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Choosing Kitchen Cabinets – Where to Buy, How to Start

Choosing Kitchen Cabinets – Where to Buy, How to Start


Wondering why you need a guide to buy cabinets?

Two words: creaking doors. Imagine completing your kitchen remodeling and realizing your cabinet door makes a noise or is loose.  Or even worse, the cabinets do not align with your needs at all.

Kitchen cabinets hold way more importance than you think they do. They are one of the most essential elements of the kitchen. They not only make your kitchen more functional and useful by providing storage solutions but also help in setting a style statement. And therefore, they may account for up to 40 percent of your total kitchen remodeling cost. 

So picking out the right cabinets for your kitchen is a crucial task, and must be thought of carefully and cautiously.

However, how does one know what to pick, where to start, etc.? There are certain factors that you need to consider, while you are on the lookout for new cabinets for your kitchen. 

Some of the most important aspects to consider while choosing a cabinet are your budget, the style, the design, the color code, storage capabilities, and how it plays with the rest of the kitchen.

Here is a guide to help you pick the perfect cabinets for your kitchen.

Best kitchen cabinets
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Kitchen cabinets are available in three different types: custom, semi-custom, and stock. Before you set off on a journey to pick out the perfect cabinets for yourself, it is important that you set a budget for yourself. 

Custom cabinets are the most expensive ones and are curated as per your choice of design, color, and other features. They start at a price of $500 and may go up to $20,000. 

Semi-custom cabinets offer a large variety of configurations and style options, and are moderately priced, making them the most popular choice of cabinets. They typically range between $300 and $600. 

Stock cabinets are available at home centers and other stores and are the cheapest option. Some stores may offer your preassembled stock cabinets, while some stores sell versions that may require you to assemble them at home. Stock cabinets are available between a price range of $200 and $350. 


No, it’s not just about aesthetics.

It is important to assess the model of the cabinets before you purchase them. Do they perfectly align with your wants and fulfill all your kitchen storage needs? Cabinet designs matter a lot with regard to the overall functionality of your kitchen, and one must not settle for anything less than they are paying for, and deserve. 

The design of your cabinet is directly proportional to its storage capability. What is the point of investing a considerable amount in your cabinets if they cannot even perform the task that they are purchased for? And therefore, you must consider the size, the number of shelves it can incorporate within itself, whether it is framed or frameless, etc. 

Although cabinets are the central attraction for most of the kitchens design-wise, it is also very important to make sure that the cabinets are in harmony with the overall design of the kitchen.

Once you have figured out the overriding theme of the kitchen, you can choose your cabinets accordingly.  As a general rule, bright and colorful cabinets go well with a cheery kitchen and darker tones pair well with classy and more mature themes.

Kitchen cabinets
Photo by Curtis Adams from Pexels


  • Inset Cabinets
    In this design, the cabinets go all the way down to the floor, adding a sense of stability to the design.  A time-tested theme in British homes, they are certainly ready for their American invasion.
  • Flush Design
    Doors and drawers cover the face of the cabinet in a flush design.  The design affords extra storage space and an aesthetically pleasing look.
  • Part Overlay
    Somewhere between inset and flush depending on your needs, part overlays are the most preferred design in America. The flexibility of design according to customer needs is a huge advantage over the other types of cabinets which offer little to no leeway for deviations from a set design.


The most visible element of a cabinet is also its most important — the cabinet door.  Make sure you take the time to deliberate the decision of door designs, as they will more often than not dictate the style for the rest of the kitchen.

The key to a good kitchen is to make it user-friendly. While you are picking out new cabinets for your kitchen, keep in mind the place that you will be fitting them into, the color code of your kitchen, and what do you plan on storing within it.

If you have a small kitchen, it is especially important that you pick the most suitable design to fit into your kitchen. Your cabinet will decide the functionality of not just itself, but the other appliances around it too. It will also be fully responsible to give you a clutter-free or a clutter-full kitchen.

A relatively newer design trend to consider is floor-to-ceiling cabinetry. These afford you a greater efficiency when it comes to space management, and also give your kitchen an edge.


Another essential factor of kitchen remodeling is the color of your cabinets. Picking out the right colored cabinets is a bigger task than you think it is. There is a lot that goes behind it, which most people forget to consider. Here are a few of those factors.

