Your kitchen is one of, if not the most important room in your home. Whether you are an aspiring chef or just someone who likes being able to put together a nice meal or two for your family over the holidays, a beautiful and functional kitchen is a gift that keeps on giving. Like all art and style, interior design goes through phases. A few years back, granite kitchen cabinets were in style, and now light a kitchen cabinet and countertop is all anyone can talk about. But there is more to designing a kitchen than just following trends. There are many steps you can take to put a beautiful personal spin on your kitchen’s appearance. And, of course, any kitchen makeover starts with your cabinets.
Here are 8 of the best design ideas to upgrade your kitchen cabinet.
Replace Your Kitchen Cabinet
If you are looking to upgrade your kitchen cabinets, the most obvious thing you can do is simply remove them and replace them with new ones. The price of new cabinets ranges greatly. But, generally speaking, they do not come cheap. If you can afford it, though, there are many good reasons to consider new cabinets. For one thing, they are a good investment. A new kitchen cabinet can work wonders on improving your home value as many buyers express that they believe the kitchen is the most important room in the house. Unfortunately, even if you have an otherwise beautiful kitchen, old or beat up cabinets can spoil the entire look as few people are able to look past them.
Also, another thing to think about when it comes to your cabinets is that the kitchen is often a de-facto family meeting place. There is something to be said for putting a bit of money into a room as important to your family as the kitchen. So, whether you are keeping or selling your home, taking care of your kitchen by upgrading your cabinets is surely something to think about.
Paint Your Kitchen Cabinet
Instead of assuming the major costs associated with fully replacing your kitchen cabinets, you could make things significantly cheaper on yourself by simply painting over your existing cabinets.
While the process of painting your kitchen cabinets is easier said than done, it is still significantly cheaper than a complete gut-job.
Your kitchen cabinet is like the skin of not just your kitchen, but the interior of your entire home. In most people’s homes, the kitchen is one of the first places they see. And, within the kitchen, it’s cabinets are the first thing they see as such your kitchen cabinets deserve more than a small share of attention.
Similar to accent walls that are often applied to bedrooms and other common areas to draw the eye and reduce monotonous patterns, you can be bold about the colors you choose for your cabinets. Gone are the days that countertops had to match the color tone of the cabinets and vice-versa. Today, people are experimenting with contrasting colors as well as patterned designs and even pastels. All of which can look great when done right.
When it comes to kitchens in general, the trend through the United States is light, light, light. That means light countertops and like cabinets. While home sellers should be aware of this trend, if you are not selling your home and are merely upgrading your kitchen for your own purposes, you should go with a color that best suits you. For some, that will be light colors like white, ivory, light blue, and the like; and for others, their preferred colors may just be something darker. The point is that your kitchen can be as unique as you are.
Hide Your Dishwasher or Other Appliances
Another option to consider when upgrading your kitchen cabinets is to use them to hide your dishwasher or other appliances. While some people like the look of a chrome dishwasher face, others find that it takes away from the look they are going for. Use a kitchen cabinet to cover the dishwasher, microwave, or any other appliance that you’d rather have hidden away.
This move is rarely necessary or even suggested, for modern-style kitchens. It is, however, something to think about if you have an old-fashioned or rustic kitchen as modern appliances sometimes don’t go well with the particular aesthetic.
Lower Your Cabinets
“Lowering” your cabinets is a dramatic move that really gives your kitchen a unique look. While this may not be something you’ve considered before, removing your upper kitchen cabinets all together is certainly a viable option. Yes, you will lose some storage space, but you will gain room on your walls that you can use for a variety of different purposes. Anything from adding paintings, to hanging pots and pans, to however else you might want to use it.
If you do remove your upper cabinets, you are going to have to consciously reorganize all of your kitchen’s remaining storage space. Odds are, there is no reason you can’t fit everything you need in just your lower cabinets, but it will require some thoughtful organization, especially in the beginning.
Exclusively lower kitchen cabinets are also a potentially great option for the elderly, and they will not have to reach up to grab plates, or pans, or anything else. Just so long as moderate bending is okay, the elderly may benefit from a lower kitchen cabinet.
