A Renovation Guide for Kitchen Cabinet Color and Design

Colored cabinetry is a popular design trend and painted cabinets, and exotic woods allow excellent choices to achieve your creative vision during a kitchen remodel.

One of the biggest decisions you'll make when remodeling your kitchen is your selection of cabinets. Along with doors and hardware, today, modern cabinets offer you a full range of choices for materials, color and style. If you are looking for something traditional, there are many kinds of wood and finishes to choose from. From the rich depth of cherry to exotic zebrawood no matter what your décor, natural wood is available that will add richness and depth to your kitchen design.

One growing design trend is the use of colored cabinets. Painted cabinets offer even more choices to achieve your creative vision. Custom painted cabinets are an excellent way to add a pop of color to your home. As more of us opt for an open floorplan concept, the kitchen has become the heart of the home. Custom painted cabinets can add a focal point to your home that can influence and establish your entire home décor.

Whether you choose traditional wood or bold custom painted cabinets for your kitchen remodel, the perfect choice is out there! Let's take a look at some choices available to help you begin to see the possibilities!

Wood Cabinet Finishes

Traditional wood cabinets are not as simple as you might think. When you are working with a custom cabinet shop, you have many different choices far beyond simple staining that can add to your design.

Consider a simple cherry cabinet. You could get them built with a shaker style door that feature a consistent grain and color on the frames of the cabinets as well as the center panel on the doors. Or you could opt for flat doors and drawers with a nearly identical grain from floor to ceiling that repeats every 6 to 12 inches offering a subtle design. This is called slip matching the grain.

The grain can also be “book matched.” This is where the grain pattern is consecutive, but flipped, two at a time to create a mirror image, like pages in a book. Matching the grain on your cabinets can be expensive. You may decide to opt for a less planned outlook that features natural variations in the color and grain of the wood.

These are just three options for a single wood choice. Cabinets are available in a variety of woods including poplar, maple, oak, cherry, and exotics like zebra wood each with different looks and grain patterns.  Add to this the choice of colored stains and clear finishes like high gloss, semigloss or matte, and you can see that the possibilities are truly endless!

Painted Cabinet Finishes

Painted cabinets are generally made out of materials that offer a flat surface free of knots and dark grain patterns to accept better and hold paint. Materials can include poplar, veneered plywood or MDF. When ordered painted cabinets are sent to a finisher who handles the prep and paint processes.

The paint you choose will impact how your cabinet's finish will look. There are many paint options including oil or water-based paints that may include alkyd resins to assist the curing process. Low VOC painted cabinets are just becoming available as the technology catches up to the painted cabinet trend. The application process can determine the finished product. Generally, a sprayed finish is the best way to get a consistent color and smooth surface.

Custom painted cabinets are breathtaking, but they may not be the lower-priced option.

Cabinetry Design Options

Painted cabinets offer you a wide variety of colors to match any décor, from the mellow yellow tones of a French Country Kitchen to the stark black and white of a Contemporary design. Bright, bold colors like reds or oranges can add a pop of color to a modern kitchen and tie into your homes overall color palette.

Beyond color, you have additional choices that can further customize your space. Stained glass door inserts can give your kitchen the warm look of an antique home. Stained glass doors with backlight cabinet lighting can offer a warm, glowing, dramatic feel.

If you love the look of open shelves, but don't want to commit fully, consider sliding barn doors for your cabinets. This allows you to partially open cabinets to display treasured dishes or glass. If you're looking for a practical design element, consider Chalkboard doors. Door insets made with real slate offer a rustic look that can double as a note center for the family or a place to write your favorite recipes when cooking. You're only limited by your imagination and creative vision!

The best option is to sit with your kitchen designer or design-build contractor and have a discussion about your lifestyle. They can show you your options and sample materials to help you choose the custom features that will turn your kitchen from a functional space, into the heart of your home!

Forward Design Build is a residential design-build firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan that is known for its commitment to craftsmanship and communication. We are committed to improving our neighbors quality of life with inspired design and creative remodeling. Our homes are highly functional, exquisitely beautiful, and remarkably comfortable. Contact us to speak with an expert about your new home or remodeling project.