Whether you’re looking to upgrade your space or build a new one altogether, cabinets are an essential part of a design. They not only offer a solution for your storage needs — in a kitchen, bathroom, mudroom, home office, or even as a built-in feature in your family room — but they can also support the overall esthetic you’re looking to achieve.
If you have never shopped for cabinetry before or have no idea where to start, cabinets are more nuanced than you might think! Today, we will be walking through the 5 steps to selecting the right cabinets for your space:
- Assessing your needs
- Defining your style
- Seeing cabinets in person
- Finalizing your specifications
- Ordering + shipping!
Let’s talk about each of these in detail…
Step 1: Assess your needs
Before you start shopping around for cabinetry, you first need to assess your needs. What space are you designing? Do you need cabinets for your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room?
Yes, the type of space matters, as it will influence what you need your cabinets to do for you. The style of cabinets we create for kitchen areas are quite different from what we would choose for a mudroom or a home office. The desired storage solution for a kitchen will be more intricate than, say, a cabinet where you file papers.
Below are several things to consider when assessing your needs. Take notes and be sure to mention these considerations when speaking with one of our designers at Luxe Home — it will ensure we recommend the best options for your home, style, and lifestyle!
1. The functionality of your space
The first question in designing any space or feature is… How will this space be used? Design always caters to function first and foremost. (Then, of course, we layer in style, color, etc.) So, how will this space be used? How will the cabinets be used? For example, in a kitchen, you might answer that “X” number of people will be using the kitchen, “these” are my cooking habits, etc.
2. Key features you would like to include
Now that you know the function of your space and cabinets, we can nail down the specifics. What type of gadgets or accessories would you like to incorporate into those cabinets? Rollout shelves, lazy susans, tray dividers, spice pullouts, wood paneling, docking drawers? Take notes, and again, be sure to share this information with your designer.
3. Your desired quality level
When it comes to quality level you have three options. Stock cabinets, which are ready-made, pre-manufactured cabinets. Semi-custom cabinets, which are basically stock cabinets with extra detailing options. Or fully custom cabinets, which will be built according to your specifications.
Naturally, the better the quality, the greater the longevity of your cabinets and the more likely they will be to fit your desired functionality. However, we can work with you to discuss your budget and suggest a level or two that will be right for you.
4. Desired “lead time” (AKA, how quickly you need them)
How soon do you need your cabinets to be ready? Cabinets can take as little as 4 weeks (for stock varieties) or as many as 14 weeks (for custom designs). Be sure to communicate with your design professional to share your desired timeline and get an idea for what to expect. If you want custom cabinets but simply can’t wait longer than a month, you will be better off with stock or semi-custom.
5. Budget considerations
Last but not least, you will want to set a budget for your cabinets. Work with one of our in-store designers to discuss your budget, your wishlist, and find the perfect price point for your needs.
Step 2: Define your style
Like any other design element, cabinets come in many different styles. While we’re sure you have a specific style you gravitate toward, we highly suggest assessing the architectural style of your home, too. Your cabinets should work seamlessly with the style of the home. If you were to install sleek modern cabinets in, say, a Victorian home, they will look noticeably out of place!
While you can certainly customize your cabinets to the style you prefer, it’s important to make sure that style fits with the rest of your home for a cohesive, beautiful look. Depending on the area you’re installing the cabinets in, you will also want to keep in mind the other fixed design elements that will not be changing. This includes flooring, moulding, a fireplace and surround, etc.
Again, this is where our experienced design team can help!
Step 3: Book a consultation to see cabinet options in person
With all this information in mind, now is the time for you to see these beauties in person! There are so many cabinet features and finishes available, and a simple Google search will leave you more indecisive than before.
You will want to book a consultation with your local design consultant (if you’re near Lafayette, come see us!), and see the displayed cabinets in the showroom for yourself. It will allow you to test their functionality and envision yourself using them on a daily basis.
Step 4: Finalize your selections
Once you’ve seen the different options available, and you have a pretty good understanding of the features you’ll need, you are ready to finalize your selections. Again, this is where a design professional can help make sure all of the details you choose work together. Those details include…
Picking a finish
You might be wondering if a painted finish is more suitable for your cabinets. The answer is… while painted cabinets are still the most popular finish choice for all spaces in a home, they do have certain characteristics.
When you order a solid color finish, the wood beneath the paint is still moving due to climate changes that naturally occur in your home as seasons change. Because dry paint isn’t flexible, but the wood still expands and contracts, cracks can appear at the joints of frames and doors, as well as drawer heads. This is not considered a defect and is barely noticeable to the naked eye. If you do see it, it’s normal! Let’s call it character.
If you don’t want a painted finish, we can discuss stains finishes as well. Again, you’ll want to see these in person to make the right choice, so a trip to your local supplier is well worth the time.
As you shop for cabinets, you will hear the words “framed” and “frameless” a lot. These are your two basic structural options.
Framed vs. Inset
Framed cabinets are known for their sturdiness. In this type of cabinet construction, the rails and stiles form a 1-1/2 inch face “frame” at the front of the cabinet box. This frame resembles a flat picture frame that is attached to the door front, giving it added dimension. You also have “frameless” cabinets which lack that added dimension.
Inset cabinetry on the other hand is a subcategory of framed cabinets. Instead of sitting “on top” of the frame, the drawers and doors sit flush with the face of the cabinet. This type of cabinet construction gives a full view of the cabinet frame, with only minimal spacing or gaps between the cabinet components.
Step 5: Place your order
Now that you’ve finalized your cabinet design, it’s time to place your order. As we mentioned, the lead time can change from one manufacturer to the other. The good thing is, we can give you a pretty accurate estimate of when to expect your cabinets to be ready.
We’ll help you place your order, and keep you well informed as your cabinets get shipped. We can also help you book one of our technicians to help you install them in your home. And you’re done — beautiful cabinets for a beautiful home!
If you still have questions or want to take a closer look in person, come visit our showroom in Downtown Lafayette. Our designers in the Luxe Home showroom are prepared to discuss all of your options and guide you toward the perfect fit for your home, price point, and lifestyle.
Until next time!
The Luxe Home Team