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How to Choose the Right Wood Type for Kitchen Cabinets

When faced with the exciting and expensive prospect of building a new kitchen or renovating an existing one, you’ll need to take some key decisions such as kitchen cabinet materials. The materials are many but wood rules the roost!

Being the most preferred and widely used kitchen cabinet material, wood ensures longevity and a variety of classy finishes making your kitchen distinctive and — if you have an architect’s sensibilities — possibly unique.

Woods differ in their texture, color and grain and they also change over time based on sunlight, humidity and the simple passage of time.

For example, cherry is reddish-brown while red oak is lighter brown. Maple is also fine and lighter than cherry while red oak is the one with rich texture and a distinctive pattern of grain.

Recommended Reading: Birch Wood Cabinets vs Maple Wood Cabinets: Pros and Cons

Among other kitchen cabinet wood types, while pine is cheaper, mahogany is quite premier! Alder, birch, hickory and walnut are even more options.

Maple and hickory, as well as trendy cherry, are the preferred domestic hardwoods for building face frames and cabinet doors. Maple and hickory resist denting and scratching better than softwood varieties such as alder, mahogany, or walnut.

Red oaks with arched grain patterns are commonly used by cabinet makers and white oak has straighter grains and costs more than red oak.

Red mahogany with straight grains and dark and rich brown walnuts are commonly used hardwoods for making cabinets. Mahogany exudes warmth while walnut evokes elegance.

Hardwoods can be stained but maple and birch may blotch if insufficiently prepared for the stain while oak and pine absorb the stain quite fine. Walnut and cherry look best without any stain.

Recommended Reading: What is Birch Wood and How it Affects Your Cabinets

Kitchen Cabinet Wood Type: Your Options

Just as there is a perfect wood that goes into the making of a Stradivarius and like the storied piano-makers at Steinway use specific woods such as spruce, maple, and mahogany because of very specific reasons to do with the strength and musical character of those woods, your kitchen cabinet wood choice should be made while being cognizant of the qualities of different wood species.

Here’s a brief look at some of the common kitchen cabinet wood types that are used for making kitchen cabinets.

Red Oak Cabinets

Red oak is strong, durable, reasonably priced, comes in a wide range of styles and finishes and features pronounced grain patterns.

Red oak is strong, durable, reasonably priced, comes in a wide range of styles and finishes and features pronounced grain patterns. Red oak kitchen cabinets are available as stock, semi-custom, and custom-made cabinets.

White Oak Cabinets

White oak cabinetry is typically custom options and often quarter-sawn for custom cabinetry sporting an Arts and Crafts or period look.

White oak is as durable as red oak and a bit stronger. White oak has subtler grains and golden tones. White oak cabinetry is typically custom options and often quarter-sawn for custom cabinetry sporting an Arts and Crafts or period look.

Oak is sturdy and stain friendly. Oaks have distinctive grain patterns and become even more noticeable when treated with darker stains.

Hickory Cabinets

Hickory is lighter than oak with similar grain patterns and strength.

Hickory is lighter than oak with similar grain patterns and strength. Hickory cabinets give off a rustic charm. Hickory cabinets have a unique appearance and can last for decades.

Cherry Cabinets

Cherry cabinets are hard and they can be used to give a kitchen a contemporary look and feel.

Cherry is more expensive than hickory. Cherry cabinets are hard and they can be used to give a kitchen a contemporary look and feel. Cherry darkens with age and is often stained. Cherry looks best in deep mahogany or walnut shades and cherry cabinets can be given both lacquer or matte finishes.

Hard Maple Cabinets

Hard maple is a common kitchen cabinet wood type for semi-custom and custom cabinets. It is a light colored wood which is slightly more expensive than oak. It can be stained but a clear or natural finish gives it a light, contemporary look. Maple is sturdy and durable and features fine texture as well as a smooth, uniform grain. Maple can have an individual character which gets accentuated with staining.

Birch Cabinets

Birch wood is relatively inexpensive and with staining, can acquire the look of mahogany, walnut or maple. Birch is particularly suitable for staining because of their lack of distinctive grain patterns. Yellow and sweet birch are both durable and with its tensile strength, yellow birch holds nails well. Birch cabinets are typically available as stock and semi-custom lines.

Pine Cabinets

Pine is a softwood species that is used to make cabinets that give a look of mountain cabins but with other kitchen accoutrements such as countertops and flooring, pine cabinets can be part of a futuristic looking kitchen as well. Pine is light-colored and takes staining well though you would need to apply several coats to achieve the right look since pine absorbs a lot.

Kitchen Cabinet Wood: The Alternatives

Some wood alternatives include laminates and Thermofoil and using these will drive your cost down. These are readily available options and you can opt for them if you are in a hurry but obviously, their construction is not very strong.

Recommended Reading: MDF Vs Solid Wood: Which is Better for Your Cabinet Doors?

Manufactured wood products known as substrates can be of different types: particleboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), and Plywood. While wood tends to expand and contract with changes in the ambient temperature, MDF stays the same and the paint job keeps looking good for years. There are things you can do with MDF that you either cannot with real wood or it is quite complex to achieve with real wood.

Custom Kitchen Cabinets: Should You Go for Them?

Remodeling a kitchen is often more challenging than deciding on the master bedroom or the living room. Since the kitchen is the focal point as well as one of the most trafficked hubs of a home, it affects its resale value. Having too many options around renovating your kitchen can also be overwhelming. However, the top two choices of kitchen cabinets are custom kitchen cabinets and stock kitchen cabinets.

If your kitchen is the place where you socialize or where the style never tends to cease, custom kitchen cabinets are your go-to choice! They are a perfect ingredient of every dream kitchen since they do not come with any restrictions, are tailor-made and can accommodate specific requirements. But just like any other style of kitchen cabinets, these too have their own pros and cons.

We list a few of them here so you can make a calculated choice for yours!

