How to Choose Kitchen Cabinets: Which Kitchen Cabinets are Best?

How to Choose Kitchen Cabinets

If you are in the middle of a kitchen remodel or outfitting a new one, choosing the right cabinets and hardware may be difficult. With many cabinet styles, doors and materials, you will find it difficult to choose. It is not a simple matter of going with pure aesthetics and functionality. There is also storage space, surface area and cabinet style to decide on.

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The following guide will help you arrive at the best kitchen cabinets for your available space and budget in terms of storage, cabinet door styles and aesthetics.

How to choose the best kitchen cabinets?

Whether you are going with custom cabinets or stock cabinets, you have to think about the most important factors surrounding them. This means the style of cabinets, your budget, door profile, type of material, hardware, function, aesthetics and finish. Let's delve deeper into each of them.

Style, layout and organisation

Before you do anything else, you have to think about what you want for your kitchen. There are many different styles and choosing the right cabinet style can make or break the overall aesthetic. Apart from the visual factor, you also need to consider drawer and shelf arrangement to have an organized kitchen. Think about what you want to keep in the kitchen cabinets. For example, if you want to have a selection of herbs in jars, then it makes sense to go with a rack in one of the cabinets.

Cabinet doors make for the largest visible surface of the entire kitchen environment. That is why you should consider what colour scheme you want on the drawer fronts and what kind of hardware you want on your kitchen cabinetry. Some door styles are good for both modern kitchens and more traditional cabinets but there are also flat panel doors, glass doors, slab doors and many other door styles to pick from.

Once you know your kitchen design and style, you will have a better idea of what features you want for your cabinets and what colour to go for. Whether you are going for a modern design or a rustic vibe, create a kitchen outlook before going for new cabinets.

Consider your budget

Don't get lost in dreams about the perfect solution for wall cabinets and cabinet door styles without setting a budget. Outfitting a modern kitchen with kitchen cupboards, corner base units and base cabinets is going to require an investment on your side.

Contemporary kitchens take about 50% of the entire budget for cabinets. This is true even though there are many factors at play. Knowing what you are willing to spend will help you make the right choices.

Keep in mind that custom cabinets will allow you to match your exact preferences but will cost you more than semi-custom cabinets. Having more drawers and cabinet boxes incorporated into your cabinetry also up the price.

Profile of cabinet doors

The next step of the process is to decide on the profile of your cabinet doors. There are various styles, layouts and colours.

Cabinet style largely determines what kind of doors you should get. The kitchen cabinet doors are the most notable part of the entire kitchen plan so you must pick them with care.

Shaker-style cabinets come with a door profile that is suitable for both modern and traditional kitchens. They feature a great variety of colours and finishes that fit the style well. Shaker white cabinets with stylish handles in particular are a notable option.

Inset cabinet doors are another great addition to transitional, modern and contemporary cabinets. With this kind of door style, you can see the hinges of your new kitchen cabinets. Flat panel cabinets fit well in modern kitchens. You can also consider handleless doors as one of the most prominent styles in modern designs.

Cabinet material

Your kitchen cabinets can feature various materials, such as metal, melamine, stainless and wood. The most popular choice is wood in all of its styles and colours.

Solid wood is among the top picks for all contractors and designers. Plywood, cherry wood and medium-density fiberboard (MDF) are all great options for your kitchen cabinets. Solid wood cabinets are durable and can withstand daily use, regardless if you are using custom kitchen cabinets.

Solid wood grain makes for a durable kitchen that you can use day after day without worry. Lighter cabinets with (mdf) medium-density fibreboard wood have other advantages which should not be overlooked. They are cheaper than solid wood and have a smooth surface that gives the kitchen space a modern look.

Choosing hardware

Cabinet hardware is an important feature of your kitchen units. Your hardware choices determine the overall style and add the much-needed finishing touches to any kitchen cabinet. This includes the drawer pulls, door handles and knobs among other kitchen cabinet materials. Choose hardware that compliments your kitchen cabinetry style and is also functional and convenient.

Finish options

The colour of the wall cabinets is an important consideration. Regardless of cabinet type, you can always choose a finish that best completes your kitchen. Glazing, crackling and distressing are all valid options, as are having them painted, stained or otherwise finished. Make sure your cabinet drawers are easy to clean. Darker colours are more prone to fingerprints and stains so that is one thing to keep in mind.

How to choose cabinets for a small kitchen?

Getting the best cabinets for a small kitchen can be a bit challenging. However, knowing what types of cabinets serve small spaces makes the entire process more manageable.

Upper cabinets and tall cabinets work well to utilise vertical space. They provide sufficient storage without taking up too much floor space.

Base cabinets with enough drawers are great for functionality and storage. It would be best if you also considered appliance housing units to keep your kitchen free of clutter.

Corner base units can be a game-changer in a small kitchen. They use most of the corner spaces, which is usually a problem. Corner units provide cabinet space without interfering with workflow.

Slab door and glass door kitchen cabinetry is the better option. They have reflective surfaces, which bounce light back into the room and make it appear larger than it is.

How to choose cabinets for a large kitchen?

Aim for practicality without compromising aesthetics. This is the go-to strategy for large kitchen cabinet construction.

When you have a lot of space to work with, the options are many. You can go with pull-out units, corner units, appliance-housing units and a series of lower cabinets for optimal storage.

What are the most popular kitchen cupboards and cabinet styles?

Getting the right kitchen cabinets is very important. You want to have enough storage space, good aesthetics and functional spaces. There are several types of cabinets, which are most commonly used in every kitchen remodel project.

  • Base units with doors - think of them as the foundation of your cabinetry. They are also known as base cabinets and lower cabinets.
  • Multi-drawer units - offer segmented storage to keep your kitchen items organised with easy access.
  • Corner cabinets - maximising space around corners is easy with these units. With them, you can have functional cabinets in the kitchen corners.
  • Wall units - also referred to as upper cabinets, these units maintain a great aesthetic and provide the ideal storage solution for your kitchen.
  • Larder units - a larder unit is a great addition to your pantry, providing ample space for all sorts of kitchen essentials.
  • Appliance housing units - to integrate appliances into your kitchen seamlessly, you should opt for appliance housing units. Think of a kitchen cabinet that houses your oven or fridge.

Selecting the best kitchen cabinet is a question of available space and storage needs. You can go with traditional shaker cabinets or specialised units for extra advantages. Knowing how to best utilise the space will enable you to make the most of your kitchen units.

To ensure you end up with the best cabinets for your bespoke kitchen, you need to consider all of the important factors. Regardless of what cabinet types you wish to go for, always keep in mind your budget and available space. That is how you will make the most of it.


How do I choose the best kitchen cabinets?

You need to consider the style and layout you are going for. Prepare a budget and consider what type of material you want your cabinets and drawers to be made of. Select the right hardware and go with the finish that best improves the aesthetics of the room.

What are the 3 grades of cabinets?

The grades are RTA (ready to assemble), stock, semi-custom cabinets and custom cabinets. Each grade has its benefits and downsides and caters to a wide range of different budgets.

Should cabinets be lighter or darker than walls?

Lighter cabinets are preferable for a small kitchen, as they reflect light and make it appear larger. Darker cabinets add warmth to the space and give it more depth.

What type of kitchen cabinets are most durable?

Solid wood flat panels are strong and resistant to dents and nicks. They also withstand moisture and don't warp when you clean them. You can paint them with any design that you desire. Medium-density fibreboard cabinets are also an option, although they are not as strong as solid wood.