An Illustrated Guide to Choosing the Right Cabinets – Part I: Structure

„FDW 2016 Cabinet Series Graphic Template - AA kitchen remodel is one of the best ways to add value to your home. It can transform the look of your space, but there’s a lot to consider: from appliances to countertops, and paint to furnishings, all the myriad decisions you make will contribute to the overall feel of the room. But the one decision that will make the biggest impact is your choice of cabinets.
Think of your cabinetry as built in furniture. It’s permanent, and you’ll be living with your choice until you move or remodel again. But unlike choosing a couch or a kitchen table, there are a lot of decisions that go into the selection of your cabinets.
In this series, we’ll cover everything you need to know in order to pick the right cabinets for your kitchen.

0028 2016 Inset vs. OverlayFirst things first…

Custom v. Factory Made

If you want to build your cabinets from the ground-up and choose every detail yourself, custom cabinetry is the way
to go. Keep in mind, however, that building and installing custom cabinetry will take longer than ordering and
installing stock cabinetry. Semi-custom cabinets are great choice if you’re looking to save on time, but still want to add a personal touch.


Inset v. Overlay
Cabinets are either inset (meaning the edges of cabinets and drawers lay flush with the framed cabinet box) or overlay (meaning the edges of cabinets and drawers either partially or completely overlap the cabinet box). The choice to inset or overlay your cabinets is mostly aesthetic—while some homeowners prefer the flush surface inset and full-overlay cabinets provide, others enjoy the dimensionality and traditional feel of partial overlays.


Detailing0028 2016 Slab vs. Panel
The amount of detail that goes into your cabinets is all up to you. Slab cabinets are perfect for those who prefer clean, simple lines without any distraction. If you like a little embellishment and appreciate traditional cabinet flourishes, paneled cabinets give you the opportunity to add some dimension and detail.



Coming up in this series:
Part II: Finishes
Learn about different wood grains, stains and paints, and finishing options.
Part III: Add-ons, Details & Accents
Learn about built-in features, hardware, and accents.

Thinking about a kitchen remodel? Get in touch with the Staff at Florida Design works. We’d love to answer your questions and help get you started.

3 Comments. Leave new

  • Thanks for pointing out that an insert will lay flush with the cabinet edges. I want to remodel my kitchen to get more space. So I think that I’ll need to find somewhere to get insert cabinets from.

  • I really liked it when you said in one of the photos that a custom-made cabinet allows me to choose every single detail about it and that I can tailor it to suit my needs. Actually, my house is built from the ground up and is pretty unique in style. So you can probably guess that my needs are also pretty different from others since I am a bit of an eccentric. It might do me better if I ever ask a professional to customize a wooden cabinet for my Georgian bathroom theme.

  • I’m back and forth with custom and factory made. I love the idea of natural pine cabinets with Waterlox. I can only imagine how much it must cost for custom woodwork these days. It’s beautiful to look at but may not be affordable for the average person. Thanks for sharing!


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