Pros of Custom Kitchen Cabinets

Since a custom kitchen cabinet is every individual’s secret desire, it has a long list of pros, such as:

Everything can be customized: When one chooses the option of a custom cabinet, it means having complete independence to choose everything right from the measurements of the cabinet to its hardware, finish, and style. Unlike the stock kitchen cabinets that are often boring, repetitive and monotonous in style, custom kitchens can be made to order!

Customization is Personalization: When kitchen cabinets are to be customized, it is easier to design them around the personal stuff you have such as the size of appliances, equipment or even the kind of dinnerware. It is easier to accommodate the specific preferences of a customer such as deeper drawers for larger utensils, larger bins or even the storage area that is to be allocated. Thus, customization leaves behind a touch of personalization.

Custom Kitchen Cabinets: Should You Go for Them?

For most of the people, the kitchen is their social place or a place where the family gets to reconnect. Custom kitchens make it easier to add a personal touch to the place and make it more warm and functional at the same time. It defines your personal style.

You can be your own designer: With custom kitchen cabinets, you can be your own designer! You can choose the layout according to the functionality you desire. Small decisions such as the choice between a corner pantry and a walk-in pantry, the choice of having an extra sink, an extended island or a bookshelf are completely personal.

These are high in quality: Since custom cabinets are tailor-made and unrestricted by budget, these are often high-end and thus, the best in quality. Since they are high in quality, they are bound to last longer and look newer for a long period of time.

It allows the best use of space: Custom cabinets allow the best use of space in the kitchen. The specific information on measurement and design can be given to the cabinet maker to get optimum results.

It helps to increase the resale value of a home: A kitchen serves as a focal point of any home and its various elements largely influence the resale value of a home as well. Since custom kitchen cabinets involve the use of best quality resources, the result is a durable, highly functional and high-end kitchen that goes on to add the resale value of a home.

Since custom kitchen cabinets involve the use of best quality resources, the result is a durable, highly functional and high-end kitchen that goes on to add the resale value of a home.

You can decide the budget: Since a custom cabinet is built to one’s specifications, it is quite easy to decide on the final budget. It is one of the easiest ways to get exactly what one wants in a specified budget.

They allow for a complementing design: If you are clear about the style, finish and color of other elements in your kitchen such as tiles and countertops, custom kitchen cabinets allow you to choose a complementing look and have a décor that looks amazingly well pulled together.

Recommended Reading: Why Shaker Cabinets are Popular (Pros and Cons)

Cons of Custom Kitchen Cabinets

While it might look hard to believe after all these pros but custom kitchen cabinets do have some cons too. And it is only wise to make all your calculations before you take the final plunge.

It is an expensive option: Anything good comes for a price and when you get the best of everything, it has to be expensive! Custom kitchen cabinets are the most expensive of all the different styles of kitchen cabinets and rightly so. Having complete control over the style of your kitchen is rewarding but pricey too. If you have a limited budget, you should look for other options.

They are a time-consuming affair: Like anything good comes for a price, it takes a lot of time as well. Since designing custom cabinets is a time-consuming affair, one needs to be sure to order them quite early so as to expect timely delivery.

Having a complete control over the style of your kitchen is rewarding but pricey too

You can expect errors and delays: When you choose custom cabinets for your kitchen, you should be prepared to expect delays. If there are any errors in the measurement of the cabinets or if they are not designed perfectly, you will have to wait until the final and corrected product is delivered to you.

They can adversely affect the resale value of the house: Custom kitchen cabinets are often a personal style statement. This often becomes a concern for the owner at the time of resale of the house. The bold and beautiful look that you loved for your kitchen might not be a choice of your future buyer as well. So if you plan to move sometime in the future, investing in an unusual custom kitchen design might not be a good idea at all.

They are not worth the expense: If you are an extrovert, an out and out socialite who hardly dines at home, custom cabinets is a waste of money for you. Even though it will add style to the kitchen, it is not worth all the expense if you do not use the place often.

Recommended Reading: Why Shaker Style Cabinets are Popular (Pros and Cons)

At the end of it all, it can be an overwhelming decision to choose the right style of a kitchen cabinet for your kitchen. But factors such as the available space, budget, needs, style, and lifestyle of the user can help make a wise decision.

Birch Wood Cabinets vs Maple Wood Cabinets: Pros and Cons

Among several factors that determine the quality, integrity, and appearance of your kitchen cabinets, wood is arguably the most important one. While high-quality wood species ensure high longevity of your cabinets, low-quality wood invariably means your cabinets will deteriorate pretty quickly. There are several types of wood types; however, let’s talk about the two most popular ones — birch wood vs maple wood.

This guide will quickly walk you through the pros and cons of each type helping you choose between birch wood cabinets vs maple wood cabinets.

Pros of Birch Kitchen Cabinets

Birchwood is one of the popular wood species grown in the forests of North America, especially Canada and the USA. Since it’s widely available, it’s one of the most preferred solid wood materials for kitchen cabinetry.

Birch wood features a unique grain pattern which is usually straight and uniform.

Grain Patterns: Birchwood features a unique grain pattern which is usually straight and uniform. In some cases, though, it may also have wavy grain patterns as well. Thanks to its close grain pattern, it stains evenly — a factor critical for cabinet manufacturers. Overall, it looks great with natural finishes and is a budget-friendly option for many homeowners looking for affordable cabinet units.

  • Most Affordable
  • High Tensile Strength Rating
  • Versatile Finish Options

Most Affordable: Birchwood is the most affordable of all hardwood options. No wonder why it’s the go-to wood type for homeowners looking for cost-effective kitchen cabinets. If you have a shoestring kitchen remodeling budget, you should opt for kitchen cabinets built from birch wood and save tons of money.

High Tensile Strength: Tensile strength is a rating that determines how well wood species hold nails and screws. Even as birch wood is an affordable option, it still enjoys a high tensile strength rating on account of which it has reliable structural integrity. Therefore, when you choose kitchen cabinets built with birch wood, you can be sure they will last fairly long and withstand the elements.

