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    How to Choose Kitchen Cabinets

    How to Choose Kitchen Cabinets

    How to Choose Kitchen Cabinets

    Choosing the right kitchen cabinets can be challenging with so many options, styles and colors available. Your kitchen size and layout will have the biggest impact on the cabinets you choose. You’ll also have to consider the type of cabinets and where you’ll place them to accentuate the rest of your home. 

    We’ve compiled a guide on choosing high-quality kitchen cabinets for your home. It includes tips and tricks on picking out kitchen cabinets, some considerations to remember and various color options that can highlight your custom cabinetry. 

    How to Choose the Best Kitchen Cabinets

    New kitchen cabinets should coordinate with your surroundings so as not to look awkward or out of place. Here’s what you should know before choosing kitchen cabinets.

    Kitchen Cabinet Styles

    Kitchen cabinets are available in numerous styles, each representing a unique aesthetic. What you choose depends on your personal preference, taste and existing cabinetry and decor. 


    Shaker cabinets are firm favorites due to their durability and timelessness. Their clean, five-piece design comprises four raised pieces with a sunken middle panel. These cabinets suit most home styles and can be used in kitchens and bathrooms. Their versatility saves space while providing a timeless appeal. 

    Shaker cabinets are embellishment-free for those who prefer a neat, uncomplicated finish. They are easy to clean and maintain and available in most wood species, including maple, oak, pine and cherry. 

    Raised Panel

    If you’re seeking a style that’s simple yet sophisticated, raised panel cabinets are ideal. The center panel is slightly elevated for a contrasting effect, emphasizing its uniqueness. The contoured design provides an edgy yet elegant appeal that suits most homes, whether traditional or modern. 

    Unlike shaker cabinets, raised panel cabinets are embellished with surrounding stiles and ridges, creating depth and visual interest. They are easy to clean and maintain and can be finished in a glossy coat or left natural. Sturdy and durable, raised panel cabinets can endure the bustle of a busy kitchen and maintain their form for years. 

    Find the right design in cherry, maple, oak, painted or specialty materials.


    Slab, or flat-panel, cabinets are popular in modern and contemporary homes due to their minimalist appeal. They are also easy to maintain. 

    Their design is bold with its lack of embellishments, offering a sleek and stylish look that enhances modern and contemporary spaces. These cabinets also use less space and can accommodate smaller kitchens. 

    Solid wood like maple and oak highlight the smooth surface and can then be painted or left natural based on preference. The design provides a neutral canvas to suit existing or intended interior design styles, emphasizing versatility. White is a popular color choice for this cabinet style, as it fits the modern aesthetic. 

    Reverse Raised Panel

    Sometimes confused with recessed panel cabinets, reverse raised panel cabinets are similar. The main difference is that the recessed center panel is raised on the inside of the door, making it visible when you open it. The design adds an element of surprise for those who don’t expect the center panel to be raised inside. 

    The style can be adapted to any home, though it is especially suited for cottages, farmhouses and colonial homes. For a modern take, you can choose white, black or any neutral alternative for your cabinets.

    Reverse raised panel cabinets are available in various materials and colors. Their complex detailing requires more attention when cleaning to ensure the ridges are reached since dust accumulates in them.

    Beaded Panel

    Beaded Panel

    The charming beaded panel or beadboard cabinet style adds character to any interior space. These cabinets contain elongated panels with grooves in between that accentuate their unique, versatile appeal. They are gaining popularity in modern and contemporary homes despite previously being associated with cottage-style and farmhouse homes. 

    These cabinets are timeless, offering various design possibilities for those keen to dabble in their creativity. They are available in cherry, maple, oak, painted and specialty to suit numerous applications. 

    Flat Panel

    The flat panel style is modern with its smooth, sleek and clean appeal. Unlike the raised panel style, where the center panel is elevated, the frame bulges out while the center panel remains flat. This provides a 3D look that adds depth and visual interest to the overall display. 

    The attractive display is easy to clean and available in most hardwoods, including maple, oak and cherry. 

