Many kitchen components are subject to fads and fashion, but a look at popular cabinet choices can help you zero in on the style you'll still love down the road.
Twenty years ago, kitchen cabinets were well-equipped if they included a lazy Susan and a built-in spice rack. Now storage options are plentiful, including pullout trays, bread boxes, and narrow spaces that would otherwise have false cabinet fronts utilized as customized spots for pans such as cookie sheets and muffin tins.
Instead of a standard rectangular island, try a stand-alone table to create a cozy feel. Chairs can be pulled up for a casual meal or pushed to the side for meal prep and serving.
Cabinets and drawers now conceal custom features. Where you'd expect to find swinging doors that open to reveal storage inserts, there are pullout doors attached to shelves for pots and pans, holders for recycling and garbage bins, and racks for canned and dry goods. Drawer inserts can be set up to hold dishes, silverware, or cutlery. Inserts are often customizable and help to maintain a clutter-free kitchen.
In this kitchen, the wall opposite the cook zone is dedicated to storage with cabinetry to the ceiling. This feature is often seen along with other kitchen trends, such as open cabinetry and oversize windows. When storage is reduced from other areas, a floor-to-ceiling bank of cabinets can house everything from everyday dishes to small appliances to linens.
Appliances might be more intelligent, efficient, and feature-packed than ever, but that doesn't mean they're grabbing the spotlight in today's kitchen. Here, the fridge is hidden behind matching cabinet doors at the end of the island to maintain a cohesive look in this traditional kitchen.
A cabinet or island in a color or wood that's different from the rest of the kitchen works much like a patterned scarf with a solid-color shirt. More than a finishing touch, it breaks up the monotony to become a pivotal design piece. This kitchen mixes traditional white cabinetry with a rich black island, bringing warmth and dimension into the space. It’s also an option to treat a hutch or a section of cabinetry in the same manner.
Call it the European influence or a return to this country's early-1900s notions: Many of today's kitchens are assigning furniture duties to cabinetry. Some pieces are freestanding, but others simply appear to be, emulating the look of china hutches, turned-leg tables, and buffets.
Add a pop of color to glass-front cabinet interiors or open shelving with bright paint or bold wallpaper. Accent with contrasting accessories to complete the room's color scheme. Using bold color in a small area is high-impact -- and an alternative for the color-averse.
Gone are the days when cabinets were unadorned boxes. Today's most interesting styles take their finishing touches from furniture and architecture. Add-ons such as undercounter corbels, fancy feet, and arched openings achieve a focal-point status that's more a result of style than location. Carvings, cutouts, and moldings add emphasis to a cabinet's decorative aspects.