Versatile Finish Options: Wood species are only as good as their ability to stain well. Birchwood boasts a light color which makes it easy for a variety of finish options. You can either choose to apply a natural finish or treat it with walnut, cherry or maple stain.

Cons of Birch Kitchen Cabinets

  • Rough Texture
  • Slightly Porous

Rough Texture: While birch wood stains evenly, it still lacks a smooth texture, unlike many other wood species. If you’re looking shiny mirror finishes from your kitchen cabinets, birch wood might leave you disappointed.

Slightly Porous: Wood species that are porous may not offer the best results after staining. Unfortunately, birch wood is known to be slightly porous which makes it vulnerable to blotchy results after staining.

Recommended Reading: What is Birch Wood and How it Affects Your Cabinets

Pros of Maple Kitchen Cabinets

Compared to birch wood, Maple wood is a stronger and denser wood type which is known to receive a wide range of stains such as dark and glossy finishes. As a result, it is able to mimic many popular wood types such as cherry and mahogany. Maple wood is more expensive and versatile than birch wood.

Maple wood is a stronger and denser wood type which is known to receive a wide range of stains such as dark and glossy finishes.

  • Great Resistance
  • Wide Availability
  • Impermeable Surface

Great Resistance: Being stronger and denser than birch wood, maple wood resists dents, dings, scratches, and cracks easily. Plus, it retains its organic beauty for years together, which makes it a hot favorite for homeowners looking for kitchen cabinets with high integrity value. If you have a kitchen that receives high traffic, maple wood is a great option for you as it can handle the abuse well.

Wide Availability: Much like birch wood, maple wood is also widely available, making it a popular wood choice for many homeowners pursuing kitchen remodeling. Moreover, maple wood is available in a wide range of styles and colors, a factor that helps you build kitchen cabinets different types of kitchens.

Impermeable Surface: Unlike birch wood, maple wood isn’t porous. In fact, it boasts of an impermeable surface. As a result, it yields great results no matter what your choice of finish is. No blotchy results whatsoever!

Recommended Reading: Why Shaker Cabinets are Popular (Pros and Cons)

Cons of Maple Kitchen Cabinets

  • Prohibitively Expensive
  • Prone to Discoloration

Prohibitively Expensive: Maple wood may be super sturdy, visually appealing and finish-friendly. However, it also comes with a hefty price tag. Homeowners who have a tight kitchen remodeling budget may find it out of their reach.

Prone to Discoloration: Expensive wood species come with a caveat and maple wood is no exception. Being a premium hardwood variety, kitchen cabinets built with maple wood require great care and maintenance. For example, when they’re exposed to direct sunlight, their finish will wear off over the years.

How to Make a Small Kitchen Look Bigger: 7 Smart Tips

According to the National Kitchen and Bathroom Association (NKBA), a small kitchen is one that is smaller than 70 square feet. Even kitchens with around 100 square feet will still struggle to accommodate standard elements and appliances. Without a well-thought-out strategy, a small kitchen will look cramped and messy. But, take heart! It’s not always about the real estate — if you know how to remodel your kitchen, you can build a functional and stylish kitchen space.

In this guide, we will walk you through different strategies to make a small kitchen look bigger than it is.

Consider Slimmer Cabinets

you might want to go with slimmer cabinet units, e.g, around 15” or lower.

The standard depth of base cabinets is 24” and most homeowners go with it for their kitchen remodeling. At 24” depth, kitchen cabinets offer a lot of storage space; however, they also take up floor space. Therefore, if you have a small kitchen and you want to leave adequate floor space for traffic movement, you might want to go with slimmer cabinet units, e.g, around 15” or lower. Depending on the layout of your kitchen, you can install slimmer cabinets on one side for storing items that you need for quick access. On the other side, you can install the regular 24” cabinets.

Reduce Your Hardware

you can opt for touch-activated latches, integrated reach-in pulls and cut-out cabinet pulls.

Apart from the spacious floor layout, a clutter-free countertop and minimalist lower cabinets can also make your kitchen look roomier. As opposed to the standard cabinet hardware accessories such as handles and knobs which usually protrude and impede free traffic movement, you can opt for touch-activated latches, integrated reach-in pulls and cut-out cabinet pulls. This not only creates a cleaner facade but exudes a minimalist look.

Recommended Reading: 6 Shaker Cabinet Hardware Accessories that Transform Your Kitchen

Use a Single Bowl Sink

With a single bowl sink (around 24” wide), you can save as much as 12” which is a lot in a small kitchen space.

If you have a small kitchen layout, you should go with a single bowl sink in order to save precious real estate. The standard width of a double bowl sink is around 36”. With a single bowl sink (around 24” wide), you can save as much as 12” which is a lot in a small kitchen space. Even better, you can use that space to install a small base cabinet unit and add additional storage space.

Recommended Reading: Double-bowl Sink vs Single-bowl Sink: Which One is Right for Your Kitchen?

Choose a Compact Dishwasher

While a standard dishwasher is about 24” wide, for small kitchens, you can go for one with 18”.

Dishwashers come in different shapes and sizes. While a standard dishwasher is about 24” wide, for small kitchens, you can go for one with 18”. This not only saves crucial space for you but makes it possible to install it in many different positions — at the end of your base cabinet run, under the sink, or in the corner.

Open Shelves and Shelf Uppers

Using open shelves and shelf uppers is a popular technique to avoid visual clutter in small kitchens.

Using open shelves and shelf uppers is a popular technique to avoid visual clutter in small kitchens. Many homeowners find it hard to choose between open shelving and wall cabinets. While wall cabinets offer a wide range of benefits, they also take up much space. For a smaller kitchen layout, you could try a different combination — wall cabinets + open shelves, wall cabinets + shelf uppers, wall cabinets + open shelving + shelf uppers. It all depends on the available kitchen space and individual preferences.

