Choosing your kitchen elements
Shelves with beautiful glasses and bottles are beautiful to look at, but tiresome to keep clean. Wide drawer cabinets can be impractical in use. Read more about what you should think about when choosing your kitchen elements.
What kinds of kitchen items are there?
Although over the past 10 years has been great interest in buying new kitchens, there has not been a great revolution within the range of kitchen elements.
When you want to create a new kitchen, it is still the classic kitchen elements, you can choose from:
- Base cabinets
- Top cabinets
- High cabinets
- Corner cabinets.
The development of kitchen elements has however led to, that there now are more clever solutions such as drawers with easy-close, various devices for drawers and cabinets as well as various pull-out systems.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the various kitchen elements?
When you design your kitchen, it is important to choose an appropriate mix of different elements that fit your kitchen habits, your collection of tableware, kitchenware and kitchen appliances and not least the size and shape of the room, the kitchen should be designed in.
The different types of kitchen elements have different advantages and disadvantages that you should have in your mind when you combine the elements of your new kitchen.
The base cabinet is the classic kitchen element and is not to be missed. Base cabinets are extremely useful because they have so many design options. They can be used as ordinary cabinets with drawers or shelves under the counter, or they can be used for installation of the kitchen sink, cooktop, oven, dishwasher, refrigerator or freezer. You can also put multiple base cabinets with a countertop over, so they form a cooking island in the middle of the room.
Base cabinets with shelves have the disadvantage that you have to bend down to see what’s in the cabinet. It can also be quite difficult to get hold of the things that are inside.
Top cabinets have the advantage that they provide a good overview and makes it easy to get hold of the kitchen equipment. That does however not apply to the upper shelves, which can be difficult to reach and look into.
Younger children cannot reach things that are in the top cabinets. It can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. Children can for example not help setting the table if the dinner plates and glasses are in a top cabinet.
Top cabinets can help give the kitchen a more diverse look if, for example. you choose top cabinets in other colors or materials than the rest of the kitchen. You can also choose top cabinets with glass doors or light.
But precisely because the cabinets can make your kitchen more diverse or – if you will – messy, they are not very popular in minimalistic kitchens.
As an alternative to top cabinets you can choose to design the kitchen with shelves. The advantage of shelves is that you can have your stuff above, so they are visible and easily accessible.
You can also use the shelves to exhibit particularly beautiful glass bottles with oils and vinegars or coffee cans. Along with beautiful pots, hanging from the ceiling, it can create a beautiful and personal country kitchen style.
The disadvantage of shelves is that they quickly become dusty and greasy in a kitchen where cooking gives a lot of dust, smoke and steam. It can be quite difficult to clean the shelves and wipe all the things which stand on them. If you want to get rid of dust, you can instead let your pretty things stand in cabinets with glass doors.
In a high cabinet, there are good storage options. The high cabinet can for example be used for big things like a vacuum cleaner, an ironing board and a broom. You can also use a high cabinet for a built-in oven and microwave or refrigerator and freezer, or you can use it as a pantry.
Since the high cabinet is very spacious, there’s room for large volumes of cans, glasses, bottles and bags. But precisely for that reason the cabinet quickly become cluttered and messy, especially if it is furnished with many drawers and shelves. It is therefore a good idea to choose a high cabinet with front pull-out. In this way, you can drag out the entire cabinet’s content and easily manage the many tins, jars and bags.
High cabinets with the front pull-out, however, have the disadvantage that they can be very heavy. Therefore, it is important to select a pull-out system of good quality. The quality of the pull-out system may be a little difficult to assess in a kitchen store if the cabinet is empty.
A corner of a kitchen can be a bit problematic to get designed so it optimizes the space. Perhaps this is why kitchen companies typically offers corner cabinets with multiple types of designs.
The simplest and cheapest solution is regular shelves. They have the disadvantage that it is difficult to reach into the bottom of the cabinet.
Another solution is a carousel, where you run things to the back of the cabinet around and to the front, so you can easily grab them.
A third option is a so-called Magic Corner, where you with one grip can pull out all the content, so you can easily grab it. The disadvantage is that the solution needs a lot of space.
Corner cabinets are often more expensive than regular base cabinets. If you have enough cabinet space in the kitchen, you can just have a tabletop without cabinet in the corner.
Cabinets or drawers, what should you choose?
Cabinets with shelves are usually less expensive than drawers, and shelves are adjustable so you can change the number and height if you need it.
Drawers have the advantage that you can pull each drawer out completely, so you get a good overview of the content. Drawers with easy-close close softly and gently so small child fingers not so easily get pinched.
Only 15-20 years ago most base cabinets were designed with shelves, and there was typically a single cabinet with drawers for cutlery, kitchen utensils, aluminum foil, plastic bags, etc. Today it is almost vice versa, as many new kitchens are fitted with more drawers than cabinets with shelves.
Drawer units can be designed without handles. This makes them ideal for minimalistic kitchens. Here you often choose quite wide drawers, for example 90 cm or 120 cm in width, to obtain an expression as simple as possible. The wide drawer units have the disadvantage that they can be difficult to pull out. And if you are more people working in the kitchen at the same time, it can be quite annoying that you have to move every time the wide drawer unit needs to be pulled out.
Cabinets with shelves are found in all types of kitchen elements, while drawers are only available as high cabinets and base cabinets.