56 of Our All-Time Favorite Kitchen Cabinet Ideas in One Place

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 makes you happy makes a difference, no matter how small (you won’t believe what a difference swapping out the hardware can make). 

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 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

dark yellow kitchen
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 of 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, fridge, and stove. These items should all be with a seven-foot radius of one another. Take a read through more of her thoughts on kitchen cabinet plans here

Kitchen Cabinet Sizes

appliance garage
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. Your standard rectangles aren’t the only option anymore—today you can opt for all shapes in 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 eight-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 Cabinets by Color

black cabinets
Photography by Dionel Fisher

The sky—err, rainbow—is the limit as far as picking out a fresh paint color for your kitchen cabinets. And who said you had to just go with one? Make the uppers one hue and the lowers another or go totally rogue and cover them with multicolor shapes. 

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

Kitchen Cabinet Door Styles

cane counter stools
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: 

Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

long red door handles
Photography by Prue Ruscoe

While a lot of people might refer to your 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 in a kitchen because you can put them on both drawers and doors. Find your hard-working accessories here: 

Kitchen Cabinet Organization

pots in a drawer
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 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

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