you need and decide on a configuration that works for you.

Open Shelving

If you have a small kitchen and a great penchant for organization, open shelving can be a great cabinet option. This style of cabinet has no doors, keeping everything out in the open. It’s a fantastic option for highlighting beautiful dishes or fun-colored cabinet interiors.

If you want to have some open shelving but still want a place to stash all your pan lids, you can combine open and traditional shelving. Take the doors off one or two cabinets and use those to display your most beautiful dishes. Even this small bit of openness can do a lot to make a small kitchen feel bigger.


One thing you’ll want to consider when you’re designing your new cabinets is lighting. A bit of under-cabinet lighting can make cooking much more pleasant. You won’t have to squint to make sure you don’t cut yourself while chopping vegetables.

In addition to under-cabinet lighting, you can also get in-drawer lighting. These are operated by a switch on the back so they come on as soon as you open the drawer. This can provide a very slick, modern look and make it easier to find utensils at the back of dark drawers.

Customization Levels

When you’re considering your cabinet needs, there are a variety of levels of customization to help you get your dream kitchen. The most basic level is stock cabinets that come just as they are from the manufacturer. If you have a standard-sized kitchen and basic cabinet needs, these can be a great budget option.

You can also get semi-custom cabinets that allow you to tweak small details on the cabinets as needed. Then there are fully custom cabinets that offer unlimited options in terms of cabinet design. These are made entirely to order and are a great option if you have a specific vision for your kitchen that standard cabinets can’t fulfill.

Pick Your Perfect Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinets are one of the most impactful parts of your kitchen design. They will set the aesthetic of the space, as well as making the difference between a kitchen that is a joy to work in and one that’s a hassle. You have tons of design options available to you for kitchen cabinets, so choose the ones that will work best for your style and needs.

If you’d like to get the best cabinet work done, get in touch with us at Kitchen Concepts. We offer kitchen and bathroom remodeling services, as well as custom cabinetry and countertops. We have our own in-house design team and offer 3-D visualizations of your new cabinetry. Contact Kitchen Concepts today to get started designing your dream kitchen. Reach us in Denver at 720.725.0000 or in Colorado Springs at 719.330.5474.

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