5 Expert Tips To Choose Cabinetry

Not only is cabinetry a lifesaver when it comes to storing all those pots and pans that you've accumulated over the years: it's usually the first thing that your and your guests' eyes are drawn to whenever entering the kitchen. It'd better look cohesive!

When you choose cabinetry, you can't afford to overlook functionality nor materials and design. Sounds like a lot? Not if you follow our expert tips!

What type of cabinetry do I need in my kitchen?

Consider what you need to store as well as the layout of your kitchen and your existing cabinets in order to choose cabinetry that complements them. If you don't have many, you'll probably need a couple of different types:

  • Wall cabinets allow you to fill up rooms with taller ceilings and are a handy option if you haven't got a lot of floor space left. Because they don't require you to crouch to open them, we mainly recommend them for items that you use almost every day, such as glassware, plates and ingredients that you always need at hand when cooking;
White Medium Wall Cabinetry
Long Dark Wood Wall Cabinetry
Maple Wood White Wall Cabinet
Vertical White Wall Cabinetry
Vertical Grey Wood Wall Cabinetry
Light Wood Kitchen Wall Cabinet
  • If you've got quite a bit of floor space left and bulkier or heavier items to store (such as pots and pans), get a few base cabinets. They can include either cupboards, drawers or a combination of the two;
Dark Maple Wood Base Cabinet
Warm Wood Base Cabinet
White Drawer Base Cabinet
White High Doors Base Cabinet
Oak Wood Long Base Cabinet
Classic White Base Cabinet
  • Corner models are a handy space-optimizing option to utilize those nooks where nothing else would really fit;
Grey Corner Cabinet with Glass Door
Corner Wall Cabinet in Espresso Color
Corner Base Cabinet with Double Doors
Black and White Corner Cabinet
High Base Corner Cabinet
Corner Cabinet in Grey
  • Do you mainly need some extra cabinetry to store food? Perhaps you prefer stocking up on non-perishable items? A pantry cabinet will be the best addition to your kitchen! Tall, thin and including lots of small shelves, these cabinets are ideal to make the most of narrow walls or corners.
Single Open Pantry Cabinet
Single Pantry Cabinet in White
Double Door White Pantry Cabinet
Slim Pantry Cabinet in Dark Wood
High Doors Pantry Cabinet in White

How many cabinets do I need in my kitchen?

Figuring out how many cabinets you should buy is a bit tricky, as every kitchen is different and so are household habits. To try and find the magic number for you, consider these points:

  • If you already own a few cabinets, run an inventory of everything that needs to be stored, which is also the right opportunity to get rid of clutter that you never use. Store everything neatly instead of cramming it in, and add enough cabinets for whatever is left out;

  • If you haven't got any cabinets at all, allowing two cupboards per adult and one for each kid is a great start;

Wanna get technical about it? Get your tape measure and calculator out! Consider the storage space that you need and buy cabinets that, combined, allow you to reach that range. When browsing models, you must multiply the cabinet's width for its depth and number of shelves or drawers:

  • For kitchens that are smaller than 150 ft², aim for 300" of wall cabinet storage space, around 880" of base models (including drawers), and a 180" pantry;

  • If your kitchen is between 150 and 350 ft², you could probably do with 360" of wall cabinets, 1015" of base cabinets, and a 230" pantry;

  • Is your kitchen bigger than that? We might be slightly jealous, but we can still tell you that you should easily fit over 360" of wall cabinets, around 1185" of base, and a large 310" pantry.

Of course, these aren't set rules, but they can help you figure out how many cabinets, combined, would allow you to achieve that recommended storage space.

What is the best material for kitchen cabinetry?

Wood

  • Wood is the most common material when it comes to kitchen cabinetry: it's durable, non-toxic and incredibly versatile, perfect to complement all kinds of décors.

  • While it's obviously available in lots of different styles and finishes, the main choice will be between solid wood and laminate.

  • The former is a beautiful traditional option that can make your kitchen unique thanks to its natural variations but is a bit more expensive and could get damaged by humidity and drastic temperature changes, so make sure you ventilate your kitchen; laminate is a more affordable and modern alternative that is quite durable and a bit easier to maintain.

