How to Know if You Should Add Cabinets to Your Kitchen or Do a Full Remodel

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Are you considering upgrading your kitchen? The approach of transforming your space can be both exciting and daunting.


One option to explore is adding cabinets to enhance both the style and functionality of your kitchen. Whether you want to increase storage space, achieve an open layout, or infuse your kitchen with elegance, adding cabinets can be a great solution. 


However, before diving into this project, careful consideration and planning are crucial. In this article, we will guide you through the process of incorporating new cabinets into your existing kitchen design.

Custom Built-In Cabinets: The Perfect Match for Your Kitchen

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To seamlessly integrate new cabinets into your kitchen, it is essential to choose the right style and layout that complements your existing design. Whether your cabinets are custom-built or factory-made, here are some key factors to consider:

1. Assessing Your Current Cabinets

If your cabinets were specifically constructed for your kitchen, consulting with an expert is crucial. A professional designer or cabinet dealer will visit your kitchen to determine which upgrades will work best with your unique design.

2. Matching Factory-Made Cabinets

For factory-made cabinets, finding a perfect match requires attention to detail. Your dealer can assist you in selecting cabinets based on their size, door style, overlay, and finish. It’s essential to ensure that all these elements align seamlessly with your current cabinets, creating a cohesive and uniform look.

3. Custom-Match Finish

In some cases, adding new cabinets may need custom finishes to match the existing designs. If this is required, a specific finish can be created to achieve seamless integration. Once installed, the new cabinets and the custom finish will blend flawlessly with the original ones.

Standalone or Integrated: Choosing the Right Approach

Deciding whether your new cabinets should be standalone or integrated depends on various factors, including personal preferences, budget, and location. Let’s explore the options:

1. Standalone Cabinets: Embracing Versatility

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Implementing standalone cabinets allows you the freedom to adopt a separate design that doesn’t require matching materials or finishes. 

While achieving uniformity isn’t a concern, it’s important to find a look that offers a subtle contrast without clashing with your kitchen’s overall aesthetic. 

This approach grants you flexibility and enables you to explore bold concepts like painted cabinets in vibrant hues, adding a delightful pop of color to your kitchen.

2. Integrated Cabinets: Blending Seamlessly

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Opting for integrated cabinets creates a harmonious flow throughout your kitchen. While it requires careful coordination, integrating new cabinets with your existing ones ensures a consistent and sophisticated look. 

This approach works well when you want to extend your current design or maintain a cohesive style. It’s better to consult with a professional designer to achieve the desired outcome seamlessly.

The Purpose of Adding More Cabinets

Before proceeding with cabinet add-ons, it’s essential to identify your specific needs and goals. Consider the following reasons for adding cabinets:

1. Space Optimization

Many homeowners seek additional cabinets to address limited storage space. If you often find yourself struggling with cluttered counters and inadequate storage during meal preparation, extra cabinets may seem like the ideal solution.

However, it’s important to note that simply adding cabinets might not effectively resolve underlying issues such as poor organization or an impractical layout. 

Exploring alternate options alongside cabinet add-ons is highly recommended. Some alternatives include:

  • Islands
  • Pantries
  • Open shelving
  • Buffet areas
  • Retrofitted accessories

2. Aesthetics and Style Enhancement

In addition to functionality, cabinets contribute significantly to the overall aesthetics of your kitchen. If you desire a cohesive and refined look, it’s crucial to consider accompanying details such as counters and cabinet hardware:

Counters: Achieving Cohesion

To achieve a uniform look, replacing all the counters in your kitchen might be necessary. However, if you’re open to a more eclectic style, mixing and matching different counter materials can create an interesting and unique visual appeal. 

Regardless of your approach, upgrading your counters can elevate the sophistication of your kitchen, allowing you to fulfill your desire for luxurious materials like granite.

Cabinet Hardware: The Final Touch

Cabinet hardware plays a significant role in tying together the visual elements of your kitchen. Whether you decide to match hardware styles or experiment with different designs, the right choice can create a cohesive and polished look. 

Consider investing in new hardware that complements your new cabinets or brings a fresh update to your existing ones.

Considering a Full Remodel: The Comprehensive Solution

While incorporating new cabinets into your existing kitchen design can yield remarkable results, a full kitchen remodel might be the optimal solution for a complete transformation. Here are some situations where a full remodel is worth considering:

1. Damaged Cabinets

If your current cabinets have endured years of wear and tear, opting for a full remodel may prove more cost-effective than repairing them. 

Instead of investing more money in restoration, starting fresh with new cabinets can give you the opportunity to design a kitchen that you truly love. When the cost of repairs matches or exceeds the price of new cabinets, remodeling becomes the logical choice.

2. Low-Quality Cabinets

Lackluster cabinets can be a constant source of frustration. Adding new cabinets to subpar ones won’t solve the underlying issues. 

Take this opportunity to replace your problematic cabinets with high-quality options that will withstand the test of time. Investing in durable and aesthetically pleasing cabinets ensures long-term satisfaction with your kitchen upgrade.

3. Revamping the Kitchen Layout

If your current kitchen layout is no longer practical, significant changes may require cabinet adjustments. When redesigning your space with an open-concept approach or other substantial modifications, it’s often more efficient to opt for a full cabinet replacement.

Working around existing cabinets during layout alterations can be challenging and time-consuming. Outdated or damaged cabinets might not align with your new vision, making a full remodel the preferred choice.

If you’re unsure whether your kitchen cabinets warrant a complete overhaul, consulting a professional kitchen designer can provide valuable insights. They can assess your current design, guide you toward the most attractive and cost-effective options, and help maximize your storage space through strategic cabinet choices.

Final Thoughts

Adding cabinets to your kitchen can be an exciting project that enhances both its functionality and aesthetic appeal. By carefully considering your current design, layout preferences, and specific needs, you can choose the right approach for incorporating new cabinets. Whether you opt for custom-built or factory-made cabinets, and whether you decide on standalone or integrated options, the key is to create a harmonious and visually pleasing space.

Remember to evaluate your reasons for adding cabinets, explore alternative solutions, and consider accompanying elements like counters and cabinet hardware. If your kitchen requires a comprehensive transformation, a full remodel may be the best way to achieve the kitchen of your dreams. Seek the guidance of an experienced designer to ensure that your kitchen upgrade is a resounding success.

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