5 Tips for Replacing Your Kitchen Cabinets

Replacing your kitchen cabinets can have a dramatic effect on the look and function of your entire kitchen. There is a surprising amount of thought that goes into deciding how you want to replace your cabinets, from the style, color, material, size, layout, and so on.

You can decide between replacing old and worn cabinets with similar cabinets that use the same style and layout with slight differences, or you can go with a dramatic redesign with a whole new style and layout throughout your kitchen. If that seems daunting, it doesn't have to be! Here are some tips to help you replace your kitchen cabinets.

Picking a Style

5 Tips for Replacing Your Kitchen Cabinets: Kitchen drawers

First, you can start with the general style of your cabinets.

How do you want them to look? There are many ways that you can put your personal stamp on the appearance of your cabinets, including the following:

  • Material: Oak and other darker woods are trendy right now

  • Color: Dark wood finishes; if not wood, darker but still bold colors like navy blue, emerald green, dark grey, etc.

  • Lighting: LED strip lighting underneath cabinets, and/or puck lighting for inside the cabinets

  • Shape: Rounded shapes, or rigid and clean rectangular shapes, or triangular parts in corners or at the end of your cabinets

  • Accents: Mix in ornate patterns, pillars or moldings on the doors and around edges

Do your research to look into all the options you can choose from, including the latest trends for the newest ideas and innovations in kitchen cabinet designs. There is a lot of variety out there that you can use as inspiration.

Deciding on Size

5 Tips for Replacing Your Kitchen Cabinets: Measuring Cabinets

The next step — before you look into anything else — is deciding how big you want your cabinets to be.

This decision should not be made lightly, as it will have a major effect on your ability to organize your kitchen. You should carefully consider everything you might want to store in your cabinets, if you prefer alternative methods of storage, and how much you would sacrifice storage for something else.

For example, maybe instead of storing your pots and pans in a cabinet, you like the idea of hanging them on hooks from the ceiling instead. Maybe you want more counter space so all your cabinets are from the waist down. Maybe you want a lot more storage space for a large family and have floor to ceiling cabinets, or maybe you have a small family and so you want minimalist cabinets.

Designing the Layout

5 Tips for Replacing Your Kitchen Cabinets: Cabinet Layout

Next, you can start thinking about how you want to have your cabinets arranged throughout your kitchen. This is also why you should decide on the amount of cabinets you need for storage, because it will affect how you want them laid out. If you need more cabinet space, for example, you can add a kitchen island with cabinets underneath, or a peninsula that sticks out from the wall.

Either will give you more counter and cabinet space, so if you want more counter space too, or want to spread out your cabinets more, you can do so with those extensions. If you need less space, or if you're a bit on the clumsy side and don't want extra counter corners sticking out, you can stick to a more standard layout of cabinets that wrap around the walls between all your kitchen appliances.

Choosing the Inside Organization

5 Tips for Replacing Your Kitchen Cabinets: Inside Cabinet organization

Now you can decide how you want to have all your food and cooking things organized within your cabinets. You don't have to use the same type of organization throughout all of your cabinets, and can switch it up for the different types of things you want to store. You can have shelves, dividers, rolling racks that you can pull out of the cabinet for easier reach, and so on.

For example, for things like plates, cups or other standard dishes you can use the usual shelving. However, for tall and thin items like cooking sheets or cutting boards, you can use vertical racks or shelving to make it easy to slide them in and out. For larger, bulkier items like pots and pans you can have wire shelving that rotates so you don't have to dig deep into the back of a cupboard to reach what you need.

Picking Doors

5 Tips for Replacing Your Kitchen Cabinets: Door cabinets

Lastly, you can decide on the doors you want to use for your cabinets.

This is equal parts style and functionality. For the aesthetics, you can have cabinet doors that have glass panes so you can see inside. For certain cupboards that are neatly arranged, it can add a nice visual touch. You can also stick with solid doors if the insides of your cupboards tend to be more chaotic.

On the functional side, there are a few different types of doors that can make your life easier. Some cabinets might be better with rolling doors or drawers that can be pulled out, rather than the usual doors that swing out.

You can also have doors that swing upwards, or that slide side to side, that make it easier to open or access the contents within depending on how high or low the cabinets are. You can also look into getting hydraulic doors that make it easier to open and close.

Look into your options, because there are so many ways you can make specific choices to get your dream kitchen!

About the Author:

Matt Doyle is the Vice-President and Co-Founder of of Excel Builders, a custom home building company serving Delaware and Maryland. The company specializes in ICF and custom-built, energy efficient homes. Matt grew up in the construction industry and he has a Bachelor of Science degree in Entrepreneurship from the University of Alabama. He also has an extensive background in internet marketing and has worked with some well-known international companies such as Best Western, McGraw Hill Construction, Sharp, and Canon.

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