When it comes to kitchen design and remodeling, perhaps a few of us have already planned exactly what kind of custom cabinets we want. But for most us, we don’t necessarily know what we like until we see it, or else we’re unsure we can pull off an appealing yet unique style with any measure of success.If you fall into this second camp, the best thing to do is to look at photos of successfully remodeled kitchens. We’ve put together a few pictures of beautiful kitchen cabinets to inspire you to approach your own renovation ideation with bold creativity.
Many kitchen cabinets in Atlanta, Georgia’s historic homes were originally built in the early 1900s or even the late 1800s. In some cases, particularly in homes built before 1910, no kitchen cabinetry existed at all. Instead, storage consisted of shelves, tables, and pantries. In historic homes where cabinetry was originally installed, function is often compromised and storage confined. Often, alignment is also warped and finishes are faded.
At Copper Sky, we recognize the importance of preserving this historicity while introducing efficient functionality. We specialize in integrating modern utility with original aesthetics. In other words, we’re here to say you can have your cake and eat it too. Here’s how.
Add Design Depth to End Panels
We’ve all heard that it’s the finishes that bring the magic to a remodel, and this is certainly true in the kitchen. In our coastal-inspired Atlanta renovation, we started by installing some unique, quarter-sawn, inset cabinets. We paid special attention to finishing them with fine detail, adding paneled craftsmanship to the exposed ends that wrap around the peninsula barstool area.
Cooper Design Builders, a Portland remodeling company, offers a second take on this same idea, designating one end of their island for shallow, open shelving to display unique dishes, a grooved wine rack, and classy cookbooks.
Don’t Be Afraid of Color
Can color be overdone? Sure. But more often than not, home owners opt only for the classic beauty of safe neutrals, which definitely have their place, not necessarily because they prefer them exclusively, but because they’re timid about incorporating statement colors.
This hesitation is certainly understandable. Colors in the kitchen can elicit a “love it or hate it” response, but if you’re working closely with an experienced designer to incorporate your favorite palette, you’ll end up not only loving it, but also empowered for the next project.
For examples of color done right, take a look at our playful and expressive incorporation of yellows, blues, and reds into our remodel of Cobb County’s oldest home and our completely different take on kitchen cabinet color in our elegant and minimalistic traditional Atlanta kitchen.
Get Creative with Your Materials
Most hardwood cabinets come in a limited variety of styles—shaker, flat, or inset—and are made from maple, oak, cherry, birch, hickory, and knotty pine. But if you’re getting custom cabinets, it’s worth entertaining ideas on incorporating creative styles and materials into your cabinetry.
What Makes a Quality Kitchen Cabinet?
Kitchens are among the most popular remodeling projects, which means there’s plenty of information available on choosing the styles and colors that work best for your home. But there’s much less talk about the basics: for instance, what makes for a quality custom kitchen cabinet? Let’s go over a few pointers.
The first decision you’ll make when selecting cabinets for your kitchen remodeling project is which material to use. As you might expect, the highest quality cabinets are made from solid wood such as hard maple, cherry, ash, birch, pine, hickory, and red and white oak.
Be aware when working with solid woods that they should be completely finished on all sides before being transferred from their manufacturing company to your home since atmospheric changes in moisture can warp unfinished surfaces.
The second best cabinet material option is a plywood core with a hardwood veneer.This combination is more affordable than solid hardwood and can still appear authentic since its outside is composed of hardwood, but because the hardwood layer is thinner, its overall integrity can’t match that of hardwood.
Materials to avoid include thermofoil and laminates. Thermofoil cabinets use heat and pressure to bind a printed vinyl exterior onto a substrate, while laminates are made from a paper substrate, a printed and colored surface, and a protective coating.
Cabinet Construction Counts
In terms of the cabinet construction itself, you’ll first want to make sure that your wood is thick enough to support the weight of high-quality countertops. This means that your front frames should be ¾” thick. You’ll also want to make sure that you’re using solid hardwood to mount your cabinets to your walls.
Next, examine how your cabinets are fitted together. Cabinet boxes should be supported by l-beam or corner braces, and the wood should be fitted together with tight dovetail joints for maximum stability. (Other cabinets use dowels, rabbets, glue, or staples for joining, but these are less stable options.)
Top Drawer Hardware
Now it’s time to look at the fine tuning. Many cabinet drawer slides are made of nylon or plastic, but you’ll want to make sure yours are made of metal slides with high load bearing ratings. Next, it’s best if the slides are mounted underneath rather than on the side so that you can maximize your storage space inside the drawer.
Finally, don’t forget that investing in special features can make a substantial difference in ease of use. Here’s what to look for: full extension or over-travel slides so that your drawers extend fully; soft-close action so that doors and drawers will protectively close themselves when directed; and adjustable drawer slides so that you can realign pathways when cabinet alignment shifts with time.