In any home, after a few years, the kitchen is the first room that begins to look like it needs a makeover. The daily exposure to steam, splashes, scratches and spills during the process of preparation of food can take its toll. The surfaces of the cabinets often become stained or begin to look dull due to continuous exposure to heat and moisture. Replacing the cabinets is the easiest way to bring a fresh look to the kitchen.
However, it costs a significant amount of money to get new cabinets, whether you choose modular units or get custom built ones. In India, it can cost upwards of INR 75,000, depending on the size of your kitchen. Therefore, it’s best to keep these important points in mind before you decide on the materials for kitchen cabinets, so that you invest your money wisely.
The first step is to decide how much you can spend on replacing the kitchen cabinets. This will help you to narrow down the type of material, hardware and finishes that will fit the budget. Of course, don’t forget to consider that it might make sense to allocate a higher amount to get durable and high-quality finishes that last longer and save you the trouble of having to replace or repair your cabinets every couple of years.
The more durable the material of the cabinets, the longer they will last without needing replacement. Hardwood is a great option for kitchen cabinets as it not only brings a lovely natural warmth to the kitchen but can last a lifetime if maintained well. When using hardwood, the surface of the doors needs to be sealed and coated to protect the wood, and this will have to be done periodically to ensure that the wood is safe from moisture. However, hardwood is more expensive than other options.
Stainless steel is another durable material for cabinets. It is also easy to maintain as the surface can be easily wiped down to keep it clean. However, it might not suit every kitchen, especially if the rest of the house is decorated in a contrasting design style such as classic, rustic or country.
Kitchen cabinets need door handles and hinges that help to open and close them. The quality of the hardware has a significant role to play in the durability of the cabinets. Better quality will mean they won’t need frequent replacement or repairs. While you will find cheaper handles and hinges, bear in mind that if they are of an inferior quality, you might end up spending more to replace them often. Additionally, you might not get the matching piece to replace, when you need to, and this will make the space look awkward and mismatched.
The type of the door that you choose for your cabinets will also determine the type of hardware that you need. In modern built-in kitchens, it’s not uncommon to find doors in several styles, including sliding, swing-out and pull down. You can choose the right type based on the ease of access that it provides.
In modern kitchens, shelves are often replaced with steel racks, which improve the ventilation in the cabinets and make them easier to clean. Ensure that the slides of these racks are durable, so that the mechanism remains smooth and problem-free for a few years.
When you are replacing your kitchen cabinets, it gives you the opportunity to rectify anything that was lacking in your previous cabinets. The space within the cabinets needs to be well planned so that everything fits in perfectly. For example, if you have larger pots and pans, you will need taller shelves or drawers to accommodate them. Your collection of utensils and appliances might have increased over the years, so you need to ensure that the new cabinets can accommodate the additional items comfortably.
When designing storage, make a list of everything that needs to be accommodated as this will give you a clearer idea of the number of drawers and cabinets you need. Within the drawers, install partitions for storing cutlery to help to keep the space better organized. Similarly, to avoid your appliances from cluttering the kitchen counters, make shelves where they can be stored when they are not being used.
Don’t forget about accessibility when you are designing the storage inside your kitchen cabinets. Pots, pans and ladles should be stored near the stove where you can access them easily when you need them. Similarly, heavy appliances can be stored within easy reach of electrical points.
Perhaps the most vital decision you need to take while replacing your kitchen cabinets is whether you will opt for stock units that have a shorter wait time but come in limited sizes or choose custom-built cabinets that are specifically designed for your needs. In general, ready-to-install kitchen cabinets are cheaper than made-to-order ones, so depending upon your budget and requirements you can decide on what is best for your kitchen.
If your kitchen is small, and you don’t have any specific requirements when it comes to storage, then stock cabinets are worth considering as they will save you time and money. Another alternative is to choose semi-custom units, whereby most of the cabinets are ready made but with a few customized features. For homeowners who like a more organized kitchen with designated space for every utensil and tool, custom-built cabinets are the best choice. It’s advisable to work with a professional kitchen planner to ensure that the result meets one’s expectations.
The colour of the cabinets should match the palette in the rest of the kitchen. However, you should choose the shade of the cabinets carefully so that it is easy to maintain and doesn’t easily show up stains. Dark colours are better for hiding stains, but in a small kitchen without much natural light, it can make the area look gloomy. You should work with a professional kitchen planner or an interior design who can advise you on the best colour for the cabinets in your kitchen. Similarly, with finishes, you will need to pick between glossy or matte.
Doubtless, your kitchen should look beautiful, but more importantly it needs to be functional so that it doesn’t hinder the work efficiency in the space. When you are choosing the finishes or the hardware, the primary focus should be to pick options that are easy to use and maintain. Similarly, when it comes to storage, choose easy to operate systems rather than sleek ones that look better than they perform.
As you can see, replacing your kitchen cabinets involves a lot of decision making, which might prove confusing when you consider the numerous options, whether it’s the materials, the style or the storage. Therefore, it’s advisable to hire a professional kitchen planner or interior designer who can help you through the process. By understanding your requirements and your family’s lifestyle, they can suggest the options that are the most suitable and within your budget. Additionally, when you work with a professional, they will undertake the entire task including coordination with the various contractors, taking away a lot of your stress.
Find inspiration by browsing through these 45 pictures of cabinets for Indian kitchens.