    Kitchen Cabinet Materials and Finishes

    The kitchen cabinet door style is accentuated by the materials used. Most kitchen cabinet options are available in hardwood and plywood, but engineered wood like medium-density fibreboard (MDF) is growing in popularity because it is a high-quality, affordable alternative. 

    When choosing the best wood for kitchen cabinets, look around to inspect your current setup. Your choice depends on your preferences.

    Kitchen Cabinet Materials and Finishes


    Cherry is a medium-density wood revered for its smooth, uniform texture. The straight grain provides a shock-resistant surface that can be stain-finished for a refined look. The distinctive red hues make cherry wood one of the most popular kitchen cabinet designs.

    Most homeowners admire how the wood changes color and darkens with age. Cherry complements numerous cabinet styles because of its stark color and rich texture. Whether opting for shaker, slab or flat panel cabinets, cherry will bring out the best in each.


    Trusted and adored for their light-colored, polished, rippled grain with varying finishing possibilities, maple hardwood cabinets draw attention effortlessly. They are solid and durable, able to withstand high traffic in the kitchen and other areas. Maple is known to last years before requiring an upgrade or touch-up.

    The wood can be stained or varnished to highlight its natural color or left untouched to preserve its splendor. Its versatility allows maple to be paired with various kitchen cabinet styles, including raised, reverse raised and beaded panels.


    If you’re seeking a classic, enduring kitchen cabinet wood option, oak is among the best you’ll find. It is one of the most solid, wear-resistant wood grains that last for years without faltering. It is highly resistant to water and is one of the preferred options for kitchen cabinetry. 

    Oak characteristics include:

    • Grain: Oak has an open, visible grain.
    • Finishes: Oak can be stained, glazed or varnished.
    • Color: Oak comes in various hues ranging from honey to white and red. 

    Oak pairs well with any cabinet style, including shaker, slab, recessed and raised panel. 


    Specialty cabinets include non-wood variations like MDF and thermofoil that can be used as alternatives to hardwood. They can be stained and painted to reflect your personal preferences. 


    Painted cabinets are ideal for anyone seeking a modern aesthetic to uplift their kitchen. You’ll decide on the following factors:

    • Wood type: You can choose paint-grade maple or cherry, or you can opt for a specialty cabinet like MDF. Oak or another open-grain wood would not be ideal for painting.
    • Color: Various options like white, blue, black, gray, red and green can match or enhance your decor. Dabble in bright colors or explore the intrigue of two-tone paint schemes. 

    This cabinet style requires maintenance because of paint cracks, peels and chips. With proper care, these cabinets can last a long time and withstand daily wear and tear. 

    Kitchen Cabinet Types

    The type of kitchen cabinet influences style and material. The individual frame sizes determine the space between each cabinet door and the storage you’ll enjoy. Choose between full access, full overlay, partial overlay or inset cabinets. Each is summarized below:

    • Full access: This option provides more cabinet space with an inch of additional material on each frame side for a visually larger door. 
    • Full overlay: Lacking a rim or frame, this option similarly provides more space and a uniform, sleek look.
    • Partial overlay: With a frame of less than one inch surrounding the doors and drawers, this option leaves enough room for storage space while adding a classy touch.
    • Inset: As the name suggests, the doors are fitted flush or set in firmly within the frame so they’re in line or have a small gap in between.

    Considerations When Choosing the Right Kitchen Cabinets

    Understanding the various kitchen cabinet styles, materials and types helps you decide which might be best for your home. Before choosing any of these, there are some considerations to bear in mind that may impact your cabinet selection. 

    The kitchen size, floor layout and cabinet function are factors to consider when choosing the right kitchen cabinets.

    Kitchen Size

    Kitchen size impacts whether you install an island and the amount of cabinets you can install. It also impacts the style of cabinets you choose. You’ll want to avoid overcrowding a small kitchen, perhaps by avoiding installing cabinets that touch the ceiling. Also, remember to take appliances into account: Refrigerators, ovens and dishwashers affect your cabinetry space.

