56 of Our All-Time Favorite Kitchen Cabinet Ideas, From Layouts to Door Style

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We’ve seen renovators do just about everything to their kitchen cabinets: Start over with completely custom frames, replace the doors with modern fronts, paint directly over dated wood—you name it. Every change done in the name of creating a space that brings you joy makes a difference, no matter how small (you won’t believe what swapping out the hardware can do). 

From all the home tours and DIYs we’ve shared, we’ve accrued quite a bit of knowledge on the matter of revamping cupboards. So we decided to gather all our favorite kitchen cabinet ideas, from the best paint swatches to the coolest door styles to what to know about picking hinges, in one convenient spot. 

Kitchen Cabinet Layout Ideas
Photography by Laure Joliet; Design by Reath Design
First things first: Where will your cabinets go? When you’re starting from scratch, it’s easy to get lost in all the different configurations (uppers here, a peninsula there, open shelving everywhere), so it’s best to familiarize yourself with the six most popular types first: L-shaped, galley, U-shaped, one wall, G-shaped, and open-concept. See what each one looks like IRL.

That’s not to say you can’t venture outside any of those boxes. The most crucial thing, according to Jean Brownhill, the founder of general contractor company Sweeten, is your “work triangle”: the placement of your sink, refrigerator, and stove. These items should all be within a 7-foot radius of one another. Take a read through more of her thoughts on kitchen cabinet plans here. 

Kitchen Cabinet Ideas by Size
Photography by Roland Bello; Styling by Rosy Fridman
Once you’ve got a general layout in mind, you need to sort out how many cabinets you can fit in your space. The standard rectangles isn’t the only option anymore—today you can go for all shapes and sizes depending on what your needs are. The main players are upper cabinets and lower (or base) cabinets, one of which will always be a sink cabinet, a solid hiding spot for cleaning supplies. Bulky items—broom, air fryer, etc.—are a good reason to carve out an 8-foot-tall utility cabinet. (Psst: The standard height of base kitchen cabinets is 36 inches.) And if you want unique shapes or sizes on a low budget, skip the bespoke route and buy stand-alone kitchen cabinets. 

Kitchen Cabinet Ideas by Color
Photography by Dionel Fisher
The sky—er, rainbow—is the limit as far as picking out a fresh paint color for your kitchen cabinets. And who said you had to stick to just one? Make the uppers one hue and the lowers another, or go totally rogue and cover them with multicolored shapes. 

To keep things simple right now, we gathered together all our essential swatch lists: 

White Kitchen Cabinets
Off-White Kitchen Cabinets
Antique White Kitchen Cabinets
Light Gray Kitchen Cabinets
Red Kitchen Cabinets
Navy Blue Kitchen Cabinets
Green Kitchen Cabinets
Sage Green Kitchen Cabinets
Black Kitchen Cabinets
Espresso Kitchen Cabinets
Stained Plywood Kitchen Cabinets
Painted Brown Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen Cabinet Door Style Ideas
Photography by Stephen Busken; Styling by Kate Flynn
While you might think it’s the cabinet paint color that determines the overall aesthetic and vibe of your space, it’s really the design of the door fronts. Ornate ones with raised panels and intricate grooving add character to a cookie-cutter room, while simple flat slabs communicate a modern point of view. Here are a few of our favorite ideas for doors: 

Distressed Kitchen Cabinets
IKEA Kitchen Cabinets
Contemporary Kitchen Cabinets
Glass Kitchen Cabinets
Shaker Kitchen Cabinets
Antique Kitchen Cabinets
High-Gloss Kitchen Cabinets
Solid Wood Kitchen Cabinets
Metal Kitchen Cabinets
Modern Kitchen Cabinets
Farmhouse Kitchen Cabinets
Used Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen Cabinet Hardware Ideas
Photography by Prue Ruscoe
While a lot of people might refer to pulls, knobs, handles, and hinges as the jewelry of your kitchen, you can’t overlook their functional purpose. They’re essential to the whole space—without them you wouldn’t be able to quickly grab the whisk in the drawer or pull out the hidden trash can. The question that’s probably on your mind, at least if this is your first major kitchen reno, is what’s the difference between knobs and pulls and where do they go? The general rule of thumb is that knobs are best for cabinet doors, placed 2 1/2 or 3 inches from the corner of a door, while pulls offer a bit more flexibility because you can put them on both drawers and doors. Find your hardworking accessories here: 

Everything to know about selecting hinges 
The best pulls, organized by material 
How to pair your hardware with your cabinets 
Our favorite black hardware 

Kitchen Cabinet Organization Ideas
Courtesy of Rachel Rosenthal
Congratulations, once you’ve gotten to this point, it means your new (or just new looking) cupboards are finished. The fun challenge is figuring out what the insides will look like. How will you keep your spices tidy? Will you decant your baking staples? Which drawer are you designating for flatware? We’ve got the answers to all your pressing organizing questions: 

How to organize your kitchen cabinets in three steps 
What to do with the empty space above your kitchen cabinets 
Kitchen islands that offer up storage and seating 
The best kitchen organizer you can buy on Amazon
How chefs keep their kitchens tidy 

More stories like this: 
12 Kitchen Organization Ideas That Are More Helpful Than a Utensil Divider
We’re Calling It: This Cabinet Style Will Be Just as Sought-After as the All-White Kitchen
Raised Panels, Shaker, Glass—Our Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Doors

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