Kitchen cabinets hold the ability to transform a kitchen with regards to looks and organization.
Whether you are picking out your cabinets for the first time or deciding to upgrade, there are many options to customize your kitchen with cabinets.
If you are picking out your cabinets for the first time, you have the ability to choose the color and type of wood that you want depending on the design of your kitchen. If you are updating your cabinets, paint is an easy way to make an inexpensive update before you are ready to fully replace your cabinets.
Often times there are many decisions to make with regards to the external appearance of the cabinets and we forget about the potential for organization. Consider making the cabinets under the sink on tracks so you can easily pull them in and out to access cleaning supplies or pots and pans. If you have a vertical cabinet, you can add hooks to store brooms and mops.
You can add wooden inserts to your cabinets to optimize their organization and storage potential. This will help you to organize everything in your kitchen from pots and pans to mixers and measuring cups.
Often times your kitchen cabinets need appropriate lighting as well. Consider installing small lights in your cabinets so you easily see everything that is inside. With that said, go ahead and explore these kitchen cabinet ideas and designs below.
1. Kitchen Cabinet Bold Finish Ideas
The traditional and most popular color for kitchen cabinets is white. This makes sense since it looks clean and is bright. While you can’t go wrong with bright white cabinets, they can also look a bit boring and lack vibrancy. Colored cabinets can give your kitchen life and a customized feel that fits perfectly with your unique personality. When it comes to picking a kitchen cabinet color, you have the freedom to choose anything that you like.
Bold color can be a wide range of shades. For some, this means choosing a pastel color. While for others, it means choosing a vibrant jewel tone of even distressed wood. The color you choose will depend on your kitchen.
Consider the size and amount of light in your kitchen. Larger and brighter kitchens can support darker colors such as black and navy. But in smaller and darker kitchens, these colors can be too overwhelming. They’ll close your kitchen in and make it feel even darker and smaller than it already is. To use color in smaller kitchens or those with limited light, try a brighter shade. Colors such as pastel green, blue, pink, or yellow can help reflect the light and make the kitchen feel bigger.
You should also consider the style of your kitchen when choosing a color. Modern kitchens look beautiful with less traditional kitchen colors. Black cabinets in a modern kitchen blend in well. If your kitchen is more traditional or country in style, then try a mint or sage green. These colors compliment the traditional or rustic feel of your kitchen since they’re softer and associated with a more traditional feel.
2. Full-Height Kitchen Cabinet Ideas
Take a look up. Do you see a gap between the top of your cabinets and the ceiling? That empty space up there is wasted space. While traditional cabinet design says you need this space, this isn’t necessarily true. Modern cabinet design ignores this traditional rule and instead has the cabinets extend all of the way up to the ceiling.
The trick to making this idea work is to have a row of wall cabinets that are easily accessible for daily use. Then have a top row of cabinets that are between them and the ceiling. Try making the accessible cabinets taller than traditional cabinet heights, then make the uppermost cabinets a bit shorter in height.
These uppermost cabinets are perfect for creating additional storage space. You could keep kitchen items that you rarely use in them. Or you could use them for storage for anything else you aren’t ready to part with.
You could embrace the look of tall cabinets by installing a ladder on wheels and a rail. This will create a visual effect and make accessing your cabinets easier. If you don’t have enough room for a ladder, you can tuck a simple step stool away in a utility closet.
3. Two-Tone Kitchen Cabinet Ideas
If you love the idea of colored cabinets but don’t think they’ll work in your kitchen, don’t give up on the dream just yet. Instead of having all black or navy cabinets, you can paint half of them in that shade. The best way to do this is by painting your lower cabinets one color and then painting the wall cabinets another.
The best examples of this technique in action have a darker color for the bottom cabinets and white for the wall cabinets. Now you get the benefits of both colors. The color adds personality and interest to your kitchen while the white keeps your kitchen feeling bright and fresh.
Another option is to paint your kitchen island, and then leave your cabinets along the wall another color. Your kitchen will look beautiful with your island painted sage green or a shade of gray while you leave your other cabinets white.
4. Glass Door Ideas for Kitchen Cabinets
Glass doors are not a new trend, but you can give them a modern feel. There are two designs of glass cabinet doors to choose from. The first is a glass insert in a frame that matches the rest of the cabinets. The other option is a cabinet door made entirely of glass.
Glass doors can work in both traditional and modern styles of kitchens. This makes it a versatile design detail.
If you have a modern kitchen, then opt for clear glass panes that allow you to easily see the contents behind it. If this is a bit too exposed for you, then a frosted glass will give the illusion of visibility without the exposure.
For a more traditional kitchen, consider adding trim to the glass. This could be a criss-cross or curved trim design. If you have a farmhouse-inspired kitchen, try a windowpane design that divides the glass into quarters. You could even choose to use stained glass inserts for a beautiful statement piece.
5. Open Shelving Ideas for Kitchen Cabinets
A modern design trend that you’ve likely seen is to skip the cabinets completely and instead use open shelving. You’ll see varying numbers of shelves from one to four on a single wall. Most of the shelves are long and deep enough to hold plates, bowls, and kitchen utensils.
