Giving Your Kitchen a Modern Look with New Cabinets

Are you ready to remodel your tired, outdated kitchen? Your first decision is to determine the look you want in your new kitchen. Current trends are towards a more modern, lighter, more open look. Kitchens have moved into the mainstream in recent years. No longer are they simply a place to cook, the kitchen has become the hub and communication center of the home. More space is needed. Better organization is key to utilizing work areas to get more “bang for your buck.”

The two most modern looks for the kitchen involve either full overlay cabinets or European cabinets. Each have their advantages and disadvantages, but both will give a distinctive modern look with clean lines and varied options for finish and functionality.

A full overlay cabinet has doors and drawer fronts that completely cover the face frame of the cabinet. This is currently the most sought after look in the kitchens of the twenty-first century. Probably ninety percent of cabinet offerings are full overlay. Wood options are numerous and come in both common and more exotic species with both rustic and regular finish selections. Wood species should be selected to fit the overall theme of your home and must contrast with your other design surfaces such as hard wood floors, ceramic tile, etc.

Since doors and drawer fronts cover most of the face frame of the cabinet, special considerations must be taken into account in the design process to ensure doors open wide enough (more than 90 degrees) to allow pullouts to work. Also, if baseboard molding in being used, filler between the end cabinets and the wall will ensure space is planned for the baseboard to return without impeding the operation of doors and drawers.

European cabinets differ from most other full overlay cabinets, in that, while the doors and drawers also completely cover the cabinet, the box itself has no face frame. European cabinets usually have a very distinct modern look and are available in finishes other than traditional woods. High gloss, melamine surfaces, and modern detailing enable your design to have an ultramodern or retro look. European cabinets usually do not utilize moldings and are often used in condos, townhomes, and residential designs with a modern bent.

Several limitations should be considered in choosing European cabinets. Installation is more difficult because of the lack of a face frame. Be sure the installer you choose has experience in the installation of this type of cabinet. Special consideration in the design process must be made to allow for doors to open and close properly. Internal organization items may be limited because there is no face frame to which they can be attached. Be sure that exposed ends are finished and that the finish matches the fronts. May European cabinet makers will use a matte finish on the sides of cabinets. The lack of a face frame while offering greater access to space means the cabinet is not quite as strong as other construction methods.

While both full over lay and European cabinet options will give your kitchen an exciting new look, be sure to think through the various selections and options. Make sure the cabinetry you choose will enhance and match the style of your house. The full overlay option can match any style home, while the European style cabinet has a limited appeal. If you plan to use molding or want extensive organizational features you may also want to opt for the full overlay cabinets with a face frame. If you like an extremely modern look, do not plan on extensive moldings or organizational features, then the European style may be your best option.

Redesigning your kitchen will not only add value to your home, but will give you many hours of pleasure and functionality. Today’s kitchen cabinet options make both remodeling or new construction exciting and fulfilling. Giving yourself adequate time to make decisions and thinking through your design choices will give you a kitchen of your dreams.

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