Kitchen is where the heart of any home lies. A proper arrangement of things in a kitchen will make it more functional and give an organized look. It will also further make life simpler when one works in a kitchen. The crockeries and accessories should be neatly kept in an organized manner to aid in the process of preparing the best meal in a kitchen. If the environment and the aura is right you will have productivity as seen with office space. Therefore the right arrangement and utilization of space is most important. Kitchen cabinets are the parts and parcel of a kitchen that will give the uncluttered look and help you keep all your things in place.
Kitchen Cabinet Designs
There are various kitchen ideas that you can find from different sources and here are few of those that are most common.
Utilizing space efficiently will not only give you satisfaction of accomplishment but will also save you some money that may go in when constructing a cabinet that is not space efficient. The stock size storage cabinets are normally large and need to be planned well. There are dimensions that a standard cabinet available in the market has. This dimension should be always referred while designing your own cabinet.
If you are a smart home owner then you would always think of saving some money without compromising on the quality of the cabinet. This can be done by giving some extra finishing look after a cabinet is purchased from a store. Many cabinet manufacturers are ready for doing the customized design at a high cost, so why not buy the generic cabinet and make it a customized look by doing some few works on it with the help of your local cabinet maker.
Generally, kitchen cabinets comes in a 12’’ deep format. The bottom ones may be 24’’ deep which is again regular. This two dimensions should not be a big problem for you. The problematic part lies in adjusting the breadth of the cabinet with your kitchen. Cabinets that are available in the market are manufactured with an increment of one foot and unluckily your kitchen may not have the perfect fit for the cabinets. This may result in requirement of adjustment of very small space between the cabinet and the walls that can be tricky.
The Floor Plan
For a perfect fitting and seamless arrangement of things around the space of your kitchen you may need to draw out a floor plan. The most user friendly and easiest means is to get a graph paper. Scale your floor space with each division on the graph paper and draw out the space that is available. This will help you place all the items and accessories in place and calculate space availability at the same time. On the graph sheet you may mark place for your refrigerator and sink area which are already existing. Other important parts of a kitchen such as ventilation and the stove position may also be marked.
To have an actual representation of things in your kitchen, make stock size cabinets by cutting papers, you may make some different varieties of sizes to see which fits best. If possible include cut outs of refrigerators and stoves too.
If you have designed the floor plan then it is time to consider few points that will make your work easier.
- Drawer position: It is not a good idea to place a drawer in the corner because the space behind the drawer will become unusable. Cabinets that are placed adjacent are much better in the corner. The corner space can be efficiently utilized thus.
- Stove placement: Stoves should never be placed in a corner to save space. This is because the cupboard that is behind the stove will be rendered useless.
- Corner cabinets: As the corners are less accessible compared to other parts of a room the cabinets should be minimum 1 and a half foot wide so that the inner space is utilized properly.
- Drawers: Drawers are much better option when space organization is concerned. You may want to put more drawers than needed as you will always require separate enclosures for the kitchen items down the line.
- Lazy Susan: Installing a turntable around the corner space is a smart design for maximizing space utilization.
- Stove and Refrigerator: Hot is for hot and cold is for cold. Hey should be kept apart as far as possible. Putting them close to each other is a very bad design idea. When the heat generated by the stove disturbs the surrounding environment of your refrigerator it pressurized the refrigerator to work harder to keep your foods cold. This in turn will cost you more on the electricity bill.
The thumb rule of all kitchen designs is that the sink, refrigerator and the stove should be kept in a triangular arrangement. And if at all there is limitation of space then it is best to arrange a place for the sink in the middle.
First decide the design of the bottom cabinet followed by the upper cabinet. The graph paper that you used for the floor plan cannot be used any more in this regard. You should have an elevated point of view of the room and the walls. Another paper can be added that can represent the wall space that your kitchen has. The space occupied by the windows and doors should be properly marked and drawn to scale. A marking of elevated position of the upper cabinet from the ground as well as from the counter top should be carried out.