Recommended Reading: Open Shelving vs Wall Cabinets: Which One is Right for Your Kitchen?

Use Glass Door Panels

you can also use glass door panels on your wall cabinets to create an illusion of openness in your kitchen.

While shallow-depth base cabinets serve the purpose of leaving your floor space, getting rid of wall cabinets may not be a practical option for all homeowners. In addition to using open shelving and shelf uppers, you can also use glass door panels on your wall cabinets to create an illusion of openness in your kitchen. Plus, doing this gives you an opportunity to showcase your prized dinnerware.

Install Cabinet Lighting

You could use a variety of lighting sources including plugin LED strip fixtures, recessed lights, and pendants lights to avoid any potential claustrophobia.

By and large, all kitchens suffer from poor lighting. However, large kitchens enjoy the advantage of getting natural lighting via windows. Unfortunately, small kitchens don’t often have that liberty. In order to make your small kitchen appear larger, you need to make sure your kitchen is adequately illuminated. You could use a variety of lighting sources including plugin LED strip fixtures, recessed lights, and pendants lights to avoid any potential claustrophobia. Here’s a detailed guide on how to choose lighting for your kitchen.

Doors vs Drawers — What is Best for Your Kitchen Cabinets?

In modern kitchens, the usual choice when it comes to storage is to opt for drawers especially under the benchtop or countertop in place of base cabinets and have just a few standard cabinets with doors above the countertop. The advantages are many which are why people overwhelmingly opt for drawers under the countertops.

Drawers are Better than Lower Kitchen Cabinets

Drawers are Better than Lower Kitchen Cabinets

While upper cabinets are great for storing light items and displaying glassware, drawers for base cabinets work best as they enable the maximum use of storage space. Even if the drawers are two feet deep, nothing gets lost inside drawers as you can pull the drawer out to store and retrieve items.

When these drawers are close to the dishwasher, it is super-convenient to remove dishes from the washer and store them in an organized fashion inside the drawers.

When these drawers are close to the dishwasher, it is super-convenient to remove dishes from the washer and store them in an organized fashion inside the drawers.

For heavy items too, you are saved from doing ‘heavy lifting’ and unhealthy bending when you have drawers which can be pulled out for storage and retrieval of those heavy items.

If the drawers are placed on the island, that can be very convenient if your family likes to have meals on the island. Even kids can access their own cups and dishes which can be stored in a separate drawer.

If the drawers are placed on the island, that can be very convenient if your family likes to have meals on the island. Even kids can access their own cups and dishes which can be stored in a separate drawer.

Drawers are Best for Organizing

Drawers are Best for Organizing

You can opt for different ways to organize your plates and pans inside the drawers. Spring-loaded, wood-toned dividers can help segment the drawer into zones. You can have the dividers stacked double-high so that your stacks of bowls and plates remain in place and don’t crash or create a mess. In smaller kitchens with narrow aisles, drawers can also be preferable as they cause less of an obstacle to kitchen traffic.

Whether it’s kitchen knives, cutlery, plastic bottles, or cereals, storing them in specified drawers is the best option from an organizing perspective

Whether it’s kitchen knives, cutlery, plastic bottles, or cereals, storing them in specified drawers is the best option from an organizing perspective if you don’t want your knives and cutlery mixed up or plastic bottles taking up counter space. Extra fruits and vegetables that cannot be stored in the refrigerator can also be stored in a drawer with a wire-mesh front.

You can have separate bins for recycling and compost items and general trash inside designated drawers.

You can have separate bins for recycling and compost items and general trash inside designated drawers. Cleaning items need not all be in a mess under the kitchen sink but stay in an organized fashion inside drawers with dividers.

Recommended Reading: 9 Clever Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens

Drawers offer Good Ergonomics

Nor do you have to crouch down to access the backs of cabinets that might be two feet deep.

Simple drawers can be opened with one hand which is useful when you are transferring a heavy item or if you have to access the drawers frequently or if you need to open the drawer while you are in the middle of cooking and carrying something in one of your hands. Nor do you have to crouch down to access the backs of cabinets that might be two feet deep.

Base cabinets with doors and rollout shelves are suitable for storing items that are used somewhat infrequently such as mixers and other small appliances.

Base cabinets with doors and rollout shelves are suitable for storing items that are used somewhat infrequently such as mixers and other small appliances.

Recommended Reading: 5 Nifty Kitchen Cabinet Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens with Large Appliances

Drawers are Best for Corners

Drawers are Best for Corners

Corner cabinets are often under-utilized storage spaces. If you plan your kitchen remodel so that you have specially made corner drawers, you can make the best use of that space to store items that you use infrequently.

Recommended Reading: 8 Corner Cabinets Ideas to Fix the Blind Kitchen Corners

Kitchen Cabinet Drawers offer Variety

Kitchen Cabinet Drawers offer Variety

While kitchen cabinet drawers are more expensive in general than kitchen cabinets with doors, you can decide what type of drawers you want based on your needs and preferences. The materials available include hardwood, engineered woods such as particle board or medium-density fiberboard (MDF), and laminated wood.

Drawer glides can be side, top, or corner-mounted and these are useful if your drawers are going to be frequently used and contain heavy items. Quality drawer glides can support up to 100 pounds but they come with different weight ratings and they can be a three-quarter extension or full-extension slides.

Recommended Reading: Your Go-to Guide for Buying The Best Quality Kitchen Cabinets

So, Kitchen Cabinets with Doors or Drawers?

Finally, your decision will revolve around cost and convenience as well as kitchen aesthetics. You may opt for a combination of upper cabinets and drawers under the counter. Your decision should take into consideration what type of cook you are and what cooking items you use and store in your kitchen. For storing large-sized items, you may want to have a few lower kitchen cabinets.

