Replacing Kitchen Cabinets
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|Mon, 03-10-2008 - 12:41pm|
When you've made the decision to replace your kitchen cabinets, one of the first details you have to settle is the style you want. They're something you'll live with for years and will need to stand up to all kinds of treatment.
There are many styles of cabinets available, so you can always find something to suit your style.
Traditional kitchen cabinets have some detail to them. Details may include raised panels, molding or trim, or carved accents. The type of wood and color of the stain can make traditional kitchen cabinets look good in a wide range of kitchen styles, from country to formal.
Contemporary style cabinets are much simpler, giving their effect through clean lines and styling. If you like the stainless steel, uncluttered or geometric styles, contemporary cabinets will go well in your kitchen. They may have glass cutouts in the doors, giving a window in to their contents.
Cabinets are more than doors, of course. Your cabinets may include wine racks, pullouts, or bins. The pullout tray is particularly popular right now, as it makes the contents of your cabinets much more accessible.
When planning your kitchen cabinet layout, remember two things. The first is to avoid trendy styles. You want your kitchen to look good for years, so don't do anything you're likely to regret. The second is to think about how you use your kitchen. Do you use your kitchen just for cooking, or is it where you sort your mail or do paperwork?
Your cabinets can be a great help. If your pets are fed in the kitchen, maybe you can include improved storage for their food, so you don't have bags of food lying around anymore.
One kitchen feature I grew up with that many newer kitchens lack is pullout cutting boards. These of course provide a great place for cutting foods, but also double as extra counterspace when the need arises, without costing significant storage space.
If you've been grumbling about getting things in and out of that corner cabinet, think about a lazy susan arrangement in the corners to make the space much more functional.
Of course, which of these features are practical will depend on your use of your kitchen and your budget. Basic cabinets aren't cheap, and adding features adds up rapidly.
Of course, the most important feature you should pay for is high quality. Cabinets that are assembled using plywood are more durable than those made of particle board, and of course, thicker is better. You want backs to your cabinets to discourage mice and bugs. Drawers should have an excellent warranty, at least a 75 lb load rating and quality construction. Stapled and glued drawers just won't last as well as those with dovetail or dowel joints.
You can tell a lot about cabinet quality just by touching them. The finish should be smooth, and even though it's been put through quite a bit, being in a showroom, the cabinets should not be dented or otherwise show damage. They have to stand up for many, many years in your home, after all.
Cabinets will most likely take up more of your kitchen remodeling budget than anything else you do. Spend this money wisely to maximize the investment and your pleasure in using your new kitchen.
Co-CL for "The Stitcher's Niche" and "Remodel & Renovate" and CL for "Antiques and Collectibles"
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Stitchery WIPs: "Bath 5¢", "Walking to Town", a selection of 8 San Man snowman charts, "Millenium Sampler", 2 sets of curtain tie-backs using a DMC freebie chart and the DMC linen threads, a Kooler Design Studio chart form JanLynn called "Needlework Shop", "Tsunami Charity Sampler" from the fall 2007 Sampler & Needlework Quarterly, and "Autumn Leaves" from the December 2006 New Stitches