When planning a new kitchen, the first thing we tend to think of is the kitchen cabinets. The furniture is the building block of any design and will have instant impact on the overall look and feel of the space. There are so many styles to choose from as well as infinite material, finish and handle combinations, that it can feel overwhelming at first. A good starting point is to carefully plan your budget.
This will largely dictate where you will be buying your new kitchen cabinets. There are budget off-the-peg ranges from DIY sheds and high street retailers, well-known brand names from specialist kitchen showrooms and independents and for high-spec designs, you can choose a bespoke commission tailor-made to suit your space down to the last millimetre.
Kitchen cabinets used to fall into one of two camps – classic or contemporary - yet today’s designs often blur the boundaries between the two and there are also new trends that have emerged such as industrial, vintage and salvage chic. For those who favour a traditional approach, consider naturally grained timber units or a painted in-frame design.
Current colours of choice include charcoal, moss green and graphite, which can easily be teamed with crisp white or neutral worktops for contrast. Quality quartz worktops are a great way of lightening the look of dark kitchen cabinets. As well as being extremely durable and hardwearing, a surface such as Caesarstone quartz offers all sorts of options to complement or contrast your kitchen cabinets.
Moorland Fog quartz worktops can add warmth and depth to simple white cabinetry with a classic painted in-frame door design
For something ultra-contemporary, think high gloss lacquer or matt finish furniture with handless slab doors. White is universally popular as it offers a fresh, clean feel that works well set against a backdrop of darker worktops, splashbacks or painted walls. For something more dramatic, consider a bold blue, teal or turquoise and combine with wooden accents such as stripped timber floorboards and wooden worktop accessories and chopping boards.
You can even include feature kitchen cabinets within the scheme, mixing and matching units from the same range but in different colours, materials or finishes for a truly unique approach.
Combining different kitchen cabinet finishes with a premium quartz worktop can have a big impact on a kitchen space as illustrated at this home in Oxted.
More and more homeowners are embracing the trend for industrialisation in the kitchen. That is, a raw, urban feel with unfitted or freestanding kitchen cabinets, mobile butcher’s blocks or worktables, exposed brick walls, poured concrete or reclaimed timber flooring and statement appliances. The industrial look is all about combining different natural materials – wood, metal and so on – and choosing kitchen cabinets that go against the grain, be it with a textured finish or even something upcycled or recycled.
Another option is to use furniture that is traditionally designed for other rooms of the home. Sideboards, dressers, console tables, even a French armoire can all be utilised as unusual yet attractive kitchen cabinets. To complete the loft look, finish with sturdy quartz worktops in a matching style. Caesarstone’s Concrete Series is just the thing with its Raw, Sleek or Rugged Concrete designs that make a stunning design statement in any space.
Piatra Grey quartz surfaces from Caesarstone’s Supernatural collection lend this industrial kitchen scheme a dramatic finish
With so much online inspiration from the likes of Houzz, Pinterest and Caesarstone’s Visualiser tool, there are plenty of ways to explore various kitchen styles to determine the right choice for you and your home. By narrowing it down to budget and overall style, you should soon be on the right path and can begin to plan your dream design. If you’re going for colour, make sure it’s a shade that you won’t fall out of love with in a hurry.
Painted cabinetry can always be repainted in years to come for a fresh look when you fancy a change. Even if you’re enlisting the services of a fully bespoke designer, it helps to have a good idea of what you do and don’t want. Take along any notes as well as cuttings, catalogues, moodboards and swatches to initial planning meetings, as these will help your designer create the ultimate kitchen space.