    Kitchen Size

    Floor Layout

    The way the floor is laid out is another factor to consider. If you want to keep your existing floor layout, you’ll need to adapt your cabinetry to suit it instead of the other way around. Think of the following:

    • Layout: Your kitchen is typically L-shaped, U-shaped, G-shaped, galley or one-walled. The cabinetry should complement whichever of these layouts for optimal functionality. 
    • Design: The kitchen triangle refers to the distance to walk from your fridge to your oven to your sink and how this can be minimized. You can install cabinets with this in mind. 
    • Flow: This is important as you consider your family, how your space is used and how often. An open, airy kitchen allows a full view of activity, while an island provides a central gathering point. 
    • Zones: Working in different kitchen zones is another helpful way to use your space to your advantage. It promotes organization so you’re mindful of the overall flow and harmony. Designating zones for cooking, eating, doing homework and entertaining guests helps maintain order. 


    The kitchen cabinet’s design and size depend on its intended function and purpose. If you’re seeking more storage space, you’ll include more cabinets. If space is an issue, you might reduce the amount of cabinets and focus on space-saving efforts. For example, you might opt for functional storage by hiding your microwave or other appliance away in a cabinet or drawer.

    How and where your drawers and shelves are arranged is important in determining their function. Compact shelving may save space if you’re using it to stack glasses and other essentials. Deep lower cabinets may be suitable for storing pots and pans, while shallow lower cabinets are better for plates and bowls. 

    Function may be limited by space restrictions, but there are ways to combat this, like condensing and rearranging essentials to fit in the available cabinets. 

    Colors to Complement Your Kitchen Style

    Kitchen cabinet colors vary in tone, richness and complexity. Most colors invoke certain feelings and set a desired tone. We’ve compiled a guide to help you choose a color that complements your kitchen style. 

    Dark Colors

    Dark, deep colors like brown, blue, dark gray and black are bold and charismatic. These create the illusion of a smaller space in large and spacious kitchens. They should ideally be contrasted with light tones for a more balanced and refined look. 

    Brown and dark gray particularly add warmth and depth and suit traditional and modern kitchens. Black is sophisticated and strong and is a popular choice for modern kitchens.

    Neutral and Light Colors

    For a versatile and classic option, choose neutral, light colors. They are warm and inviting and make small kitchens appear larger. 

    Neutral colors are versatile and can be applied throughout the home for a uniform appeal. They transcend time and suit most home styles. With proper cleaning and maintenance, white, tan, beige, light gray, cream and taupe kitchen cabinets exude elegance and class.

    They can be combined with primary colors for a unique effect. For example, red and cream or beige may be attractive, as well as white and blue.

    Bright Colors

    Bright colors instantly uplift the mood and evoke feelings of joy and lightheartedness. Having a pop of bright color makes any kitchen stand out. Avoid overusing bright, eccentric hues, as they may overwhelm the cabinet style and come across as too busy. 

    Tone it down by mixing and matching colors as suggested below:

    • Green and grey
    • White and purple
    • White and yellow
    • White and green
    • Red and tan

    Although bright colors are fun, keep in mind that color trends change over time. 

    Experiment with available color options by sampling a variety and placing it on your wall to determine its suitability. Don’t rush when deciding, as you’re likely to keep the color for a while before updating it. 

    Choose Bath, Kitchen & Tile for Your Kitchen Renovation Project

    Choose Bath, Kitchen & Tile for Your Kitchen Renovation Project

    Choosing Bath, Kitchen & Tile for the best kitchen cabinet design for your home is a well-made decision. We work closely with industry-leading cabinet manufacturers to deliver expert cabinets made of high-quality materials. 

    If you’re ready to start your kitchen revamp project, we can help you select and install your new cabinets. Browse our kitchen cabinet specials for appealing promotions, check our exciting kitchen product range for additional revamp ideas or visit any of our showrooms to view our impressive selection in person. 

    Contact us for more information today!

    Visit Our Showrooms

    Bath, Kitchen & Tile is a leading supplier of cabinets, appliances, tiles and other fixtures for your bathroom or kitchen remodel. With bathroom and kitchen showrooms across Delaware and Maryland, you can visit us throughout the week to move your project forward. We offer a competitive price guarantee, making us the preferred local supply source by homeowners and contractors. Contact us for more information!