The kitchen is still the number one room for renovations, and that project is hotter than ever as people stay (and work) at home during this long pandemic. The kitchen also happens to be one of my favorite rooms to design, but the selections can be overwhelming for many of my clients because there are just so many options. One of the things I am asked most often about with kitchen remodels is the newest cabinetry trend. Open shelves, glass shelves, and solid doors all have their purpose. But, for me, every design decision in the kitchen always comes down to how you use the space and how it needs to function for you. And that is just as true for your cabinetry. Here are four important considerations to keep in mind when you are selecting the perfect cabinet type for your home.
ONE: Do You Need to Cover it Up?
You do not have to be messy to still want to hide some things in your kitchen. Solid doors on cabinets give you the chance to keep your canned goods and baking supplies out of view, but they can also provide super-functional storage for things like small appliances. I love to design “appliance garages” in full-wall cabinets, complete with their own outlets so they can be used where they are stored. Beverage stations, like wine fridges and coffee implements, can also be hidden behind these doors. The result is an amazingly functional kitchen that is also clutter-free with open counters. That is a win-win. If you do happen to be more on the messy side, all the better! Additionally, solid doors do not have to be boring. Custom cabinets can offer dimensional looks, molding, beaded details, and more.
TWO: Can You Keep it Clean?
This is a critical question when it comes to your cabinetry selections. Open shelves seem so chic, but they can also collect dust and cooking grease on your dishes if you are not using them very often. I like to advise my clients to put the things they will use most often—as long as they are attractive— on open shelves. That way, you avoid having things sitting there gathering dust. But the same idea of cleaning comes up with glass cabinets. You will have fingerprints and possible splatters that will be far more visible on these cabinets than on solid doors. If there are just two adults at home, it is much easier to keep things clean than if you have a home full of kids. So again, make your selections based on your lifestyle.
THREE: Are You Organized?
This is a serious question when it comes to cabinetry. If you are going with open shelves or glass-fronted cabinet doors, you are going to need to be organized. Nothing looks more cluttered or stress-inducing than dishes haphazardly tossed into a cabinet, or stacks of things falling over on a shelf. These shelves need to look neat and styled. I have only used full-glass cabinet doors on a couple of projects. In those cases, my client had absolutely lovely dishes and china. Those can make a fantastic display in a cabinet, particularly if you have a couple of plate easels that can showcase the prettiest pieces. Notice, though, that the other cabinets have solid doors. That gives you the opportunity to hide what is necessary.
FOUR: Do You Need An Optical Illusion?
One of my favorite tricks of the design trade and you will see it in several of my kitchen designs. When you want to create “openness” in the kitchen, glass doors on just the very top cabinets help create an illusion of space and height. This allows you to take advantage of as much space as possible on the wall without using absurdly large cabinet doors. These shelves will need to be styled like other glass-fronted cabinets, so consider showcasing vases, special serving items, or even sculptures in those cabinets. When my clients have collections of crystal or china, I like to create a themed look as often as possible. However, only showcase the items you do not need every day. There is nothing worse than having to climb up a step stool for those pieces. These smaller glass-fronted cabinets are also a lifesaver in odd spaces. They can make up the extra space created by odd ceiling heights or angled rooflines.