Feature Special Items
If you have cool or interesting-looking kitchen items, you should feature them in your kitchen cabinet. Many cabinets include open cubie-like spaces where items can be displayed. You can put elaborate bowls or family heirlooms like tea sets here. Just remember, a kitchen is meant to be practical, and while there is nothing wrong with having “reserved” china that you only use on special occasions, if a pot or pan or elaborate bowl is taking up space anywhere in your kitchen cabinet it should, at least occasionally be used. Just because it looks cool in your kitchen cabinet’s cubie should not mean it’s totally off-limits!
Improve Your Lighting
Lighting is a key element to an attractive kitchen cabinet. Adding more lighting to above or below your cabinets works well for both light and dark kitchens. This will not only help you see what you are doing, but it also adds a feeling of comfortable cleanliness to many kitchens. Rather than adding ceiling lighting, cabinet lighting promotes comfort with coming off as overly clinical in the way that, say, cafeterias often feel. Remember, your kitchen is not just somewhere you cook; it is also one of the most visited and used areas of most homes. You family will gather here to chat, you will stand around your kitchen with friends and family during the holidays, even when guests visit you will often end up in the kitchen. As such, the comfort of your kitchen is something that should be at the forefront when you are thinking about how to upgrade your kitchen cabinets.
Just like in a great restaurant, subtle lighting is the key to a comfortable kitchen. On the other hand, you don’t want to sacrifice the practicality of your kitchen for comfort because, although comfort is incredibly important in a kitchen, practicality still tops the list. Light dimmers offer a solution. You can brighten things up when you are working in the kitchen, and then lower your cabinet lighting when you are not. It’s a win-win.
Consider Glass Door Inserts
For some kitchens, glass door inserts represent the perfect medium between fully replacing your cabinets versus merely painting over them. While there is nothing wrong with painting over your kitchen cabinets and, in many cases, it is the perfect solution—still, painting is not a “major” solution. On the other hand, a full tear-down of your kitchen cabinets is expensive, and some people simply can afford the expense. Glass door inserts are both a “major” upgrade and an inexpensive one. It takes some time, but with that plus a little bit of elbow grease, anyone can add glass door inserts to their cabinets and dramatically improve the look of their kitchens.
The glass door look is generally considered modern and sleek. But, even when coupled with dark, hardwood cabinets, glass door inserts often look quite good. The darker the wood, the more you might want to consider an option like frosted glass door inserts, or you can even you glass door inserts that are crossed with bits of brass or other kinds of metal to help them resemble French-style windows.
Consider Metal Grate Cabinets
Speaking of adding metal to your kitchen cabinets: Grate style cabinets are becoming increasingly popular. There are a number of ways to incorporate metal-grate style design into your kitchen cabinets. Some people go full-blown metal and replace their wooden cabinets with what look like mesh metal cabinets. Others add chicken-style inserts into the center or the wood, and still, others add metal into the glass parts of their cabinets. Any style can look great when done right.
Not only is a metal grate kitchen cabinet low maintenance and durable, but it is also a look that benefits from age. Most wood looks worse over time. Especially in your kitchen as chips and dings are simply unavoidable. But metals like brass and copper take on an interesting look that many find very appealing, even into old age. Copper, in particular, is a good metal to consider using in or on your kitchen cabinets, as it has been shown to reduce both germs and bacteria growth. So, featuring copper in your kitchen may not only look good but can also help keep you and your family safe from things like food poisoning.
There you have it, five ways to improve the appearance and functionality of your kitchen cabinet. Taking on your kitchen can be a major or minor project, depending on how much work you decide to do at once. Some homeowners like to knock everything out all at once and as quickly as possible, while others don’t mind chipping away at their “to-do” lists one weekend at a time. The most important thing is that you do not overburden yourself with stress or make deciding what to do with your kitchen cabinets into a decision that is harder than it needs to be.
The first and most important step, when it comes to your kitchen cabinets is decided if that can be refurbished or if they need to be replaced entirely. For kitchen cabinets that can be used, you can either paint them and or add glass door inserts to improve how they look. But, you are thinking about redoing your kitchen altogether, you should consider featuring special items and improving your lighting. Good luck!