While the idea of open shelving looks great in professionally styled images, they may not be practical in your kitchen. Think about the items you store in your cabinets; do you want them all out on full display? You’ll need to stay vigilant on cleaning, so your shelves don’t collect dust. If done incorrectly, your kitchen could end up looking like a dusty and cluttered mess.
This doesn’t mean you can’t try this look in your kitchen. Instead of chucking all of your
cabinets, only get rid of a few of them. This way, you can use some statement shelves on one wall and keep your cabinets for storage in another area. You can then limit what you place on the shelves to create a styled look without having to actually store everything in your kitchen out in the open.
6. Kitchen Cabinet Drawer Ideas
Do you have deep cabinets that you struggle to reach the back of? They’re like dark black holes where kitchen appliances go to disappear for years. These deep cabinets are great for stowing away lots of items but terrible in their usability. By turning these cabinets into drawers, you can still use the entire space, but make it easier to reach the items in the back.
There are two ways you can go about creating your drawers. The first is to get rid of the cabinet door and instead have several drawer fronts. This will change the look of your kitchen. This option works well if you’re currently designing new cabinets for your kitchen.
If you don’t want to get rid of your current cabinets, then retrofitting is a better option. With this method, you’ll keep the cabinet door, but then install drawers in the space behind the door. Now the drawers are hidden, and you can keep the look of your cabinet doors.
Get creative with the size and depth of your drawers. Shallow drawers work well for storing your silverware and cooking utensils while deeper drawers are better for storing your small kitchen appliances and flatware.
For a luxurious feel, look for rails that have a soft close feature. They prevent the drawers from getting slammed shut.
7. Hardware Kitchen Cabinet Ideas
If you can’t make changes to your actual cabinets, you can make changes to the hardware. This one small change is easy and noninvasive to your cabinets. Think of it as the accessories to your kitchen cabinets. Just like a statement necklace can transform an outfit, statement hardware can breathe new life into your cabinets.
If you want to add hardware to your cabinets, think about your metal choice. Brushed gold and copper are modern trends but you can’t go wrong with elegant black. Don’t be afraid to mix metals. You don’t have to match your cabinet hardware to your faucet or lighting fixtures. Don’t be afraid to choose large hardware, such as handles that run the length of the drawer.
Another option is to not have any hardware at all. This look works well with slab style cabinets that have completely smooth fronts.
8. Built-In Appliance Kitchen Cabinet Ideas
One challenge of every kitchen is what to do with the large appliances. If you’ve planned ahead, all of your appliances should have the same finish. They typically are colored white, black, or stainless steel. This gives your kitchen a cohesive look. However, even if you’ve matched your appliances, covering them can give your kitchen a cleaner and more streamlined look.
As you plan your cabinets, consider creating fronts for your fridge, dishwasher, and any other large appliance. Most people skip the oven because they want to be able to see in the window.
Doing this will hide your appliances behind what looks like another cabinet door. When standing in your kitchen, this will create a continuous flow of cabinets that can make your kitchen look larger and stately. This strategy works with both modern slab and traditional raised center or shaker cabinet fronts. It can also hide your more unsightly appliances that look dated.
You can hide other things behind large cabinet doors as well. If you love to cook or bake, you can create a hidden workstation behind two large doors. You can have several drawers and shelves that keep all of your ingredients within arm’s reach. This will make cooking and cleaning faster.
9. Decorative Trim for Kitchen Cabinet Ideas
The modern trend is to choose flat slab cabinets. The idea is to streamline and simplify the design. What you end up with are smooth, flat cabinets that create a single surface throughout your kitchen. While this is beautiful, it isn’t for everyone and doesn’t work in all homes. This is when you should consider a traditional cabinet design, such as shaker or raised panel. These cabinets have subtle detailing to them that give them a traditional or craftsman look.
Take a look at the rest of your home. While you want to update your kitchen, it should also make sense with the rest of the home. Adding decorative trim can enhance the look of your cabinets while also keeping them in theme as the rest of your home.
You can add detailing to your cabinets in other places. Try adding decorative trim to the end of your island. Or you could create a box that matches the cabinets and covers your exhaust vent. Another idea is to add decorative support posts. Instead of using plain square posts, you can add trim to create a customized look. These can enhance your center island and kitchen cabinets.
Kitchen Cabinet Idea FAQs
Do I have to start from scratch when designing my kitchen cabinets?
You can rip out your cabinets if you choose to, but it isn’t required. You can update your current cabinets by painting, replacing the doors, or adding decorative trim.
How do I paint kitchen cabinets?
You’ll want to start by determining the current material your cabinets are made out of. Most cabinets will require you to do some light sanding to help the paint adhere. Make sure you use the right kind of paint so that it’s durable and will last.
What if I Want to Sell My Home Soon?
While you want to design a kitchen that you love, you also need to think about marketability. You may love having purple kitchen cabinets, but it’ll be challenging to find someone else who loves them enough to buy your home. Traditional style will serve you best at sale-time.
Should I Worry About Trends?
It’s better to think about designing the best looking kitchen for your home. If you fill your kitchen with all of the current trends, you risk your kitchen looking dated and old in a few short years and you’ll be redesigning your kitchen again.