While drawers are the more expensive option, they can be a long-term investment and make great sense when you are seeking to own your home for a long time or if it’s your retirement home. The age of the occupants of your home also matters as older people will want to avoid crouching and bending too often so that they don’t hurt their knees or backs.

These days, there is great versatility available to choose from when it comes to kitchen cabinetry and you can explore and choose what fits your needs best.

Custom Kitchen Cabinets vs Stock Kitchen Cabinets: Pros and Cons

A kitchen makeover can be an expensive proposition and kitchen cabinetry holds a critical portion of the overall budget. The Houzz Kitchen Study, 2018 reports found that kitchen cabinets accounted for around 31% of the overall kitchen remodeling budget.

The same study also found that an increasing number of homeowners opted for custom cabinets (40%) and semi-custom cabinets (34%) while only 11% of the surveyed homeowners said they preferred stock cabinets over other options.

While you can follow the kitchen remodeling trends, and choose custom cabinets over the stock cabinets, it’s important to know their respective pros and cons.

Custom cabinets typically cost higher than stock cabinets and that’s something you should consider if you’re working with a limited budget for your kitchen renovation.

In this guides, we’ll walk you through the different pros and cons of both custom as well as stock cabinets.

Advantages of Custom Kitchen Cabinets

  • Custom Cabinets are High-Quality
  • Designed to Your Needs
  • Optimal Space Management
  • Style Statement
  • Higher Resale Value

Custom Cabinets are High-Quality: Of course, the first thing that differentiates custom kitchen cabinets from stock cabinets is the quality. Custom cabinets are made from quality materials and designed to suit the specific needs of the homeowners. As a result, they are not only built-to-last for years to complement your kitchen very well. Needlessly, they are highly functional since they are crafted to meet your specific needs.

Designed to Your Needs: Beyond the quality, custom kitchen cabinets are designed keeping the specific needs of the homeowner — the measurements, hardware, finish, color, you name it. Custom cabinets for kitchen remodeling are designed according to the layout of the kitchen. Therefore, every minute detail including the choice between corner pantry vs walk-in pantry is incorporated. This helps the homeowner imagine the kitchen she’s going to see in the post-renovation phase.

Optimal Space Management: A great kitchen remodeling project is one that makes the optimal use of the available space in a kitchen. Since custom cabinets are designed to keep the space and layout of your kitchen, they’re more likely to make the best of your available space. Whether it’s the base cabinets, wall cabinets, corner cabinets, blind corners or kitchen island, all units are crafted to perfection and complement one another.

Style Statement: Custom kitchen cabinets are designed according to your taste. Therefore, your kitchen carries your personality and signature, making it your very own.

Higher Resale Value: The high-quality materials used in custom kitchen cabinets makes your kitchen looks unique in terms of style and functionality. The custom kitchen cabinets not only make your kitchen highly functional but also amplify the aesthetics, adding great value to your home on the market when you plan to resell it.

Disadvantages of Custom Kitchen Cabinets

  • Hefty Prices
  • Long ETA
  • Buyer’s Caveat

Hefty Prices: The obvious downside of custom kitchen cabinets is that they are expensive. The high costs of wood species, costs of craftsmanship and fees of the contractor tend to increase the costs of the final products. Plus, there are other costs such as finish and accessories. According to Home Advisor, the average homeowner can expect to pay $500 to $1,200 per linear foot for custom cabinets. In other words, if an average kitchen with 25 linear feet will cost anything between $12,500 to $30,000.

Therefore, if you have a limited budget, custom kitchen cabinets may be beyond your reach.

Long ETA: Custom kitchen cabinets take a longer time to manufacture as they’re crafted as per the exact specifications of your kitchen layout. Again, if the custom cabinets don’t match your expectations, it might take even longer for your manufacturer to make new cabinets as per the correct measurements of your kitchen. The bottom line is this will affect the duration of your kitchen remodeling project. Some manufacturers say that it usually takes three to four months for them to build and ship custom cabinets. Therefore, if you have a tight deadline, ordering custom kitchen cabinets may not be suitable for you.

Buyer’s Caveat: Sure, custom cabinets help you personalize your kitchen and give it a personality of your own. However, if you’re not planning to stay in the home for a longer period of time, the investment is not worth it. Moreover, there are chances that your potential buyers may not like the highly personalized kitchen design. So, your home value may take a hit.

Advantages of Stock Kitchen Cabinets

  • They’re Affordable
  • They’re RTA
  • They’re Great for Rented House

They’re Affordable: Stock kitchen cabinets are affordable since they are mass-produced and the costs of manufacturing are also lower. There are private consultation fee or a hefty craftsmanship remuneration. All this make stock kitchen cabinets a lot cheaper. Stock cabinets, in most cases, are made of plywood with multiple coats of veneer on them. Hence, they’re budget-friendly.

They’re RTA: RTA (Ready to Assemble) cabinets are the most common form of stock kitchen cabinets. They are available in a variety of sizes, colors, and finishes, making them easily and quickly available for your kitchen remodeling project. Plus, they are easy to assemble without you spending additionally on hiring a professional.

They’re Great for Rented House: Stock kitchen cabinets are great for rented houses where you don’t want to invest a lot on kitchen remodeling. Even if there is any damage to the cabinets, you can easily replace them with new units as they are available in standard sizes.

Disadvantages of Stock Kitchen Cabinets

  • Low-Quality Cabinets
  • Imperfect Measurement

Low-Quality Cabinets: In some cases, stock cabinets may turn out to be a disadvantage to some homeowners. Unlike custom kitchen cabinets, stock kitchen cabinets are mass-produced and, in some cases, they use cheaper materials, hardware, and finishes. As a result, they may not last for a long period of time. However, please, keep in mind that not all stock cabinets are of low quality. You still can decent stock kitchen cabinets on a budget. You just need to look for the right manufacturer.

Imperfect Measurement: Unlike custom kitchen cabinets, stock cabinets aren’t crafted to exact measurements of your kitchen layout. You need to use a few accessories such as filler strips and trim panels to go with your stock cabinets. Depending on your expectations from stock cabinets, you might get a different result than you expected.

