Open the doors and take a closer look before buying new units to make sure you get the best value for your money. 

dark kitchen scheme - how to choose the right kitchen cabinets for your design - home improvements - granddesignsmagazine.com 

Image: In-frame kitchen design, Neptune

Whether remodelling your kitchen or building a new one from scratch, the cabinets you buy will be one of the biggest investments you’ll make as part of the project. If you want them to last 10 years or more, look for timeless designs made with quality materials and robust carcasses that will stand up to the rigours of everyday use.

Door styles

handleless kitchen - how to choose the right kitchen cabinets for your design - home improvements - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: This modern handleless kitchen from Naked Kitchens combines in-frame cupboards and frameless drawers for a sleek look

The doors and drawers of in-frame cabinets are set into a surround, which gives the unit sturdiness and a traditional appearance. The doors are mounted from the frame on butt hinges that can be seen on the front of the cupboard. This type of cabinet is often handmade to ensure that the fit of the door or drawer in the frame is perfect.

The doors and drawers of in-frame cabinets are set into a surround, which gives the unit sturdiness and a traditional appearance. The doors are mounted from the frame on butt hinges that can be seen on the front of the cupboard. This type of cabinet is often handmade to ensure that the fit of the door or drawer in the frame is perfect.

wood reclaimed units- how to choose the right kitchen cabinets for your design - home improvements - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: Reclaimed wood ha been used to create the fronts for this kitchen design from the Main Company 

Because they have fewer nooks or crannies, slab fronts are the easiest to clean and a good way to increase the sense of space in a small kitchen. ‘Simple designs that are not heavily detailed are timeless,’ says Helen Flanagan, kitchen designer at Harvey Jones.

Cupboards with glazed doors can help open up darker or confined spaces, and offer a more practical solution for displaying your favourite china than open shelving that can gather dust. The latest glazing options include wired and reeded textured glass, and opaque panes.

Read more: How to create an efficient kitchen layout

Material benefits

green shaker kitchen - how to choose the right cabinets for your kitchen design - home improvements - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: This classic Shaker style in-frame door design is from Plain English Kitchens

Budget carcasses are made of low-density chipboard. This material is formed from woodchips and resin, which is lightweight but will swell if it becomes wet. Slightly more upmarket melamine-faced chipboard (MFC) has a plastic coating, making it more water and scratch-resistant. Look for eco-friendly products made with chipboard waste.

For a stronger, denser and smoother surface suitable for finishes such as paint and timber veneer, opt for medium-density fibreboard (MDF), which can be used to make both carcasses and fronts.

High-density fibreboard (HDF), used particularly for painted units, is even stronger, more uniform in appearance and more expensive, but it may contain may contain formaldehyde-based resin. Formaldehyde is a volatile organic compound (VOC) but emission levels from fibreboard made in the UK and EU are low.

Something new

burgundy kitchen cabinets - how to choose the right kitchen cabinets for your design - home improvements - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: Fenix is a durable, antibacterial material used by Scavolini for a range of its statement kitchen designs

Stone door and drawer fronts are relative newcomers to cabinet design, bringing a sense of grandeur and luxury to contemporary schemes. As with all natural-stone surfaces, it is necessary to seal the face to prevent it becoming stained from splashes and spills. Porcelain fronts, by contrast, are non-porous, stain-resistant and a more affordable way to replicate the opulent appearance of stone, or the industrial-chic texture of concrete.

Contemporary hi-tech materials, such as solid surface Fenix, come with many benefits. Fenix is easy to clean and has antibacterial properties; in addition, its colour will never fade and it is water resistant. ‘It’s even possible to repair the material by applying heat, so any small scratches can be removed, leaving the surface like new,’ says Fabiana Scavolini, CEO of Scavolini.

 

Are you undergoing a kitchen renovation? Share your progress with us by tweeting us @granddesigns or post a comment on our Facebook page.

 

MORE ARTICLES

What to consider when choosing glazing for your self-build

A guide to broken-plan living spaces

Building regulations: what you need to know


Kevins Column

Top self build highlights at Grand Designs Live 2019 hosted by Kevin McCloud

Find top experts, specialist exhibitors and a wealth of inspiration for your self-build or renovation project all under one roof.
visit-award-winning-grand-designs-live-hosted-by-kevin-mccloud

 
 

wet-room-planning-advice
Home Improvements

Planning advice for a wet room bathroom

Read these expert top tips for planning a wet room project.

using-salvaged-wood-for-a-fabulous-floor
Home Improvements

Using salvaged wood for a fabulous floor

Eco Flooring specialise in taking unwanted French flooring and turning into fabulous floors for sustainable homes.
planning-permission-for-a-garden-room
Home Improvements

What planning permission do I need for a garden room?

Make sure you've got the right planning permission before constructing a garden room.
installing-a-home-security-system-tips
Home Improvements

Expert tips for installing a home security system

Install your own home security system by following these expert top tips.
beautiful-bespoke-staircases-for-your-new-project
Home Improvements

Beautiful bespoke staircases for your new project

Bespoke staircases, whether straight, spiral or cantilevered, can be the centrepiece of your self-build project. Discover more about how to raise your game
kitchen-work-surface-installation-tips
Home Improvements

Kitchen work surfaces: tips for a hassle-free installation

Discover the different types of kitchen work surfaces and expert top tips for installation and aftercare.