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Kitchen Cabinet Ideas That Can Save Big Time!

Kitchen cabinet ideas can be found in books, magazines, and in the kitchens of your friends and family. Picking up as many magazines and books as possible will help you design your own kitchen.

You’ll find many, many cabinet ideas—there’s a great example at the bottom of this page—but don’t rush! Planning is crucial. No other room gets used more, and you want to consider all your options and price everything out well in advance.

sage green and white kitchen color scheme with light sage green subway tiles and geometric design behind cooktop.  White kitchen cabinets along walls and sage green island cabinets with built-in microwave and granite countertop

Kitchen designers or cabinet makers can also give you great advice if you’re not sure what you want, or how best to use your space.

Also visit store showrooms to look at door styles and finishes. If you’re going to paint kitchen cabinets, try to get a sample of the door you like.

Hint: Don’t tell the salesperson you’re considering painting kitchen cabinets or they won’t let you take home the sample.

white kitchen cabinets with green tile backsplash and pull out trash and recycling

When you’re shopping for kitchen cabinets, you may also see kitchen cabinet organizers you can add to update and improve your old cabinets, like pullout shelves, pot drawers, and special organizers.

They even make pullout steps for shorter chefs. Depending on your family’s needs, cabinets can be made taller or modified to accommodate a chef in a wheelchair.

ReDesign Your Own Kitchen For A Fraction Of Replacement Cost

There are as many kitchen cabinet ideas as their are decorating styles. Figure out how you want them to look and what needs to be done to get there. As long as you are going to paint kitchen cabinets, you don’t have worry about refacing them. Just restyle the doors and drawer fronts to get a whole new look!

If, for example, your old cabinet doors are tongue and groove or beadboard and you don’t want that look anymore, get a carpenter to add an inexpensive wood veneer that you can paint. Kitchen cabinets with contemporary decorating themes usually have sleek door designs with no hardware exposed.

Or maybe you have contemporary cabinets and want to go with a cottage or country kitchen decorating theme? Then add beadboard to the face of the cabinets. One of the most cost effective kitchen cabinet ideas is to add moldings or raised panels for more architectural interest. Adding decorative moldings is a great way to spruce up plain or shaker-style cabinet doors. Our painter suggested this because we wanted the cabinets antiqued and having more nooks and crannies gives better contrast.

painted and antiqued kitchen cabients with moldings added

There was already dental molding around the top of our existing kitchen cabinets, but no one ever noticed it because they were maple with a clear varnish. Now that they are painted and antiqued, the dental molding as well as the additional moldings we added, stand out beautifully.

Since the big box stores didn’t carry what I was looking for, I went to a store that specialized in moldings and found one that fit perfect inside the shaker door. It had several steps down like a picture frame molding, plus it came in several wood options. If you want to see before and after photos of my kitchen remodel, go to backsplash ideas.

Kitchen Cabinet Ideas That Save Time and Money

mission style kitchen cabinets in hickory wood, stained an amber color with beautfiul hood over professional stove

Do you have stained wood cabinets that just need to be freshened up or darkened a few shades?

Re-varnish them with a tint added to match the color you want to achieve, instead of going through the hassle of sanding and re-staining them. Save time and money!

We had this technique done on two different sets of built-in cabinets with great success. Here’s how we did it:

  • Our painter lightly sanded the cabinets, cleaned them with a tack cloth to remove any dust, and removed the knobs.

  • They were sprayed in place (doors and all) with a tinted, quick-dry varnish in multiple thin coats. The varnish filled in all the scratches and dings, took the wood color from orange to dark brown, and got rid of an undesirable mixture of wood grains.

The cabinets took on a beautiful rich sheen and only cost a few hundred dollars in labor and materials.

Kitchen Cabinet Ideas – Makeover

Since cabinets are the biggest cost of a kitchen remodel, why not restyle what you already have? You’ll save money and time since your old cabinets won’t have to be torn out. Demo and install alone is a huge cost, plus the wait time for cabinets to be made can be 6 weeks to several months.

cabinets

Kitchen cabinet ideas from one of my readers who bought a home with a kitchen she wasn't crazy about.

The first thing she did to transform the kitchen above was upgrade the lighting by adding puck lights above the cabinets, can lights in the ceiling, and a high quality chandelier over the island. With the addition of crown molding, and light travertine floors, it was better, but still the kitchen color scheme seemed too dark.

Next step was to paint kitchen cabinets a cream color with a caramel glaze which picks up the orange in the backslpash tile design, gives the cabinets a custom look, and makes the black honed granite top on the island feel lighter.

If you absolutely can’t stand those old kitchen cabinets, but they are too good to get rid of, consider using them in your garage or basement for storage, reuse them in a rental property, sell or donate them.

Cabinet Refacing is another of my kitchen cabinet ideas that saves money. But it’s also become a big business, so get several quotes and also ask a good cabinetmaker or finish carpenter what they would charge. If you decide to paint your kitchen cabinets, they can use a less expensive wood.

The benefit of refacing your cabinets is that it’s a quick process with little down time, but you pay for the convenience of having it done in a few days.

And don' overlook custom kitchen cabinet ideas because they are not as expensive as you might think.