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Combining Functionality and Style in Your Kitchen Cabinets

People take their kitchen cabinets seriously. In fact, the kitchen cabinets are often the most prized components of a kitchen and their design and aesthetics can make or break the entire room's overall appearance. Consumers have become more educated about everything related to their homes, and their kitchen cabinetry is no different.

With consumers being more knowledgable about the kitchen cabinet products that are available and the features they are looking for, there is less of a dependence on interior designers and kitchen designers. An overall trend toward furniture-grade kitchen cabinets has taken a firm hold in the marketplace. Now that Ready-to-Assemble Kitchen Cabinets or RTA Kitchen Cabinets are even being made of higher quality materials, consumers are turning their attention toward more particular aspects, such as pull-out waste cans, slide-out towel bars and pull-down shelves. These accessories often are requested by clients who are aging or may have special physical needs, but many others see the benefits as well.

This points to an overall kitchen cabinet customization movement that puts as much emphasis on function as it does on form. Homeowners expect their kitchen cabinets to perform at a high level. They're even paying attention to the hidden hardware by specifically requesting self-closing undermount slides on cabinet drawers, and the fully concealed european hinges. Another cabinetry trend has grown from the consumer's demand for professional-grade appliances in the kitchen. In addition to high-end stainless-steel refrigerators and commercial-quality cooktops, such things as warming, cooling and dishwashing drawers have become very popular. By integrating these cabinets into the drawers, or using customized panels to hide the appliances, homeowners are trying to make the appliances less noticable.

Wood-finished kitchen cabinets are still the style of choice; they represent about 80 percent of all kitchen cabinets purchased, according to a 2002 survey conducted by the National Kitchen and Bath Association. And even though consumers are demanding furniture-quality styling, they are opting for a more casual appearance overall. Many of these have multi-step finishes and glazes to make them look like antiques that have weathered generations of use. While consumers are looking for that antique or old world look, they want all the latest features. Glass-front kitchen cabinets are also in demand, although only on certain cabinets where contents are easily arranged and kept neat for an uncluttered appearance.

Many kitchen cabinet manufacturers offer a mullion door option which allow you to display your fine china or glasses. Appliance garages that house microwaves, blenders and other countertop appliances help keep the room looking neat and clean. Maple and cherry are still the most popular wood species, but a lot of people are taking advantage of the new choices out there as well. Wood types such as alder and beech have been getting a lot of attention.

But so have some more unusual species like lyptus, which comes from a quickly renewable tree, so it is considered a 'green' product.

I was able to save thousands on my kitchen cabinets. Find out my secrets.... you to can save thousands on kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities by following these easy steps

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