Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing
Outside-the-box: custom cupboard refacingby Susanne Clemenz
Face Your Kitchen Columnist
One great thing about cabinet refacing is that you get to make up the rules. Tasteful originality gives a custom cupboard look. Of course, if you are preparing a home for resale, glossy red cabinet cases coupled with aluminum door frames with corduroy glass inserts will definitely limit your buyers.
Save that look for your new place. When you plan on staying put, mix it up a bit, even if it's as serene as butter-colored cabinet cases with soft green doors and drawer fronts. A custom cupboard mind-set can also creatively resolve her love of traditional with his love of contemporary decor.
Combine materials and colors
Cabinet cases can be different in color, texture and grain from doors and drawer fronts. How about dark wood cabinet cases with Frigo Design's hammered-copper doors for a rugged western look? Tweak a French Provincial look with soft blue, painted cases and almond-colored, raised-panel doors. Run a wood or bamboo grain horizontally along the cases and vertically along the simple slab doors for a Euro, contemporary, or Asian look.
There's no rule that says upper and lower cabinets must match each other, when exploring a custom cupboard look. Paint all cabinet cases a dusty teal, and choose one of Lasertron Direct's magnificent stainless steel door designs. Yes on stainless counter tops and appliances, too.
Or, substitute something like Maple USA's bird's eye maple for the upper doors. Do glossy laminate cases in Chinese red with flat slab cabinet doors and drawer fronts that create a checkerboard of black and white--black upper cabinet door above a tier of white drawers, for example, adjacent to a white, upper door over a black, lower door.
This can be a bit tricky, yet potentially a cost-saver. It can involve keeping a major element unchanged. If those dark 1960s kitchen cabinets scream "old," paint them a lighter neutral color and update door handles and drawer pulls.
Another option is to replace only the upper doors with doors refaced with Formica's Burnished Glaze laminate. For resale, the eye level style should scream, "New!" Reface boring upper cabinet doors with a simple Mission or Shaker lines, and leave the plain slab doors below.
Study kitchen decor magazines and visit home supply stores and cabinet showrooms. Jot down a veneer idea here, a memorable style there, and combine them for an exciting custom cupboard look.
About the Author
Suzanne Clemenz designed her passive solar home and remodeled two others. She worked with architects and contractors on floorplans, electrical, painting, windows, flooring installations, flood prevention walls and stonework, major drainage issues, an irrigation system and landscaping.