Custom Cabinets vs Stock Cabinets: Infographics

Final Thoughts

Choosing from custom kitchen cabinets and stock kitchen cabinets isn’t easy. You need to take into account several factors including the budget, timeline, and personalization. It’s advisable that you consult a professional before going for a remodeling project.

Open Shelving vs Wall Cabinets: Which One is Right for Your Kitchen?

The open shelving is in vogue these days — from Pinterest to Houzz, it is being talked about all over the place. Who doesn’t like the idea of having their prized dinnerware stacked in an aesthetically pleasing manner! However, beyond the compelling kitchen decor lie some practical drawbacks of a regular kitchen space.

The traditional choice of going with standard wall cabinets has its advantages as well, which begs the question —  should you go for open shelvings or wall cabinets?

In this guide, let’s talk about the respective benefits of open shelving vs wall cabinets.

Why Wall Cabinets are Right for Your Kitchen Remodel

Wall Cabinets Help You Hide Unwanted Items

 

you need wall cabinets in your kitchen to store all your unsightly necessities.
These open shelves are in a real mess!

Unlike those visually compelling images of kitchen remodeling projects, we see in Pinterest, in real life, not many items in our kitchen are aesthetically pleasing. For example, the hand-me-down dinnerware may not look that great alongside the regular plates and bowls. Likewise, there are many food items that you don’t want to store in glass jars as they don’t look great. For all those reasons and more, you need wall cabinets in your kitchen to store all your unsightly necessities.

Wall Cabinets Keep Your Kitchen Clutter-Free

While those images of open shelvings on Apartment Therapy may look attractive to you, ensuring such orderly patterns in your kitchen on a daily basis can be a difficult chore. More often than not, a regular kitchen looks cluttered. Imagine returning plates to the open shelves and then organizing them in a pleasing geometric pattern every single time — it’s hard, isn’t it? Now picture how easy it would be to put them back inside the wall cabinets. Quite a sensible solution, eh?

Wall Cabinets Mean Easier Kitchen Cleaning

Not only do open shelvings make it difficult to keep your items tidy, but they also make it hard for you to keep them clean. The open shelvings as well as the dishes accumulate dust over time and require a stricter cleaning routine. If you have open windows, it can get even worse.

Moreover, open shelves also mean your dinnerware and cookware are prone to undesirable grease, juice and food particles during the cooking or dishwashing.

On the contrary, wall cabinets can keep your dishes away from dust and require cleaning much less frequently.

Wall Cabinets Ensure Efficient Storage

Storage is a crucial component of every kitchen. If you’re unable to manage it properly, your kitchen can suffer from poor storage space and violate kitchen design best practices. This essentially means you may have to make more trips around the kitchen for prepping the meal. You don’t want to let the utility of your kitchen suffer at the altar of appearance. Wall cabinets, on the other hand, solve both storage challenges and make your kitchen look tidy and organized.

Wall Cabinets are Safe Display Options

Wall Cabinets are Safe Display Options

Displaying dinnerware and stemware is a great way to amplify the visual appeal of your kitchen. However, it doesn’t have to compromise safety and cleaning. If you have pets, open shelvings are a disaster waiting to happen. That’s why wall cabinets are a better option than open shelvings.

Why Open Shelving is Right for Your Kitchen Remodel

Open Shelving Offer More Storage Options

Open Shelving Offer More Storage Options

For many homeowners, wall cabinets mean limited storage options. When wall cabinets aren’t customized to fit your personal storage needs, it can hard for you to reach around them. Open shelves, on the contrary, offer several storage options. Plus, they make your kitchen look relaxed and modern.

Open Shelving Design is More Inviting

Open Shelving Design is More Inviting

Open shelves offer a unique advantage over wall cabinets when it comes to making your kitchen more fun, relaxed and inviting to your guests. With the things in the open shelves being on plain view, they can find what they want easily and help themselves. This is particularly useful when you’re throwing a party or inviting some friends over.

Open Shelving Means a Brighter Kitchen

Open Shelving Means a Brighter Kitchen

To those with a small kitchen, natural light is a premium. While wall cabinets can appear overwhelming, making your relatively smaller kitchen space feel dark and closed in, open shelvings allow natural lighting from windows, helping your kitchen feel larger and brighter than usual.

Open Shelving Design is Budget-friendly

The biggest advantage of open shelves (over wall cabinets) is the cost. Compared to the expensive wall cabinets option, open shelves are a cheaper option and they don’t require much time for installation either. Plus, they make a huge style statement in your kitchen.

Open Shelving Help Showcase Your Dishware

Instead of letting your attractive dinnerware hide behind the doors of your wall cabinets, open shelves allow you to put your stylish dishware on display.

Open Shelving vs Upper Cabinets: Infographics

Open Shelving vs Upper Cabinets: Infographics

Small Bathroom Remodel Ideas: 4 Tips to Make Your Bathroom Look Larger

Bathroom remodeling is a critical part of your home renovation plan since it directly affects your daily routine. While a spacious bathroom is beyond the reach of every homeowner, it’s important to know how to make the most of your small bath space before you start your remodeling project. You should draw your bathroom design layout considering the number of users, the lifestyle and preferences. For example, the very choice of bathtub vs shower — dictate the area you need and your overall bathroom remodeling budget.

While remodeling a small bathroom — 100 sf or less — remember to follow some best practices so as to strike a balance between function, style, and storage.

Key Questions for Small Bathroom Renovation

Who will use the bathroom?

Before starting your bathroom remodeling project, consider the target users. The design layout of the bathroom depends on the users; for example, a guest bathroom or powder room is meant for occasional use and therefore, it should be small. Moreover, if you have a pet and you want to bathe it in the tub, you want to make sure it’s taken into account beforehand.

How will it be used?