The elevation of the upper cabinet depends upon the choice of the home owner. Some may prefer a height of around 16’’ from the counter top while other may want a slightly higher placement. In general an average of 17” can be considered for the height of the cabinet from the counter top.
After deciding the height at which the cabinets should be placed you can start marking the protruding portion of the cabinet from the wall on the floor plan graph paper. It is regularly around 12’’. This is marked at areas wherever an upper cabinet is decided upon.
The convenience with paper cutout pattern is that you can have a miniature view of your room and make changes that can be visually appealing and aesthetically sound. The paper cut outs of the upper cabinets can be used to check the arrangement of the cabinets on the elevation view. Arrange the cutouts on the drawing chart and check its linearity with the lower cabinets, also keep in mind about other aspects like the doors of the cabinets being in the same vertical line. You may neglect this aspect though, as long as the arrangement looks visually appealing. The paper cutouts will give you a final view of how it will look like when your kitchen is finally done.
The semi-custom bordered cabinets
The semi-custom cabinets, as the name sounds, are customized to your requirement. They are fabricated from materials that are superior to stock cabinets regularly available in home stores. As the cabinets are customized they are more adjustable than other cabinets and provides great improvement in your design plan.
This type of cabinets offers a mid of features offered by the stock cabinet or the custom type cabinets. The materials that are used to furnish the cabinet are much more durable than the stock cabinet and also offers a competitive price, though slightly expensive. It also features a range of designs to choose from although it is not as much compared to numerous designs possible with custom cabinets although the price is much more reasonable than the latter. The plus point of semi-custom cabinet is that it is the essence of both the stock and the custom types.
As with different cabinet designs, like I the American and the European type the semi-custom cabinets offers a choice of framed or without frame cabinets. It is a personal choice of the homeowner as which one to be installed in their kitchen. The framed ones are easier to install as compared to the frameless ones. And if there is a confusion on what is framed and what is frameless, here is a little explanation. The framed ones are those that are normally seen with most American homes these days; it has doors or drawers with an extra side panel. Whereas, the frameless ones are seen with European style kitchen in which doors are fitted to the side of the cabinet without a frame or panel.
As the semi-custom cabinet is customizable to a certain extent it offers a unique space saving option. The space that is offered by a semi-custom cabinet is a much more advantageous than a stock cabinet where you have plenty of storage space and yet cannot be fully utilized. If a stock cabinet could be modified the wasted space can be put to use, this is the smart option that comes with semi-custom cabinets. It also has a corner saving design called the lazy Susan where you have a rotational shelf for easy access of the corner space. It makes sure that the inside corner does not remain free and unutilized.
Another attractive feature of a semi-custom cabinet is that it offers a wide variety of designs to choose from. There can be custom moldings on top of the cabinets to add some extra space so that you can have a good display of accessories associated with a kitchen. A mullion door can also be thought of where you have a glass front so that you have space to display some expensive china wares and glasses. The doors can be fitted with different types of handles to fit the design idea that you have in your kitchen. Options for putting some engineered gap fillers will definitely put that extra glamour that your kitchen deserves.
The custom cabinets opens the possibility of putting your imagination into work. It offers unlimited options of design and colors that you wish to have or a perfect design that will seamlessly fit into the kitchen design that you already have. It is a good choice for smart space utilization that none of the cabinet system discussed above offers. It can be fully fabricated according to the whims and fancies of a homeowner. The most attractive option is that it can be modified and re-modified at times, whenever one feels a change is needed. The color and design possibilities that it offers cannot be compared to any cabinet types.
As the name suggests, a custom cabinet is made according to specifications of a home owner. Every part and parcel of the cabinet has been carefully designed to fit exactly what a customer requires.
Advantages of Having a Custom Cabinet
Custom Design: Custom cabinetry offers numerous design options to choose from. Some of them being the standard (3/4”) Overlay Series, the full Overlay Series, Frameless European style cabinets or the Inset Series. The frameless EuroStyle series comes in different wood pattern and offers a range of choice of door styles, and drawers as well as different finishes. The custom cabinet system is designed to fit the space available in a kitchen perfectly and as per requirement of the customer. Since it is custom made, this type of cabinets offers a long warranty period in the form of a lifetime warranty for the materials used and the interior finishing as well as the hardware fittings.
