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A Kitchen Cabinet Shopping Guide for Noobs: Crash Course in Kitchen Cabinetry

The kitchen is the hub of activities in every modern home — it’s no longer just a place to cook and serve. For your kitchen to reflect your personality and match your vibe, it should not only be personalized but tailored to your specific needs and tastes as well. In short, your kitchen should be clean, organized and resonating your personality.

However, building a great kitchen is a lot of work and it can be expensive for those who want to use custom kitchen cabinets. According to House Beautiful, kitchen cabinets account for nearly 30 percent of the entire kitchen remodeling budget.

Shopping kitchen cabinets can be tricky — you need to know the various aspects to find the best match for your kitchen. You know it’s not that easy for a first-time buyer.

But, don’t worry — we have got you covered. Here is your guide to make the best cabinet choice according to your style of kitchen.

Decide on the Type of Cabinets Your Kitchen Deserve

The first step to make the right choice is to learn some kitchen cabinet jargon. If you’re shopping for kitchen cabinets for the first time, the kitchen terminologies can confuse you. For instance, a kitchen cabinet can be framed or frameless, inset or overlay or full overlay. Unless you’re familiar with these terms, you may end up selecting the wrong cabinets for your kitchen remodeling.

Frame Cabinets vs Frameless Cabinets
Frameless cabinets don’t have a face frame and the door is usually fastened to the box itself | Courtesy: Pinterest

But, you don’t have to be a kitchen cabinet specialist to make the right choice. Here are some phrases and what they really mean.

Framed vs Frameless Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets can either come with or without frames. By definition, framed cabinets have a face frame attached to the front. The cabinet door is fastened to the face front allowing ample access to the unit cabinet box. On the contrary, frameless cabinets don’t have a face frame and the door is usually fastened to the box itself. Most framed cabinets have a classic and royal finish while frameless cabinets have a modern appeal.

Inset Door: When a door is installed on a frameless cabinet, it has to be set inside the box since the unit lacks a face frame. In such a case, the doors will fit flush with the cabinet box, lending an elegant appeal to the unit. Needless to stay, this type of door style or kitchen cabinet are popular among modern homeowners. You might want to check out our collection of inset Shaker cabinets in both white and grey shades.

 Inset Shaker style cabinet door in light grey color
Inset Shaker style cabinet door in light grey color

Overlay Door: When a door is fastened to the face frame of a framed cabinet, it’s called overlay door (aka standard overlay door). A standard overlay door essentially leaves a part of the face frame exposed. This style is ideal when you want to offer your kitchen a more traditional and vintage appeal.

Full Overlay Door:  When a door covers the entire face frame of a cabinet box, it’s called full overlay door style and the unit is known as a full overlay cabinet. A full overlay cabinet offers your kitchen a sleek, polished and fresh look.

Styles and Features of Kitchen Cabinet Doors and Drawers

The doors and drawers add both style and functionality to your kitchen cabinets. Not only they should open and shut effortlessly, they should add elegance to your cabinet as well.

While there are various kitchen cabinet door styles to choose from, flat front and Shaker style doors are more popular among homeowners. The Shaker style cabinets are becoming increasingly popular due to their minimalist appeal.

Dovetail Joints in Cabinet Drawers
Dovetail Joints in Cabinet Drawers | Courtesy: Pinterest

Likewise, the construction quality of the cabinet drawers should be good enough to last for years without major issues. Check whether the drawers have dovetail joinery — a type of construction approach that holds the drawer panels cohesively ensuring strong bonding. Moreover, check whether the drawers are running on full-extension undermount slides — a type of mechanism that enables the drawer boxes to slide open and shut effortlessly.

Kitchen Cabinet Door Materials Matter

Wood is the most common material followed by glass and metal. Wooden cabinetry is versatile and flexible which means the design will go as far as one’s imagination. This entirely depends upon the preferences of the homemaker and/or decorator. You can also go for a combination of wood, glass and metal. An example would be a combination of glass windows on wooden frames and doors or glass doors on wooden frames. It may be a good idea to consider the available budget when shopping around for your next kitchen cabinet.

Mind the Kitchen Cabinet Finishes

Doors and drawers can have minimalist to very detailed surfaces. They add appeal to the entire look and pull together the function and style of the kitchen cabinet. Minimalist surfaces are those that appear flat and come in either matte or laminated finishes. Metal and glass kitchen cabinets come out as polished as possible which appears very premium and luxurious rather than industrial and commercial.

Door and drawer handle also adds to the look of the cabinet. The use of simple designs has a relaxed feel while bigger and more articulate knobs and handles can look robust.

Learn How Cabinet Colors Impact Your Kitchen

The cabinet colors may not seem like a big deal at first. However, when you consider the natural lighting ambiance of your kitchen and pair the appliances you have in your kitchen, you can see the point. That’s right — when it comes to creating the right feeling in your kitchen space, you need to select the right kitchen cabinets color.

Modern Flat front Cabinets
Courtesy: Pinterest

There are many myths surrounding the kitchen cabinet colors and we have covered them extensively in our guides.

Choosing the right kitchen cabinets is no child’s play. When you’re investing a fortune on your kitchen remodeling project, you should select your kitchen cabinets very meticulously. With the above tips to start with, you should embark on your kitchen renovation journey confidently.

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