Transform Your Culinary Space: Explore the Most Popular Types of Kitchen Cabinets

Gray kitchen with counters and bar & custom casework
Front view of modern kitchen interior with gray walls, tiled floor, gray countertop and wooden bar with stools. 3d rendering


  • Personalized cabinets maximize space, match your style, and last longer than mass-produced options.
  • Combine base, wall, tall, and specialty cabinets for optimal storage and functionality in your space.
  • Select wood, finish, and hardware based on budget, desired look, and durability.

Are you considering remodeling or updating your kitchen? If so, your options for kitchen cabinetry are probably at the forefront of your mind. In the context of your other design elements, such as flooring and counters, choosing suitable cabinets creates a cohesive style and maximizes functionality for your kitchen design.

Keep reading to discover why kitchen cabinets are one of the most important parts of your culinary space and how Knossos Furniture can custom-design cabinets for your particular style and needs.

Why Is Custom Cabinetry Important?

Cabinets are one of the first things you see when you enter your kitchen. In addition to affecting how your kitchen looks, they provide the best use of storage space so you can improve functionality and have all your pans and plates accessible.

While you could settle for mass-produced or stock cabinetry, you can’t guarantee your options would fit your style and needs. When you purchase custom cabinets designed for your kitchen, you ensure every aspect, from style and materials to layout and size, is correct to the last detail.

Most Popular Layouts for Custom Kitchen Cabinets

Whether working with a large or small space, choosing the proper layout for your cabinets is essential to maximizing your kitchen’s functionality. Cabinetry includes four different types: base, wall, tall, and specialty.

Base Cabinets

These cabinets rest on the floor and provide space for storage under the countertops. In a standard kitchen, they’re 36 inches tall and 24 inches deep. All kitchens have base cabinets to fill the area below the working space. They can fit together like puzzle pieces to accommodate corners, sink space, and more.

Wall Cabinets

While not all kitchens utilize wall cabinets, most have enough space to install them. They sit fastened to the wall studs above the counter space by around 18 inches. Standard wall cabinets are 12 to 17 inches deep and commonly hold dishware and pantry food items.

Tall Cabinets

Known as pantry cabinets, these typically rest on the floor and reach the top of your wall cabinets. They’re perfect for filling a narrower space than other cabinets can handle, and homeowners most often use them for storing long-lasting food items such as canned goods, rice, and flour.

Specialty Cabinets

If you have the budget, specialty cabinets are a smart addition to any kitchen design. This catch-all category includes hutches, pull-out spice racks, lazy Susans, and wine racks.

Best Wood Choices for Cabinetry

Choosing the right material for your kitchen cabinetry helps provide a cohesive style but also depends mainly on your budget.

Solid Wood

Solid wood cabinet doors offer the epitome of luxury and durability and, as such, are the most expensive option. The most popular solid wood choices include oak, cherry, maple, and birch, each offering a different color and grain pattern. They’re a good investment because of their longevity and the ease of refinishing them as they age.

Medium-Density Fiberboard (MDF)

MDF cabinets are the most affordable option and offer more consistency in appearance and resistance to warping and cracking than solid wood. However, they’re less resistant to moisture, so if you live with high humidity, ask your designer if they’re still a good choice.


Plywood consists of several layers of wood veneers glued together, making them the midway price point between solid wood and MDF. While not as elegant as wood, they’re strong and versatile and hold up to both moisture and heat better than medium-density fiberboard.

Types of Finishes for Cabinets

With many options for finishes, choosing the right color or stain helps create a unique look and ties together the style of your kitchen. Choose from the following options:

  • Paint: Painting your cabinets allows nearly unlimited choices for color palettes. Paint is also the easiest to touch up or refinish as the color fades or the door age.
  • Stain: If you want to enhance the natural beauty of your cabinet’s color and grain pattern, opt for stain. Wood stain is budget-friendly and easy to maintain and reapply. Staining your cabinets also helps protect them from high heat, condensation, and grease splatters common in kitchens.
  • Glaze: Add glaze on top of your paint or stain to imbue your cabinets with an aged or antique look. 
  • Lacquer: Lacquer provides a thicker and glossier covering than paint and is easy to clean when it accumulates dust and grease. However, extreme temperatures can crack the lacquer finish, so they’re best for homes with climate control.
  • Laminate: Consider adding a laminate layer if you choose MDF for your cabinets. With laminate, you can select nearly any solid color or mimic the appearance of natural wood.
  • Thermofoil: As a thin layer of PVC, this is another option to finish off MDF cabinets. While extremely affordable, you can’t paint thermofoil, and repairing them is difficult.

Maintaining Your Custom Cabinetry

After you install your beautiful new cabinets, how do you maintain them so they last a long time? Follow these tips:

  • At least once a week, wipe down your cabinets with a dry, soft cloth to avoid dust buildup.
  • Avoid chemical cleaners that can damage the finish. Warm water and soap are the best cleaning solution.
  • Don’t slam the cupboards shut or yank them open to prevent cracking, splintering, or doors breaking off. 

Knossos Furniture: The Best in Custom Cabinet Installation and Design

Whether you need custom furniture or design help for any room in your house, turn to us at Knossos Furniture. We have over 40 years of experience in the woodworking industry. We partner closely with architects, contractors, and developers and can work diligently to meet nearly every design request for your kitchen cabinets.

We deliver superior craftsmanship on time and within budget. We can’t wait to show you what we can do for your kitchen.

Call Knossos Furniture at (718) 729-0404 today to discuss your custom kitchen cabinetry needs.


About The Author

Peter Despotopoulos

Hi, I’m Peter Despotopoulos and I am the Director of Marketing and Business Development at Furniture Design Knossos Inc. I have over 14 years of experience in the furniture design industry with expertise in custom millwork, architectural woodwork, cabinetry, built-in units, stone counters, wood or plastic laminate counters, and metal work.

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