Veneer wood

  • If you love the idea of wooden cabinetry but were after a more budget-friendly option, veneer woodis a good compromise: it consists of sheets or slices of solid wood glued onto a different material.

  • However, it's not as durable and it can discolor over time when exposed to direct sunlight for years.

Maple Solid Wood White Cabinetry
Wooden Maple Base Cabinetry
White Wood Wall Base Cabinetry
Dark Wood Melamine Base Cabinetry
Eucalyptus Brown Corner Cabinetry
Dark Brown Maple Kitchen Wall Cabinet

PVC

  • Poly-vinyl chloride is an affordable option consisting of plastic sheets. Easy to install, waterproof and, unlike most woods, termite-proof, it's certainly a practical solution.

  • Unfortunately, it's not available in many color options, and it can yellow a bit with age.

Metal

  • Cabinetry made of metals like stainless steel or aluminum is generally more expensive but certainly strong and incredibly durable, as it's unaffected by humidity and heat.

  • Their surfaces are also easy to clean, but you might need to wipe them more often as fingerprints show more clearly, and metal cabinets aren't usually available in lots of finishes.

Glass Front Grey Corner Cabinet
Glass Front Wood Cabinet
Wall Black Metal Cabinet
Metal Triple Door Cabinet
Antique Glass Front Wood Cabinet
Wall Cabinet with 2 Glass Door

Glass front

  • You can consider a glass front for some of your wall cabinets, as it helps make smaller and darker rooms look larger and brighter. You can use it to showcase your best items such as crockery and glassware… which also means that they should always be tidy!

What are the different types of cabinet doors?

  • Shaker doors are one of the most popular designs for kitchen cabinetry: featuring a central panel, they're perfect to create a cozy and traditional look. You can either opt for classic raised panels or more versatile recessed-panel designs;

  • Flat or slab doors follow a more streamlined and minimalist design, usually without any type of decorative elements;

  • If you want to go for an even more minimalist approach and a sleek look, you can consider no-handle models, as long as you're happy to wipe them more often;

  • Instead of the traditional hinged doors, you might want to opt for a sliding alternative if you have a particularly small kitchen that wouldn't leave you much room to move around when you open a couple of cupboards.

Dark Wood Base Cabinets with Handle
White Cabinet with Slab Doors
Wall Cabinet with Sliding Door
Sliding Doors Base Cabinet
Slab Doors Drawer Base Cabinet
Kitchen Wall Cabinet with Handle

What is the right style cabinetry for my kitchen décor?

Before you choose cabinetry for your kitchen, you should consider the style of your other existing elements in order to maintain a cohesive feel:

  • For the most modern of all kitchens, stick to flat doors, light wood laminate or metal, and designs that focus on functionality rather than intricate details;

  • Darker wooden finishes with long, thin handles are more appropriate for mid-Century modern kitchens;

  • If you're a minimalist at heart, you should choose monochrome and simple designs, prioritizing flat doors and considering going handle-less. If you're a fan of glass doors, make sure you only add them to cabinets with fewer items to avoid a cluttered feel;

  • Maintain a minimalist approach for Scandinavian kitchens too, but stick to light wood or natural colors like white, yellow, dark blue, gray or forest green;

  • For a Pinterest-worthy industrial kitchen, choose wood, metal and black, and the barest designs. Depending on how committed you are to the raw charm of this style, consider opting for a few shelved cabinets without doors;

  • Go the complete opposite way for a dreamy shabby chic kitchen: shaker doors, noticeable handles, decorative designs, and white or light pastel wood, perhaps with a discolored feel;

  • A French country kitchen will certainly look majestic, especially if you focus on wooden shaker doors, white or light colors, harmonious shapes and the most decorative details;

  • There are lots of ways to express the spontaneity of bohemian décor, so… get creative! You could choose cabinetry made of wood or featuring a few glass panels or go for particularly colorful finishes. Either way, shaker doors and a few decorative shapes will add to its charm.

Lily is a modern designer with great appreciation for sleek architecture, a love for art in its many forms, and a passion for sharing her experience with people. If you’re looking for advice on how to modernize your old-fashioned place or make your new restaurant a visual blast, she’s definitely the one to ask.