The world of kitchen cabinetry is an expansive one. As such, it can be downright difficult to find the perfect combination of style, finishes, colors, sizes, and more to create the ideal cabinets for your kitchen.

Overchoice is a real issue with many folks, especially when making decisions on your home’s interior. Simply put, the more options and choices you have, the harder it is to make a decision.

So, to help you make the best choice based on your kitchen, needs, and overall style preferences, here is Puustelli’s ultimate guide to kitchen cabinet options!

First up, let’s go over stock and custom cabinets.

Stock and Custom Cabinets

First and foremost, it’s important to decide whether you want stock or custom cabinets. There is also a third option, known as semi-custom.

Stock cabinets will come fully assembled. Therefore, after you purchase them, it won’t take long for them to be installed in your kitchen. Typically these cabinets will be on the cheaper end, but that doesn’t mean they are lower in quality. As with any type of cabinet, the more durable and the better materials it has, the more of an investment it will be.

Custom cabinets are exactly what they sound like—cabinets you can fully customize. Because there is more work to put these together, they will typically cost more than stock cabinets. If you have very specific sizing needs, custom cabinets may be necessary.

Semi-custom cabinets are somewhere in the middle. Companies that offer customized options, but not as much as a fully customized cabinet provider. Still a good option for those with specific needs for their kitchen regarding sizing and functionality.


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While choosing between customized vs. stock cabinets (hopefully) won’t take too much time to decide, your cabinets’ material might require a little more thought. Here are the main types of cabinet materials that you’ll get to choose from:

High-density fiberboard – Engineered wood made through the process of breaking down hardwood/softwood into wood fibers.

Medium-density fiberboard – Essentially the same as high-density fiberboard, but it isn’t as strong. (Meaning that it’s often cheaper than high-density fiberboard.)

Particleboard – A composite of reclaimed and recycled wood that is bonded together with resin. It isn’t as strong as other materials on this list but is often very economically-priced.

Plywood – The byproduct of thin layers of wood veneer glued together. Plywood is a very strong material, and you can expect cabinets made of this material to last a long time.

Solid wood – Kiln dried lumber made directly from felled timber. The durability of this material will depend on the type of wood chosen.

Doors and Drawers

There are a large number of materials you can choose for drawer fronts and cabinet doors. This includes maple and hickory, which are very strong hardwoods. It also includes more economical options like oak and beech wood.

When it comes to the doors and drawer fronts of your cabinets, it’s important to see them in person because they vary greatly in terms of their overall look and feel. If you can go to showrooms, you definitely should check those out. Ordering samples is also a good idea!

Framed and Frameless

At first glance, the difference between framed and frameless cabinets may seem subtle. But, when you actually look at them, you’ll see they are quite distinct.

Framed cabinets have a frame that overlays with the front of the cabinet box. The frame will typically extend a couple of inches past the opening of the cabinet. This can help add to the cabinet’s durability and strength, and it’s the type of cabinet you’ll see most often in the United States.

Frameless cabinets are popular in European countries and tend to be associated with a more modern look. For homeowners that want to embrace the minimalist trend, frameless is a great choice.

Door Design

kitchen cabinet options

The door design is another big choice. Thankfully, the main types are quite varied, so one or two options should stand out. But that decision will require some thought. Here are the main types of door designs you’ll need to choose from:

Shaker – A fairly popular choice among homeowners here in the U.S. Shaker-style doors have a frame of vertical rails and horizontal stiles around a flat panel.

Raised Panel – Another popular choice, raised panel doors have a center portion of the door that is slightly raised. A classic look that will look good in many kitchens.

Slab – A modern look, slab doors are flat with now distinctive features. For minimalists, this is the cabinet door style for you.

Beadboard – These doors are quite beautiful when used in the correct kitchen setting, as they feature vertical planks separated by grooves. While it might be too detailed for some, other homeowners will love this design.

Louvered – Essentially the opposite of beadboard, where the slabs are horizontal. A more classic-looking cabinet that can still look good in a modern setting.

Colors and Finishes

Perhaps the most fun part of your cabinet selection process will be choosing your cabinet’s finishes and colors. When it comes to colors, you’re really only limited by the selection of the brand you choose. Just make sure that whatever color you go with matches the rest of your kitchen and home.

When it comes to the finishes, you can go with an unfinished look, or you can stain it. One is not better than the other; it just comes down to your personal preference. In general, unfinished cabinets will be more rustic in their look.

Need Helping Finding the Perfect Cabinets For Your Kitchen

At Puustelli USA, we strive to provide homeowners with unique and eco-friendly Scandinavian cabinetry and kitchen design. We’re experts at maximizing the use of space to create beautiful, unique kitchens in any home.

If you like the idea of sleek, efficient, and eco-friendly European kitchens, we’ll work with you to design and build the Puustelli kitchen of your dreams in your own home.

Check out our gallery to see what we’re all about. Contact us today to get started!

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