Remodeling cabinets: beyond refacing
by Karl Fendelander
Face Your Kitchen Columnist
A typical cabinet refacing can do a lot for an ugly kitchen, but superficial improvements do little or nothing for functionality. Many people will jump right to ripping out the old drawers and cupboards and starting over instead of looking into the wonderful world of remodeling cabinets. Check out these modern solutions for your inadequate storage issues:
- Internal lazy susans: These spinning conveniences come in a variety of shapes, like the classic circular design, kidney-shaped and half-moon.
- Slide-out shelves: Deep cabinets are great if you can see and reach all the way back, but at less ideal angles, your kitchen supplies may never see the light of day again. Installing shelves that slide out eliminates this issue by bringing the far-back section of the shelf to you -- think of it like a shallow drawer built in to the cabinet.
- Swivel-out shelves: Like the love child of a lazy susan and a slide-out shelf, swivel-out shelves work great for maximizing cabinets built into awkward corners.
- Pull-out cabinets: Like big drawers made of stacked shelves, pull-out cabinets give you the storage of a deep cabinet with more accessibility than a pantry.
- Partitioned drawers: Tall, deep drawers are rarely fully utilized. They're either left half empty or you never see the stuff at the bottom. Adding in partitions or built-in dish racks let's you pack 'em full and find everything inside.
- Cabinets with drawers: More serious -- and more versatile -- than just slide-out shelves, drawers built into cabinets let you take advantage of extra space in a big cabinet or store important pieces next to their larger counterparts (like a drawer of lids built into a cabinet full of plastic containers).
- Cabinet door extras: Deep cabinets with room to spare in the front are a great place for built-in bins and hooks on the inside of cabinet doors.
- Hidden appliances: If you've got some extra cabinet space, consider remodeling cabinets to hide certain appliances. From trash compactors to wine coolers, dish washers to refrigerators, there are plenty of appliances that can be made to blend right in with the rest of your cabinets. A countertop-level cabinet with an outlet in the back can keep blenders, food processors and coffee makers plugged in, accessible and out of plain sight.
Some of these options may require more than can-do spirit; call a bonded, licensed and insured* contractor like the ones in our network before you get in over your head.
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