Kitchen & Bathroom Cabinets

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Cabinets provide a focal point for bathroom and kitchen design. As such, kitchen and bathroom cabinets need to be both functional and attractive.

Kitchen Design and Cabinets

While glass cabinets are attractive, wood-paneled cabinets remain the most popular choices for kitchen design. A wide range of woods are available for kitchen cabinets, including maple, cherry, alder and birch. Fast-growing woods such as lyptus appeal to homeowners who are concerned with green design and renewable resources.

Finishes that produce an aged, antique effect in kitchen cabinets are popular, as are white-washed cabinets. These design elements bring an informal, cozy feeling to kitchen design.

Large appliances like dishwashers and fridges can be disguised with woodwork that matches kitchen cabinets. Easy-to-use pull-out shelves are popular inside kitchen cabinets.

Ideas for Bathroom Cabinets

Bathroom cabinets are often part of larger bathroom vanities. Vanities may be either built-in floor-mounted cabinets or "furniture" style pieces designed to look like buffets or chests of drawers. While furniture-style bathroom cabinets bring an Old World charm to a bathroom, such cabinets often have limited storage space.

Well-Built Cabinets

While the appearance of bathroom and kitchen cabinets is important, don't neglect their function. Cabinets need to meet your storage needs and be well-constructed. While cheap cabinets save money in the short term, a well-built cabinet is an investment that lasts for years.

When choosing cabinets, look for the following features:

  • 3/4-inch thick plywood shelves
  • Dovetail joints
  • Drawers with solid wood sides and plywood bottoms that fit into grooves on all four sides
  • Full-extension drawer slides
  • Solid wood door frames with wood or plywood panels.

Cheaply made cabinets often have thin particleboard shelves that sag under heavy loads. Avoid drawers where the bottoms are stapled instead of set in grooves. Over time the staples will come loose.

Renovating or Replacing Cabinets?

Replacing cabinets is always tempting during bathroom or kitchen design, but can become extremely expensive. If your cabinets are well-made, consider improving your storage options with pull-out drawers, lazy susans and cabinet organizers. Older cabinets can be revitalized with paint or cabinet refinishing.

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