  • Size of the cabinets

The size of your cabinets plays an important role in selecting the right color for them. The color you choose for your kitchen cabbies can either amplify the look of your kitchen or diminish it. 

If you are aiming for tall and large cabinets, it would be best if you go for dark-colored cabinets. They will perfectly enhance the look of your kitchen and give it an ultra-modern and futuristic look when associated with a brightly lit-up kitchen. 

Smaller cabinets on the other hand look better when they are brightly colored. They add a pop of color to your kitchen and make it look trendy. 

  • If they are a long-term investment for yourself

Considering whether you are going to stay in the house long after you have changed its look is an important factor in choosing how to make your house look. 

If you plan on living in it for a long time, it is preferable that you make it the way you like. However, if you are thinking of giving it up in the near future, it is essential that you think about what your potential buyer would like. 

Everyone likes a well-made house that does not need a lot of rework on it. So even though you would like bright yellow-colored cabinets for yourself, not every buyer would. So it is always better to go for neutral, classic colors that are more likely to suit their taste. 

  • The overall style of your kitchen

Taking the style of your kitchen into consideration can help make the process of selecting the right color easier for you. A traditionally styled kitchen would be better suited with classic white or cream-colored cabinets. An artsy kitchen would look great with bright white cabinets. And a modern-style kitchen would look great with bright-toned or color-contrasting cabinets. 

  • Color of your walls

Before you buy new cabinets, consider the color of your kitchen walls. Do you wish to keep them the same? Then you better look for cabinets that will complement your existing wall scheme. 

The most used complementary color pairs in the kitchen are blue-orange, red-green, and purple-yellow. 

  • The mood that you want them to create

Whatever color you choose for your cabinets will help create a specific mood for your kitchen. Every color has a certain mood associated with it, so be careful while picking it out for your house.

While light blue cabinets can set a calming and relaxed mood in your kitchen, red may signify boldness, excitement, and high energy. If you are going for a simple and soothing mood, white would be the best choice. Whereas, black and other dark colors would be perfect to create a dramatic and sophisticated mood. 

Kitchen cabinet material
Photo by Max Vakhtbovych from Pexels


There are various types of kitchen cabinet materials, and it is essential that you pick the right one that will not only cater to your needs but will also go correctly with the style of your kitchen, and also suit your budget. 

Some of the most popular materials that people go for are-

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  • Wood
  • Plywood
  • PVC
  • Stainless Steel
  • Medium-Density Fireboard

Honestly, the material you choose will depend entirely upon your budget.  

However, there are always some general tips you can use to finalize the material:

  • The bigger the budget you have, the better material you can buy. But that doesn’t necessarily mean cheaper materials are no good. Plywood is a good example that is both affordable and great.
  • Prioritize performance over appearance. Cabinets are supposed to last for years, if not decades. 
  • If you are going for wooden cabinetry, remember that sometimes the finish of the wood matters as much as the wood itself.
  • Pick a material that is easy to clean.


Last but not least, the most crucial factor to consider when picking out new cabinets for your kitchen is the purpose of the cabinets. You buy cabinets to make good storage spaces in your kitchen, so always look for ones that can help maximize it to the fullest. 

Substance over style is the mantra for picking the perfect cabinet. And storage is an area where you should never compromise.

Average design with good storage options is still better than a good design-bad storage combination.

But that is not where the work ends. There are specific tricks to declutter and maximize space within the cabinets too. Installing hooks to hang mugs inside the cabinets can greatly help in solving shelf space problems. You can easily stack up the plates without cluttering up the space.  

In addition to that, always store items in jars while keeping them in the cabinets. This will give them all equal space and look more organized, for easier access. 

Talk to multiple suppliers, research their past projects, and find a trustworthy source to get you what you need.


As has been repeated several times throughout this article, a well-built cabinet trumps a good looking cabinet every day of the year.

At some point, you will get tired of the looks of your kitchen, if it does not satisfy you functionally. And therefore, it is important to make it as practical and utilitarian as possible. 

Since they are such high traffic corners of your house, they need to be strong enough to handle constant use. If you need to trade off style for function or durability, do it without a second thought. Your future selves will thank you!


Buying Kitchen Cabinets - Beginner's Guide