Cabinets as Furniture: The custom cabinets can also be designed as a dual purpose utility. It can have the storage space of a cabinet and yet function as a furniture piece in your kitchen. A type of furniture design is possible with a custom cabinet. The beauty is that the design of this type of cabinet system is limitless.
Smart Space Utilization: None other cabinet system will offer the space utilization capacity that a custom cabinet offers. Every kitchen has a different setting and different utilities. A custom cabinet can be designed to accommodate the type of accessories and utensils that different kitchen has. Whether it be kitchen cabinet or any other storage space in your home, a well-designed cabinet with maximum space utilities is the smartest choice.
Added Functionality: A smart space utilization plan not only add to the storage feasibility but also to the functionality of working space. Special care can be taken to give ample space and ease of access to the prime work space of a kitchen which are the sink, stove and refrigerator area.
A Good Investment: Cabinets plays a major role in a home. Not only it add aesthetic value to a home design it also provides good storage space for the entire home. It is not only the kitchen that a cabinet can be installed, it can be the bathroom or bedroom. One factor that decides the market value of a house is the availability of storage space in the form of cabinets that are attractive at the same time. Therefore, installing a custom cabinet is an investment that simply increases the value of your home.
RTA Kitchen Cabinets
Ready-to-Assemble (RTA) kitchen cabinet are commonly used by construction firms however it is yet to find the interest of individual home owners who wants to remodel their kitchen. Although the RTA kitchen cabinets are available in the market for a long time it was not preferred over other kitchen cabinet options. Recent technological advancement have added to its demand. The RTA kitchen cabinet is a cheap option for remodeling your kitchen with new cabinet system. The competitive market of kitchen cabinets have worked to the favor of consumers who can have a decent cabinet at around the price of $1600 as compared to more than $10,000 for a basic cabinet system earlier. A minimal investment and yet functional cabinet is a good choice when one is not very much sure about the real estate market which is not giving much return due to the recent financial crisis.
RTA cabinets are available with many major retailers like the IKEA or other home stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s. Such type of cabinets comes in a flat packed form where it should be assembled with the help of instructions provided, by yourself or your contractor. Sometimes the cabinet is doorstep delivered with a handyman to help you with the assembly of the same.
Though the RTA kitchen offers a cheaper option to most of the cabinet system like the custom, semi-custom or the stock cabinets, it is associated with many unwanted outcomes. It is required to cross check if the material that was used for the cabinet is made of plywood and has solid wooden doors and drawer fronts. Since plywood provides a sturdy frame when nuts and screws are used as compared to block board or MDF woods, cabinets made of plywood is better over other materials in case of RTA cabinets. Some cabinets just requires glues and staples for assembly. With prolonged period of use the RTA cabinets are associated with unwanted outcomes like separating and splitting from joints. RTA kitchen cabinets with metal brackets can prevent this up to some extent. Assembling an RTA kitchen is easy and does not require professional intervention.
Unlike custom cabinets that will take more than a month to get ready for installation the RTA cabinets can be installed within weeks. It normally takes a week or two from the date of order for the RTA cabinet to reach your doorsteps. The faster processing period of the cabinet allows you to install it within a short duration of time. An advantage of the faster delivery of RTA cabinet is that it allows adjustment with the kitchen plan as the other remodeling work is carried out simultaneously. And in case of a miscalculation it won’t take another month or two for your kitchen to get its new avatar.
Most of the home owners are smart decision makers and when it comes to cost it is the prime factor which everybody would have to think about. RTA cabinets being the most inexpensive option available it is a good choice for those who want to go light on the pocket. Afterall, it still gives you many features that are also available with many cabinet systems. It has a faster processing time since it is readily available. And if you have doubt on the fitting of the cabinet according to your kitchen design make sure you read more of our articles to have a better idea on getting the right measurement so that you do not mess up with a costly cabinet.