Thinking through the functions of your remodeled bathroom is a good idea. You want to make sure you know the primary functions of your bathroom prior to the renovation. Should your bathroom accommodate house laundry facilities? Should there be a private area? Do you need a tub or shower? Does your tun need to accommodate two people? All these questions (and many more) should be your guiding star to chalk out a design layout that makes optimum use of the available area.

Where will things be stored?

When you’re remodeling a small bathroom, you should think of storage space well in advance. Knowing your needs for open floor space, size of tub or shower and sinks can help you design the layout accordingly. Moreover, you can explore alternative storage spaces such as over-door shelving or recessed medicine cabinets.

If you have a small bathroom (100 sf or less), keep the following tip in mind.

Use Light Color Scheme

Small Bathroom Remodel Ideas: Use Light Color Scheme

Using light or soft color schemes is one of the clever small bathroom remodel ideas. When you use neutral hues as your main palette, it creates the illusion of a larger space. The neutral hues not also better reflect the natural light, making the bathroom feel airy.

While a light foundation may sound boring as an isolated element, you need to think of adding textural elements to add a splash of color, amplifying the visual interest in your small bathroom decor.

Choose Fixtures Wisely

Adding bathroom fixtures to a small bathroom can be tricky — you want to enhance its functionality without making it look choked. Certainly, a bathroom with less than 100 sf can’t have ample real estate for a regular-sized closet, cabinet-style vanity and/or tub-shower combo. So, how do you add fixtures for a functional bathroom without making it look visually cluttered?

Here are some small bathroom remodel ideas:

Floating Vanities // Pedestal Sinks: While a cabinet-sized vanity is a great addition to a bathroom, it’s not ideal for small bathroom remodeling. Instead, you can go for a floating vanity which is installed at a certain height from the floor. A floating vanity offers ample space underneath and enhances the visual illusion of greater depth.

However, if it’s a powder room with less than 50 sf area, you might want to go for a pedestal sink instead.

small bathroom remodel ideas: Floating Vanities // Pedestal Sinks

Recommended Reading:

Oversized Mirrors: Mirrors play a key role in any bathroom, more so in a small bathroom since they reflect light and create a visual illusion of bigger space. When it comes to small bathroom remodel ideas, experts recommend using either an oversized mirror or a full-sized wall-to-wall mirror, depending on the layout of your bathroom.

small bathroom remodel ideas: use oversized mirrors

Open Shower with Glass Panel Door: When it comes to optimizing space in a small bathroom, it’s a great idea to use a barrier-free, open shower space with a glass panel door. Not only it save ample space (vis-a-vis bathtub), it also makes your small bathroom appears visually spacious, thanks to the continuous flow of the space.

small bathroom remodel ideas: Open Shower with Glass Panel Door

Open Shelving Storage Space: Storage is an essential component of every remodeled bathroom. A full-sized vanity offers ample storage space for your bathroom essentials. However, when it comes to small kitchens, storage space comes at a premium. What if you didn’t even have ample for a regular vanity? That’s why the open shelving storage space is one of the smart small bathroom remodel ideas out there. You can use the walls to create shelves or install hooks to create an easy access storage area.

small bathroom remodel ideas: Open Shelving Storage Space

Use Lights to Add Dimensions

small bathroom remodel ideas: Use Lights to Add Dimensions

Proper illumination is necessary to create an open and airy space in your bathroom, especially when it’s a small one. Since small bathrooms can’t have multiple windows (or any windows at all), using multiple light sources is a right way to creating perfect illumination. A variety of light sources including wall sconces, edge-lighted mirrors, and ceiling lights can help neutralize the shadows as well as create dimension.

Recommended Reading: A Handy Guide to Bathroom Vanity Lights: Do’s and Don’ts

Focus on Layout and Design

small bathroom remodel ideas: Focus on Layout and Design

When it comes to small bathroom remodeling, the layout and design can be critical to its visual ambiance. In terms of design and layout, there are several things you can do to make your bathroom look larger. For example, you can highlight the longest wall in your bathroom for creating an illusion of a larger space. Likewise, you can use a small vanity if storage is not exactly your priority.

Recommended Reading: These 7 Silly Bathroom Remodeling Mistakes Can Ruin Your Bathroom

Small Bathroom Remodel Ideas (Infographics)

Small bathroom remodel ideas infographics

Final Thoughts

Remodeling a small bathroom is a huge undertaking if you want to optimize every square footage without sacrificing the comfort, style, and functions. With the aforementioned small bathroom remodel ideas, you can strike the right balance between style and functionality.

5 Kitchen Cabinet Ideas for a Low Maintenance Kitchen

Cooking can be a pleasure, but only if you don’t have to spend hours cleaning and tidying up your kitchen.

Besides that, hygiene and the zillion other things that help make the food taste great are also required. In fact, when it comes to your kitchen, hygiene is paramount while cooking and that’s one thing you cannot overlook. So everything needs to be perfectly planned and a great way to do that is by remaining organized. To help you achieve that, we’ve listed some of the most feasible options that help keep your kitchen hygienic, neat and tidy in very little time.

Keep things Camouflaged

Although there’s a ton of China that you’ve accumulated over the years, you definitely don’t use up all of your cutlery in one go. Also, there are quite a few things in the kitchen that needs to be kept well organized such as the dried herbs, sauces and the list goes on. So the best place to hoard it all up is a kitchen cabinet.

Find a Safer Option

A place where food is cooked greatly impacts your health, so you need to watch out for toxic materials. Plus, you need to consider options that don’t require frequent cleaning. That is possible with kitchen cabinets as these are dust-free additions. So that ensures you spend lesser time tidying up your kitchen. Now that is definitely not possible with the open shelves, so the best way to deal with that is to consider inset cabinets for your kitchen.

