A brief guide to purchasing kitchen cabinets

Cabinets serve a practical and aesthetic purpose in the kitchen, and you may need to shell out a substantial amount when purchasing and installing these fixtures. Knowing how to balance a cabinet’s quality and price can go a long way in ensuring that you get the best value out of a purchase. When buying kitchen cabinets, consider the following pointers:

Image Source: houzz.com

1. Cabinet costs may vary depending on style. Some designs are more intricate and complex than others, and such designs may require more work hours, hence a higher price. Minimalist and classical styles are often less costly and can be matched to a wider range of kitchens.

2. Cabinets that use premium wood, metal, and other materials often fetch a higher amount. Wood varieties, like oak and rosewood, are definitely beautiful and eye-catching, but they are also some of the most expensive kitchen cabinets around.

Image Source: charlesandhudson.com

3. The quality of production is also a factor on the cabinet’s pricing. Less expensive models are often made in bulk, created with machines and assembly lines. On the other hand, those made by artisans are very expensive, since they are hand-crafted and often one of a kind.

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As each homeowner has his or her own cabinet preferences, you need to find the best combination of these factors to best suit your lifestyle, taste, and budget.

Frank LaMark is a kitchen design expert. Visit this Google+ page for more insights about the craft of kitchen cabinetry.

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REPOST: Wine storage, clever cabinetry top 2014 kitchen trends

According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, built-in cabinets that look like furniture, light cabinets with dark countertops, and cabinets with glass doors are all the rage this year. Read the association’s full kitchen trend forecast in this Daily Herald article.

Kitchens in 2014 are all about lights, cabinets and wine, according to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

To find new trends in kitchen design, association staff reviewed 127 entries to the 2014 Contractor of the Year Awards program, along with design work posted on home design site HOUZZ. Here are the trends they say to follow in 2014:

Image Source: dailyherald.com

Cabinets

• Built-in cabinets that look like furniture, with decorative details like crown molding and feet.

• Mixing and layering of woods and finishes. Combining white or ivory glazes with natural woods like cherry warms up a traditional kitchen, says Jennifer Runner, a designer at Normandy Remodeling in Hinsdale. Remodelers seeking a contemporary look may combine glass and metals with either ebony-painted woods or natural woods with a light color, like honey maple.

• Light cabinets with darker countertops.

• Bright-colored cabinets in orange, blue, green or brown. Richly colored cabinets can draw attention to the island, or ground the room through lower cabinets while the other cabinets are painted a lighter color, says Runner.

• Cabinets with glass doors either for displaying accessories or simply to “break up the monotony of wood,” Runner says.

• Fewer upper cabinets to avoid obstructing the view of other rooms.

Image Source: dailyherald.com

Lights

• A chandelier that contrasts with and softens modern appliances and countertops.

• Decorative task lighting — lighting that serves as both decoration and as a practical purpose — especially when lights can stretch to more than one spot on adjustable arms.

• Under-cabinet lighting for ambience.

• Pendant lights above kitchen islands to “bring style into the mix.”

• Black, brass or iron-colored fixtures.

• A large light fixture to center the room.

Image Source: dailyherald.com

Wine storage

• Cabinets specially built for wine bottle storage

• A “butler area” where guests can enjoy drinks and converse with the cook without distracting him or her from work. This might be an island or a countertop and cabinet with glasses and utensils away from the fridge, sink and cooking area where guests can enjoy pre-dinner cocktails, Runner says.

• Coolers, from under the counter to refrigerator size, with features such as UV-blocking glass and dual-zone designs that allow storing red and white wine in different temperatures. But Runner cautions from buying one as an accessory for a few new bottles. “It’s a big investment,” she says. “The nice ones can be very expensive. So, if you just have one bottle of wine in it, you probably shouldn’t have bought it in the first place.”

Frank LaMark is a renowned kitchen cabinet designer who has sold over 10,000 kitchen cabinet orders to customers in the USA, Canada, US Virgin Islands, Mexico and South America. Learn how to choose the best cabinets for your kitchen here.