What's in a Cabinet?


What's in a Cabinet?

Ready to remodel your kitchen? Or is it time to design the kitchen in your new home? The most expensive investment you will make in the kitchen is your cabinetry. Beautiful cupboards can make a statement and there are many factors to consider when selecting them.

In Kigali, we’ve found two styles of cabinet boxes, frameless, also called European, and flush inset.  Frameless, shown above, means that the door sits on top of the box and is hinged directly onto the side of the cabinet wall. Popular for stock cabinets as well as custom, frameless cabinetry allows for greater storage capacity, clean lines and a more modern look. Flush Inset cabinetry is usually a custom option as the cabinetry is measured and fit into the space required. Inset means that the door is fit into the box, flush with a frame surrounding the front of the box. Inset cabinets are difficult to make correctly and well cured wood is important in production.

Framesless Cabinet Example
The first step is to understand the terminology of cabinets:
The Box: usually made from hardwood or multi-density fiber board (MDF)
The Internal Accessories: minimally a shelf, also can include pullouts for accessibility
The Drawer: fitted with glides to allow for ease in pullout
The Door: usually ¾” thick, hinged to the box, the decoration for the box.
Raised Panel Door

Door styles vary greatly and are a large part of the design of the kitchen. When selecting a style, think about the feeling you get when you look at it and try to see more than one as alone it may look wonderful, but with many in a row, as in a kitchen, it may be overwhelming.

Slab Panel Door Style (shown in kitchen above):
Slab door styles are flat and most times made with MDF. As wood will expand and contract, it is not as stable for a large flat piece.
Slab door styles are used often to create a modern appearance of a clean space. Textured looks are popular showcasing the feeling of wood, but white is still the most common choice.
Recessed Panel Door Style
Recessed Panel door styles are sometimes referred to as flat panel. The center panel is always flat secured into the frame style.
Recessed Panel doors are a blend of traditional  and modern styling as it can fit well into both.  This transitional style is both modest and classic. As it will adapt to your changing style, it is a good investment that will last a long time.
Raised Panel Door Style (shown in the picture above)
Raised Panel doors will have a solid wood piece raised to the same level of the surrounding frame.

Considered more decorative and traditional, these styles can feel busy if door sizes are not similar. Look at the number of doors in your kitchen and the size to see if this can work for you. Also, curved doors ,like the one here, work best on the upper cupboards, don’t use them on the bases.

Open shelving was used to keep the area from having too many solid boxes creating an airy feeling.

Know what to look for before you purchase.
·    Do drawers open easily; do they roll on a metal track?
·    Are drawers well constructed? Do they have dovetailed or doweled joints, instead of staples?
·    Are the sides of the drawers at least 1.25 cm thick?
·    Is the bottom of draws strong; are they glued into grooves?
·    If cabinets are wood, do grains match from piece to piece?
·    Do doors and drawers have quality hardware?
·    Do doors swing freely; do they close securely?
·    Are shelves strong and 2 cm thick?
·    How are inside areas and bottoms finished?
This is a big purchase, one you want to have hold up over time. Do your homework and don't be afraid to specify what you want. You'll be happy that you did.