An Assortment of Styles Available

Although slightly pricier, inset cabinets are currently the rage among homeowners. The demand for inset cabinets has amplified for several reasons and one of them is versatility. You can find a traditional, rustic, country-style, contemporary, glass-front and many more types of inset kitchen cabinets. For the most part, you can find the exact type that blends well with any type of interiors that you may have.

Focus on Durability

When you make an addition to your home, it does not come cheap, so durability matters. You can pick a hardwood cabinet or one that is laminated with wooden veneer. However, you need to focus on buying kitchen cabinets made from premier materials that are non-toxic and adequately laminated.

Less Clutter

You can easily make your home look sassy with colorful inset cabinets and that definitely makes you feel good. Plus, with inset cabinets, everything has a place that only you know of. So while you plan a glass-front cabinet for your expensive China, you can always pick veneer or plywood for the cabinets in which you plan to store the cereals and sauces.

When it comes to your kitchen, proper planning plays a vital role since a kitchen is the epicenter of your home. Plus, you cannot neglect your kitchen since it directly impacts the health and well-being of your family. That being the case, the only viable option is to plan a kitchen that requires very little maintenance on a regular basis.

Everything You Need to Know about Traditional Kitchen

One of the basic questions you will encounter at the time of kitchen remodeling is the style of kitchen you need to choose. There are three different kitchen styles to choose from, such as:

  • Traditional Kitchen
  • Modern or Contemporary Kitchen
  • Shaker Kitchen

While each style has its own distinct features that get them their loyal fan following, a traditional kitchen is timeless and one that never goes wrong. A traditional kitchen is almost synonymous to flexibility and versatility and brings about a sense of warmth, relaxation, and security. If you are one of those who do not intend to redesign their kitchen every few years, a traditional kitchen is your best bet since it’s timeless and will never go out of fashion!

Let’s discuss some of the most common features of a traditional kitchen that define its style. These will help you determine if this is the right style of kitchen for you.

Features of a Traditional Kitchen

Features of a Traditional Kitchen

Incorporation of a neutral, classic color palette

When juxtaposed with a contemporary kitchen that uses bold, cool and crisp colors, a traditional kitchen is characterized by the use of a neutral color palette. Shades like beige, creams, grays, greens, pastels and deep cherries are popularly used to add warmth to complete the look of a traditional kitchen. Further, the wood is finished with a glaze to give a distressed or an aged look making the kitchen feel like a timeless classic!

Incorporation of natural lights

Traditional Kitchen with Natural Lights

A traditional kitchen popularly incorporates natural lights in its design scheme. This helps to illuminate the kitchen naturally, all during the day, without having to use any artificial source of lighting. As the natural light increases or decreases during the day, it directly influences the look and feel of the kitchen as well. Most of the traditional kitchens boast of a window over-the-sink or a bay window for this purpose.

Use of natural materials

As compared to contemporary kitchens that make use of man-made materials such as concrete and metal to complete the look, a traditional kitchen mostly relies on natural materials such as wood and stones for the detailing of a room. It is the imperfections of these natural materials that add warmth and class to a traditional kitchen. And the warmth radiated by a traditional kitchen has always been regarded as the USP of this style of kitchen.

Use of decorative accessories

Shaker Cabinets with Crown Moulding

Attention to detailing is the forte of traditional kitchens and that is manifested by the use of decorative accessories. There are several ways that are used to add flair to these kitchens such as decorative crown molding, embellished pieces, corbels, and wainscoted islands. Every corner of a traditional kitchen is adorned with decorative accessories and architectural design that enhances its final look. It is this feature that sets it apart from the modern style of kitchens that are known to be minimalistic and simple.

Decorative lighting to make a statement

Shaker Cabinets with Decorative Lighting

One of the easiest and the instant ways to add a visual appeal to space is by adding decorative lights. Chandeliers and lantern-style lights are the most popular choices that add warmth and style to the kitchen at the same time. The right way of adding perfect decorative lighting is to decide on them during the designing and planning process of the kitchen itself.

Use of luxurious countertop materials

Use of luxurious countertop materials

A countertop can add a dash of color to any dull kitchen and when a traditional kitchen design is in question, luxurious materials like Quartz and Granite are a popular choice. They complement the soft look and add a hint of luxury to space.

Use of natural materials in flooring

Natural materials such as tiles, patterned stones, and stained hardwood are used over laminates in the flooring of a traditional kitchen.

Use of simple Backsplash

A traditional kitchen makes use of a simple backsplash that looks uncluttered and highly functional. Since there are enough decorative accessories and lightings in the space already, a colorful, patterned and a busy backsplash is given a skip. A Corian backsplash with a solid surface can be your best.

Custom Range Hoods

Another feature that adds a new dimension to the design of any traditional kitchen is the Custom Range Hoods. There is a varied class of hoods that are used to create a focal point in these kitchens, these include wooden hoods, ornate metal hoods, carved stone or plaster hoods.

Use of accent cabinet doors

The cabinetry style can basically define the overall look of a kitchen. While modern kitchens rely on simple and minimalistic looks in terms of cabinetry, a traditional kitchen uses kitchen cabinets that are high on style. For this reason, the use of Inset Shaker Cabinets or Inset Kitchen Cabinets is avoided since they are very simple in terms of design.

The use of Vintage Raised Panel or a classic raised panel style is popular in a traditional kitchen. Another great idea to add beauty to the design of a traditional kitchen is to replace solid door fronts with a glass door. This instantly adds to the visual appeal of the space since one also gets a chance to display the decorative dinnerware and other fancy items of a cabinet.

Cabinets with Glazed or Antique finish

Skipping the most natural looks for cabinets, the kitchen cabinets in a traditional kitchen make use of glazed or antique finish combined with a color palette that is most neutral. Some of the most popular choices include the use of white or off-white color to give the feel of open space.

A kitchen is like your personal style statement that reflects much more than your personality. Thus, when choosing a style of kitchen, remember to discover who you are, rather than which style is right or wrong. Since it’s not about the right style or a wrong style, it’s about your style!!