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How to Choose the Perfect Design for Your Custom Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinet design isn’t just about the aesthetic—it’s also about functionality. Functional features like Lazy Susans, door-mounted drawer organizers, dividers, and peg systems can make your cabinets work better for you.

Cabinet color is another important consideration. Lighter colors can help a room feel more open, while darker hues create a cozy atmosphere.


A key consideration for any homeowner is the cabinet style and color, whether refacing or designing a custom set. White is a popular choice, but there are also shades of gray and warm wood stains that work well in most kitchens.

Other options include slab cabinets with no visible seams, beadboard cabinets (tall slats that fit together like wallpaper) and shaker-style cabinets. A popular add-on is a light installed inside a glass-front cabinet, brightening the interior and highlighting ceramics and glassware.

Another option is to incorporate a paint color or stain that blends with the flooring, walls and backsplash for a cohesive aesthetic. Or, some homeowners use hardware and other small features to accent different parts of the cabinets. This creates a layered effect that’s more interesting and customizable than simple matching.


Regardless of the cabinet material – medium-density fiberboard (MDF), particle board, solid wood or ply – homeowners have a variety of finishes to choose from. Choosing the right finish is important for achieving the functionality and look you desire in your custom cabinets Seattle.

Foil cabinet surfaces are durable and come in various colors, including a textured surface that can mimic a natural wood grain. They are also easy to clean and resist moisture, stains and heat.

Laminate is another surfacing option that offers even more choices of color. It also resists chips better than painted cabinets. It is a good alternative to solid wood because it does not contract or expand with temperature changes, which can cause cracks. Other surfacing options include acrylic coverings that can be molded into a textured or smooth surface and melamine, an engineered wood composite. It offers the durability of MDF with a higher-end look that is scratch and dent resistant.


When it comes to choosing cabinet hardware, you must consider both style and function. A simple knob may fit the overall aesthetic of your kitchen, but if you’re using it to open large drawers or heavy doors, you’ll want a handle that’s easy to grip and well-suited to the task.

The right cabinet hardware can also bring your kitchen color palette together. There’s a huge variety, whether a splash of color, a rustic finish or even large handles for oversized drawer fronts.

For example, designer Marie Flanigan of Rumor Designs chose brushed stainless hardware for her kitchen cabinets, which complements the brass edging on her island. The result is a cohesive look unified by the consistency of small details. You can also use add-ons to make your cabinets more functional, like slide-out trash cans and door-mounted organizers for pot lids, spices or silverware.


When choosing cabinet hardware, getting a handle on what style you’re looking for is important. With thousands of options available, it’s easy to get lost in the details and end up with a design that doesn’t match your style.

Homeowners should also keep in mind the purpose of their kitchen. A savvy designer can offer suggestions and options to help a homeowner achieve the look they want while keeping in mind functionality.

For example, base cabinets can be made deeper to fit a lazy Susan or organizer, making hard-to-reach spaces more accessible. And upper cabinets can be shorter than standard height to create space for taller items like vases and utensils.

Regardless of the materials or finishes used, the most important aspect of any custom kitchen cabinet is attention to detail. By working with a seasoned expert, homeowners can ensure their cabinetry will stand the test of time and remain functional for years.

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