Seven Things to Consider Before Buying New Kitchen Cabinets


Nothing brings life to a tired old kitchen like new cabinets. And, with today’s building materials and methods, you have more options than ever to choose from. Before you going shopping, however, it pays to make a checklist of features you’re looking for. So here are some questions to ask yourself first:

1. What do you want to change about your existing cabinets? Are you unhappy with the style, the hardware, or the materials they’re made from? And, if you could design your dream cabinets, what would they look like? Asking yourself these things first will good you a great idea of what features you want in your new cabinetry.

2. Do you want to stick with your existing style or go with a new one? A lot of this will depend on the overall décor and style of your kitchen and your home. Rustic wooden cabinets go well with a country cottage, while sleek lines and space-age materials complement modern designs. Of course, you may be remodeling your entire home, and new cabinets are simply a part of a larger motif you’re working towards. In any event, getting an idea of the basic style you’re looking for will help you decide what cabinet options to choose when you visit the showroom.

3. How much storage space do you need? Do you find yourself stocking things on your countertops or in your pantry that you would prefer to keep in your cabinets? A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that your counters should be kept as empty as possible, to maximize your working space when preparing food.

4. How high or deep do you want your cabinets to be? Some people don’t mind reaching way back to get a can of soup or box of pasta, even if it means getting on a step stool. Others want everything right up front, at eye level and easy to grab. Your answer to this question will depend on factors like your height, your arm reach, the size of your household, and how often you visit the grocery store or market.

5. Do some colors or textures cheer you up, or, conversely, make you feel dreary or blue? Some people love deep, rich shades like walnut or cherry, while others find them dark and depressing. You want your kitchen to be a happy, inviting place where you enjoy spending time. So keep your moods and personality in mind when making your checklist.

6. What organizational features do you want? Staggered or slide-out shelves can make it easy to see what you have on hand. The same is true of built-in spice racks and trays. And don’t forget that, with some systems, waste bins and even appliances can be kept hidden when not in use.  Browse cabinets sites online or flip through home improvement magazines to see what kinds of features are out there, and add the ones that you like to your checklist.

7. Last but certainly not least, what’s your budget? If you’ll be financing the purchase, figure out what payment range you can live with. Knowing how much you’re willing to spend will allow you to prioritize the features you want, from “must haves” to “would be nice.” You can then work with the sales consultant to select cabinets that will fit your needs as well as your budget.

Cabinets are more than just storage shelves. They’re an expression of your unique style, a reflection of your personality and tastes, and an integral part of your home décor. So take some time to decide what you’re looking for. You can then enjoy the selection process all the more, and be happy with your choice for many, many years to come.