Choosing Your Kitchen Cabinets

Not to load on the pressure here, but choosing your kitchen cabinets is the single most important decor decision you’ll make in your kitchen. Don’t believe me? First, think about how much space the cabinets take up on both the lower and upper sections of the room. Second, think about the surface area and how the color and the material will affect the room’s overall style. Third, consider how important your cabinets’ functionality will be and how often they will be used. Finally, remember that cabinets tend to be quite pricey and are thus a huge investment. Counters are important too, of course, and never discount flooring or appliances, but cabinetry is truly the queen of the kitchen.

Choosing Your Kitchen Cabinets

Choosing Your Kitchen Cabinets


We recommend that you start by envisioning your desired look for the entire kitchen (as well as your home as a whole). Use the Internet, home magazines, and even TV shows for inspiration. Are you looking for something traditional, sleek, bold, basic, modern . . . ? If you want to keep your home’s value in mind, choose something inoffensive and neutral in color that matches the home’s overall style (i.e., steer clear of orange laminate). You might also consider glass-front cabinetry or open shelving, to visually enlarge the space and show off your dining sets and glassware.


Cabinets are manufactured in a variety of ways, with varying levels of customization. You will likely be choosing between stock, semi-custom, and custom cabinets:

  • Stock cabinets are pre-manufactured, so your style and size options are limited and you’re restricted to what the store (or online shop) offers “on the shelf.”
  • Semi-custom cabinets are also pre-manufactured, but they have a wider range of options and you can choose some of the details.
  • Custom cabinets are made-to-order, so they will be constructed from scratch to fit your specifications, from size and style to hardware and finish.

Some people assume that custom cabinets are the highest quality and most valuable (and therefore, the priciest), but this isn’t necessarily true. The three types of cabinets vary only in their customization options. Very high-quality, pre-made cabinets will be more expensive than shoddily-crafted, custom cabinets. However, generally, if you’re on a tight budget, you should try to stick with stock cabinets.


Hardwood is the most popular cabinet choice (whether solid or veneer), but don’t be afraid to stray outside the box. Laminates, thermofoil, and stainless steel might be a better choice for your style or budget. Finally, you might also want to consider environmentally-friendly options like bamboo, reclaimed wood, or wheat board.


Don’t underestimate the impact of your cabinets’ hardware (i.e., the knobs, pulls, and hinges). These features are like your cabinets’ jewelry, and they can greatly affect the overall style of the cabinetry. Plus, they’re inexpensive and can easily be installed by an amateur remodeler.

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Take your time and consider all of your options carefully. This is an important decision that will have a big impact on both your home and your wallet. Good luck!

If you’re remodeling your house or building a new home and you live in the southwest Missouri area, please give Adam Cowherd Construction a call at 417-877-7548 or click here for a free quote. We would love to help you build the home of your dreams!